Like an irate student, who lives in a country where owning a firearm is legal, there’s nothing I enjoy more than going on a shooting spree. If you are of the same opinion, and own a current gen console or home computer, I highly recommend checking out Stardust Galaxy Warriors. This sci-fi themed shooter takes me back to the days when I would get a sore trigger finger blasting away enemies in titles such as R-Type and Parodius. Developed by the team at Dreamloop Games, this action packed download has players controlling the titular Galaxy Warriors, who are responsible for interstellar law enforcement in the year 2087. Patrolling the galaxy involves disintegrating anything that moves – be it hostile spaceships, a giant disco ball or an asteroid wearing a baseball cap.
The main appeal of Stardust Galaxy Warriors has to be the arsenal of weapons on offer plus its multiplayer mode, which allows up to four buddies to travel through the cosmos inside giant wannabe Gundams. Before commencing one of the main campaign’s ten stages, budding mech pilots are able to choose two weapons of mass destruction. The armaments on offer include flamethrowers, grenade launchers, triple beam laser rifles and heat seeking rockets. If all else fails however you can also ignore projectile damage in favour of swiping foes with a sword. Getting into melee range can be risky, but the dangers are offset by the thrill of emulating classic anime bots like Voltron, who would always vanquish evil with a swish of his giant blade.
Aside from picking what two weapons to brandish, players also need to select whom to control from the Stardust Galaxy Warriors’ roster of five playable characters. If you are the type of indecisive chap, who struggles deciding what to order from a restaurant menu, this may not be the game for you! Each pilot, whose codename is part colour and part furry critter, comes equipped with his or her own special skill. Black Bear for example can protect herself with energy barriers that redirect bullets back at opponents. Red Tiger on the other hand can easily evade harm by slowing down the fabric of time. I think my high school chemistry teacher also possessed those same chrono altering powers. His dull thirty-minute classes seemed to drag on for hours.
My rating for Stardust Galaxy Warriors is a four out of five. It’s probably the best shoot-em-up I have played since Deathsmiles. The electronic soundtrack is top notch and I dug the humorous dialogue that bookends each level. Players who lack godlike reflexes shouldn’t be discouraged from giving the title a bash, because the onscreen action is far less intense than other bullet hell shooters I could mention. The adjustable difficulty means that players of all skill levels can enjoy Starduct Galaxy Warriors and if survival is a concern worry not, because the controllable mechs can be upgraded with improved damage and defence capabilities in between stages. It’s great to play a shooter were you can soak up some damage for a change. One thing that irritates me about other games in the genre is how a tiny pixel grazing your little toe can result in instantaneous death.
In terms of content Stardust’s main campaign can be cleared in one or two sittings, but it matters not as the game is something I am likely to replay multiple times. For less than a tenner you also get a challenge mode to playthrough and high score hunters can tackle the Gauntlet, which pits you against an endless wave of foes. The only gripe I have with Stardust Galaxy Warriors is that the multiplayer is limited to couch co-op only. In these days of high-speed interwebs I much prefer gaming online, even if it means teaming up with random strangers (which is a roundabout way of saying that I have no real life friends.) All that said, even if your PS4 sessions are strictly a solo experience I can highly recommend Stardust Galaxy Warriors. It’s got giant automatons, epilepsy triggering particle effects and even a Jigglypuff reference. What more could you ask for?