Super Destronaut DX (PlayStation 4) Review

By Michael Keener 15.07.2018

Review for Super Destronaut DX on PlayStation 4

Inspired by old-school arcade games, Super Destronaut DX takes the side-to-side action to new lights. Yes, new lights. At this point it is hard to be innovative with titles like Tetris, Galaga, and Dig Dug. Old games with outdated gameplay that have been repeated in various fashions over the last 40 years become predictable and isolated in regards to interest from the gaming community. Here is a valiant attempt to be innovative by flooding the action with colourful neon sparks and explosions, and a handful of challenges.

The main objective here is to slide from left to right, or vice-versa, as the player-controlled ship, firing a barrage of missiles into the space above. Depending on the power being used, this shooting action may only be two shots every second, three shots side by side in a line and in rapid succession, dual shots that fire incredibly fast, or large enemy-tracking missiles. The power-ups are randomly picked as you progress.

It's with purpose that shots are sent out into the space above, as it is packed with alien aggressors who fire a barrage of missiles down in response. They come in only several variations that can be identified by their shapes and colours. Some will shoot one single yet wavy shot at a time straight down, while other may shoot a couple of shots in different directions. It becomes easy to predict where the enemies will shoot as the shot patterns will never change based on the enemy shooting. The colour-coding helps but there are some graphical aspects that make it more frustrating than it needs to be.

Screenshot for Super Destronaut DX on PlayStation 4

As shots are sporadically sprayed around the screen from both the player and the enemy, it is easy to lose track of which shots are which. This is because every shot that connects with an enemy breaks up into a dozen tiny little micro lights around. Early in the waves when targets are crowded in the space above, destroying them all is almost a burden as visibility of incoming attacks is limited. This causes more deaths than are warranted. Mix this with the fact that on a different axis of the game (in front of the player-controlled ship) are random enemies that make for nothing more than obstacles that will rob a life or two. While the attention is mostly focused on the fighting above, in the depth of the screen are more ways to die.

When these obstacles are mixed with the splashing lights of successfully shooting enemies down, it all begins to feel more of a test of the eyesight rather than videogame skills. Oftentimes deaths occur due to lack of visibility, making the experience feel very unrewarding. Committing some time to the action will see this visibility issue go away somewhat as the repetition and predictability of everything starts to really catch on. It's a battle to survive and build a high score. As the enemies are destroyed, points are added up. Successfully survive long enough and the multiplier will help the score climb. Build that score high enough and there might be a spot on the global leaderboard with your name on it.

Screenshot for Super Destronaut DX on PlayStation 4

Surviving as long as possible might sound like fun to some but maybe not for others. Luckily there are other game modes available. The first mode in the menu is for Challenges. There are 30 challenges in total and they vary only slightly. Immediately when one challenge is completed the round ends and the next challenge begins. This is arguably the most fun to be had with the title as each one tasks you with killing a pre-determined number of enemies, collecting a number of power-ups, building up the multiplier meter so much, or destroying so many waves of enemies. The longevity of this mode is anywhere from half an hour to an hour and some change. It will depend on player skill and natural adaption to the chaotic colour effects mentioned earlier. Regardless, it is a good portion of the experience to be had.

Screenshot for Super Destronaut DX on PlayStation 4

Other modes include Time Attack, which sees the player trying to score the most points possible in a minute and a half, and Multiplayer that allows two players to battle out for the highest score. All of the action is exciting at first, especially in the challenge mode, but it is quick to wear off with repetition. The highlight of the game comes with the soundtrack. It clearly captivates the old-school arcade vibes with electronic science fictions tones. It is disappointing that when the game speeds up, so does the music, because that great part of the experience becomes skewed slightly. For a good majority of the play, the music will be on point and very comforting to the ears.

Screenshot for Super Destronaut DX on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

It's not bad, but it's overdone. The old-school classic arcade games have a place in everyone's library, but not every single old-school classic arcade game can justify being added to those libraries. There is nothing so innovative about Super Destronaut DX that it becomes a recommendable title to friends, but it makes for a good half an hour break from more interesting games. The challenge mode is worth a playthrough and a few may be excited to try and secure a place on the global leaderboards in the classic game mode. If only there was more visual clarity that made the game feel a bit more skill-based and not visual-ability-based. The very worst case scenario is that players will listen to a really cool soundtrack while changing up the gaming session for a few minutes.

Developer

Petite

Publisher

Ratalaika Games

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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