Super Hydorah (PS Vita) Review

By Thom Compton 02.01.2018

Review for Super Hydorah on PS Vita

What is Super Hydorah, you ask? Oh, it's just a pixel art old school space shooter. Wait, don't they make those a lot? In fact they do. So why should anyone pick up this pixel art spaceship shooter? It's simple really. Just because an idea gets repeated a lot doesn't mean someone can't come along and do something interesting with it. What did developer Locomalito do to make Super Hydorah unique among other modern space shooters, then? Nothing, really; it's just really, really enjoyable. After a glowing review on Xbox One, Cubed3 now covers the PS Vita edition.

Super Hydorah is a spaceship shooter where the player is tasked with shooting through quick levels, tackling a boss, and aiming for a high score. It balances being a small arcade shooter with a deeper title for a number of reasons, and being able to play it on the go is enjoyable, for the most part. Still, there are some issues that will definitely keep players from grabbing at this title, especially if this is their first rodeo.

The game controls brilliantly, with the controls tight and fluid. It isn't really a bullet hell, but it does get frantic enough that the tight controls are an absolute necessity. In addition, there are a lot of tight corridors the player will need to be able to navigate, so again, the impeccable controls make the most intense moments both fun and manageable.

Screenshot for Super Hydorah on PS Vita

One of Super Hydorah's best features is that it doesn't exploit procedural generation. Instead, enemies flow at you in the same order every time you restart a level. While this might sound like it would grow tedious after a few retries, it allows for the levels to be learned. This makes every level completed feel like it was earned by memorising enemy layouts and attack patterns. Thanks to the general frantic nature of the enemy layouts, it also means players will never really feel any tedium set in, thanks to the steady and familiar flow of mayhem on the screen.

There are other little things that make Super Hydorah stand out. While its pixel art is merely passing, the inclusion of CRT lines really drives the nostalgia home. There are power-ups, but they range enough that some just aren't as good as others. While the shield power-up saves you from a mistake, the power-up that speeds up the ship doesn't feel quite as practical (although it does manage to have its own purpose). Also, enemies will drop red and green pellets that increase the effectiveness of the main and secondary weapon, and they even change colours over time, allowing budding pilots to customise each run even further. That's really one of Super Hydorah's best takeaways. Every run feels fresh, despite being almost identical to the last run.

Sadly, the game is a bit too difficult to play on PS Vita, due to the smaller screen size. Having played it on both Vita and PlayStation 4, it's much easier on the PlayStation 4. As the player is able to collide with the environment, as well, being able to accurately thread the needle is extremely important. That's just a lot easier to do on a larger television screen than it is on the Vita's smaller screen. The game is, again, very difficult. While old school shooter fans are likely to really enjoy the chaos, it's hard to believe that with the repetition of playing levels and the ease of dying, Super Hydorah is going to be drawing in any first time shooter fans.

Screenshot for Super Hydorah on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Super Hydorah is a great spaceship shooter with plenty to explore and see. Realistically, though, its difficulty can come across as a bit too much early on, and first time players of the shooter genre are unlikely to enjoy the game as much. The smaller screen of the Vita also makes the game slightly more difficult to play, so if you can, be sure to try it on a bigger screen. It can all be a bit overwhelming, but fans of the genre are very likely to view this as one of the better modern takes on the classic shooter.

Developer

Locomalito

Publisher

Abylight

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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