Game Review: Novastrike
Release: June 5, 2008
Genre: Arcade Shooter
Developer: Tiki Games
ESRB Rating: E10+
File size: 259 MB
Top-down shooters have been around for many, many years. There are some that innovate the genre, others that stay true to a standard formula (which are still fun), and those who take the genre backwards in progression—and the latter of these is Novastrike. Words that come to mind when thinking about this game are: lackluster, underwhelming, bland, monotonous, and unappealing.
Very bland. I expected more for a PS3 arcade title. First of all, the ship you fly, called a scythe, is barely noticeable on the screen. The environment consists of bodies of water and islands—which are all washed out in color and not very crisp. The water has little reflective quality and the islands and their buildings look muddled. I did not see anything that screamed “next-gen”. Perhaps this game would have been better in 1998.
The explosions sound very nice in surround sound, though the same cannot be said about the level music. The techno soundtrack can get very repetitive. It would have been nice to see some variety in the different types of explosions, aircraft sounds, weapons, etc.
Novastrike feels like Asteroids in a sense. The majority of weapon fire comes from the direction you are facing, which some may not prefer since the formula leans towards that of Super Stardust HD and Geometry Wars (where you can fire in any direction with the right analog stick). Enemies will flood the screen from all sides and you will spend a good deal of time adjusting your position to retaliate the attack. Also falling into the repetitive category are the objectives, consisting of protecting an island, destroying an island, or escorting allies across the map. Some might also find the difficulty discouraging, even at the normal setting.
I would have liked to see some variety in objectives and more weaponry that gives me the option/choice to fire from other directions.
Also, no multiplayer feature.
The controls are simple enough to follow. The ship has a primary and secondary weapon, respectfully controlled by L2 and R2 and can be cycled through with L1 for L2.
However, there are no options for adjusting brightness, music and effects levels, etc. You are stuck with what they give you as developer default.
Once you blast your way through the seven levels, you may only find yourself going back through if you really feel the need to get a fix via top-down shooter—that is, if you feel Stardust HD or even Flow cannot give you desired play.
For the price of $9.99, I do not think that it warrants a purchase. Perhaps after all other arcade titles and retail titles have been exhausted and Novastrike goes down in price, then it is something you should check out.
Novastrike is a mediocre top-down shooter with bland graphics, gameplay, and appeal. With the other titles I have mentioned previously, Novastrike does not show itself as a top performer and might soon be forgotten.
ETERNAL’S BOTTOM LINE:
Pass on this title. If you must find something new to shoot at, you might want to wait until something else comes along, or peruse through the back catalog of PSN titles.