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Novastrike Review

Game Review: Novastrike

Release: June 5, 2008

Genre: Arcade Shooter

Developer: Tiki Games

Platform: PS3

Player(s): 1

MSRP: $9.99

ESRB Rating: E10+
File size: 259 MB

Website: www.tikigames.net

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.

GRAPHICS: C-

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.

SOUND: C+

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.

GAMEPLAY: C-

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.

CONTROLS: C+

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.

REPLAY: C-

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.

VALUE: C

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.

OVERALL: C-

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.

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  • C D

    The reviewer is being far too harsh for a $10 game. Doesn’t even give it praise where it’s deserved. I think it has great presentation, and the soundtrack fits the action very well. It is perhaps a bit difficult, but this only extends the life of the game. Who wants an easy game anyways? it’s not like this game is for 12 year old girls or your grandma… it’s for players comfortable with shooters. the objectives are also a bit repetitive… but Stardust isn’t repetitive? Give me a break. Don’t get me wrong, Stardust IS a better game… but not by as much as this reviewer would have you believe.

    I would give Novastrike an B- (where as Stardust would be an A in my book)

  • @C D, the reviewer gave this game a “C”. That’s not a bad score, that means the game is average. Nothing more then that. Novastrike has a couple cool things about it (I enjoy the weapons) but other then that, there isn’t anything that will make it stand out of the pack. Your ship is extremely small and at times very hard to see when things get busy in the game. The graphics at ok, but nothing more then that.

    The biggest flaw to me about this game though is the difficulty. Yes I know you don’t want a game to easy, but you surely don’t want one that is way to hard either. That is a major turn off. On rookie, if you know what your doing, you should be able to breeze through the entire game without dieing. On soldier, the average gamer should be dieing around 3-4 times per level and veteran should be just a nightmare.

    When I want to play a game like novastrike or stardust I just want to have fun, that’s it. I’m playing it because I normally would have around 10-15 mins of free time and this would fill in that time for me, but because of the difficulty I find myself going to other games.

    I would give it a C+ so because of that I think the reviewer did a pretty nice job on this review mentioning what was needed to be known about the game.