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Star Soldier

version: jp - year: 2005 - developer: hudson - publisher: hudson - format: psp, umd - condition: mint - rarity: common

 

Turn your PSP for a cool vertical view of the action!

 

Once you decipher their pattern, bosses are easy

 

Playing Star Soldier on the default settings proves to be resonably challeging and very rewarding.

Review - Star Soldier was originally released on Famicom / Nes before spawning a number of sequels mainly on PCE although it even made it, surprisingly enough to N64.

A few years after that, a remake of the original Star Soldier was jointly released on PS2/GameCube at budget price and apparently, this PSP version is largely based on these two latter versions. Interestingly, Star Soldier on PSP was adapted to the PSP screen in such a way that you'll be required to hold the handheld vertically! This is a great thing because it gives you a lot of room to navigate and see ahead of you. It's a bit like having to tilt your monitor vertically for playing vertically scrolling shooters on PCBs.

The D-Pad or the analogue control can be used to move your ship around while the 4 face-buttons are used for the primary and secondary weapons. It only took me about 5 minutes to get adjusted to the controls and I must say that they do feel pretty intuitive once you get used to them.

This version of Star Soldier has solid 3D graphics, which look very crisp on the PSP screen but gameplay remained strictly two-dimensional. Textures are nicely detailed and there is never even a hint of pixellization which is very good. There is a total of 10 levels which are fairly varied although none of them truly stand out in term of design except maybe for the last stage: shooting down huge brains in deep space has never been so fun!

Star Soldier's gameplay doesn't really fit into the “bullet hell” trend which seems to be where all modern shooters are headed but during boss fights, it will suddenly get very close to that! The best way to get out of sticky situations is to get to bosses already powered up so that you can try to take them out as quickly as possible, before they have a chance to unleash their more powerful attacks.

Also, you should learn to use the secondary weapon which consists of side-burst or flames which will help you out immensely to move between thick clusters of bullets. The side-flames work a bit as a shield and by pressing the button repeatedly, their reach will increase by a great deal.

When you get fully powered up, a rock guitar solo will suddenly play to warn you that you have reached the peak of maximum destruction which your weapons can deal! It's a simple yet great touch and the effect is truly empowering as it really enhances the appeal of the game :)

It should be noted that there is a selection of three ships from which to pick from (and a forth one should be unloackable, although I still didn't figure out how) and at their full power, they could be mistaken to be coming straight out of Donpachi!

In the end, Star Soldier on PSP is an excellent game which intelligently uses the PSP specificities to deliver a very satisfying playing experience. Thumbs up for this one!

Bottom line: One of the best games in the "Soldier" saga, highly recommended....9/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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