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Xbox Live Indie Game Review : Retrofit - Overload

xboxboxart I love me some old school shooters … Galaga, Galaxian, Space Invaders, Millipede, I play them today and have just as much fun as I did when I was a kid. I was a little skeptical of this when I first saw the videos for it, because there honestly isn’t a whole lot to see with this.

Think Galaga or Galaxian, only instead of being limited to moving left and right you can move your ship anywhere you want. That’s basically how this game plays, with the same antiquated single hit kills (though it does have a shield you can use so long as you have enough juice for it) that, while done right, are fine … though unnecessary in today’s games and only serves to suck the fun out of them when they’re not done right.

Surprisingly enough, and THANKFULLY enough … this isn’t yet another dual stick shooter which I found to be a relief as I’m really personally getting sick of seeing them.

screen1_Web But let’s get into the meat of the game. Graphics and sound are very minimal … as you could probably guess from the games extremely small file size at around 2 meg. But they still look great, the explosions are really cool to see … though they tend to get in the way of enemy fire which can lead to some cheap deaths. The sound is just as minimalistic with no in game music, but all the insanity on screen makes up for that unfortunate fact. I think it would’ve been better with some techno beats going on in the background, but maybe that’s just me.

screen2_Web The gameplay is equally simple. You move around with the left stick, either the A button or the right trigger fires, and any other button fires up your shields. That’s it. The enemies come at you in waves with challenge stages thrown in from time to time and really cool looking bosses. Unfortunately, the hit boxes aren’t that great in the fact that your ENTIRE SHIP is the hit box which makes bullet (and enemy) dodging a chore. Now, there is a shield to compensate for that unfortunate fact, but I’m not a shield kinda guy. I prefer to dodge. BUT that’s just me. The shield functionality MORE than makes up it, it works, and it works well. There are weapon upgrades, but when you get hit by ANYTHING you lose one level of that upgrade. And if you’re further on in the game where enemies take multiple hits to take down, you’re in for one hell of a fight to get your weapon back up to where you had it.

screen4_Web 8.5 - This game didn’t really grab me just because I personally don’t like that shield mechanic in games like this, but that’s not to say it isn’t done well. For what it is, it’s a fantastic retro styled shooter that is MORE than worth the 80 points it’ll run you. Hell, if they got some music in this sucker they could probably charge more for it and I still would’ve gotten it. If you even have a passing interest in games like this, it’s definitely worth getting. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it just works and it works damn well.

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Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Ahh, I love the shield mechanic. Without it I’d never get through the first 20 waves.

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