Astro Flame: Starfighter (XSX) Review with stream
Tons to unlock and upgrade
Control is fluid and responsive… might even be too responsive as it is easy to back into slow moving enemy fire
Default volume level is set to 50% and there is an option to activate auto-fire
You’ll need to replay and grind for about 20 minutes when you finally finish each stage
Plenty of time will be spent in the upgrading menu so it is a problem that the D-pad cannot be used, only the analog stick
No co-op and presentation values are plain at best
A vertical shooter with a leveling upgrade system, Astro Flame: Starfighter is a Sometimes You published $10 digital download.
The gimmick of this shmup comes from the upgrading system. Each defeated enemy drops material that can be collected and then spent to unlock and upgrade numerous ship parts. Besides making the basic firepower cause more damage or being able to take a couple more hits, players can unlock different limited use super attacks, each assigned to a different button. There are plenty of things to upgrade and each one costs a good chunk of change. In fact, this is the game’s biggest issue – balancing.
If you enjoy grinding for gold, then Astro Flame: Starfighter will have a lot to offer. However, understand that once you hit the third stage, you will need to grind to unlock that new feature that makes you a little stronger so you gain the ability to complete that stage. Rinse and repeat this play, die, grind, upgrade gameplay loop until all 15 stages are completing. By the time I hit the 10th stage, I grew exhausted of grinding, replaying the same stages, and killing the same enemies. Even though there are over a dozen stages, each one is filled with the exact same enemies and enemy types. However, the stage ending boss battles offer variety.
One simple aspect that I wanted to highlight is the audio. Not that the soundtrack is anything particularly outstanding, but rather its default volume levels are preset to an acceptable level. Ask any streamer and they will tell you the first they do when they play any game is decrease the in-game volume setting. Here, it starts at 50% which means some thought went into this.
Just like I, AI, another Sometimes You published shooter, it is a slower paced shmup with a grindy upgrading system. The difficulty spikes are extreme, the repeating enemies make the gameplay grow stale, and you cannot use the d-pad during the menu screen, but it isn’t all bad. The control is fast and responsive and there are tons to unlock… that is, if you have the patience to grind through to the end.
Not As Arcadey As: the Cotton re-releases
Also Play: Natsuki Chronicles
Don’t Forget About: Rolling Gunner
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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