The new retro gaming action is alive and well. There’s just something about being able to play something that looks old, however Feel Like a modern title, it inherently calls out players of a certain age. Since I am in the middle of that demographic, I was aware of an upcoming PC release, Habroxia 2. 16-bit inspired shmup (shmup) seems to take everything old and make it new again, plus a mix of new ideas for a good scale. But are you bringing enough to the table to make the experience feel both modern and classic?
Before we get too far into the rabbit hole in this review, it’s probably important to call a spade a spade. If you are looking for a narrative arc rich in Habroxia 2It might be better to look elsewhere. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is a shmup, for Christ’s sake. As you might imagine, the chances of getting the story into the experience are somewhat limited. Large cinematic scenes end the experience, providing massive screening pranks at the head and tail of the campaign. Aside from these two situations, it is mainly up to the player to define their canon, which is totally fine for me.
Choose your own adventure
Storywise, the game introduces the beloved and daughter’s flashback scene. A anxious parent tries to help his daughter learn to drive a shuttle, after spending years training exclusively in a simulator. These also function as a learning stage, which is a nice touch. The problem was, once this tutorial finished, the darker tones start showing a little more. Turns out, the main heroine, Sabrina, is witnessing this flashback because on the current schedule she is actually looking for her missing father.
After her elderly father was the only member of the scouting team who never returned from his mission, Sabrina sets out to track down his whereabouts. Oddly enough, despite this early story injection, the rest of the experience trucks have little to no follow-up to the story, regardless of the previously mentioned narrative endings. While I’ll always be a strong believer in building a canon within the franchise, I felt this was an unnecessary, and an afterthought.
From that point on, Habroxia 2 Focuses 100% on pure, unadulterated insanity. The gameplay itself reads as a message of love to shooters long forgotten in gaming’s past, as it only features a more modern twist on the theme. For example, each stage has a final head. Each. Not connected. level. If this sounds like a ton of big villains, you’d be right. Fortunately, there are only a handful of decent endgame caliber fights, as the Guardians of most exits can be eliminated with relative ease.
Stick to the basics
Another aspect of the experience that may differ from your traditional shmups is the use of a dual-stick control system. Put the keyboard to the side for this, because the console is the best way to interact with the game. The left stick is used to maneuver the ship, while the right stick directs the main turret. Then the fenders are used for firing from special weapons, with the right bumper firing forward and the left firing back. Finally, the left trigger is used to use pickups like shields and super laser blasts.
The momentary movement is a fast-paced maze of gunfire and chaos. However, as long as you have the right set of special weapons equipped, it is fairly easy to advance steadily through the campaign. Most of the stages will provide a lot of challenge, but they are rarely tough enough to kill you. Fortunately, there aren’t really any negative consequences for biting a literal bullet and like. Upon death, you will simply return to the stage selection screen. You don’t have to worry about that troublesome life, because God is well-intentioned.
Before each stage starts in Habroxia 2You will have the opportunity to equip special weapons. What makes this somewhat unique is that you can assign different special armament to be applied to the front and rear turrets, respectively. Over the course of the campaign, new weapons and improvements have been added organically to the arsenal.
Another way to help turn the balance in the player’s favor is through the use of in-game currency. The money is added to the digital wallet by capturing several pickups that are dropped over the course of each stage. The cash is then used to upgrade various aspects of the ship, such as the speed and power of each round of basic cannons or the power of each particular weapon. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to optimize each special separately, since there is only one set of stats that collectively correlate with all of the specials.
As I mentioned earlier, choosing the right weapons and upgrading them at the right time is critical to your success. Fortunately, as you restart the levels, you are constantly collecting more coins, which can be used to obtain the necessary statistical boosts to “beat the hump.” This only happened to me a few times, and most of it was during my first hour with the game. Once I got past clog stages, sailing has been smooth since then.
One of the last critical mechanisms is determining the most effective time to use specials. After the shot is fired, there is a brief period of 3-5 seconds during which the weapon must be recharged. What makes this so important is that while it recharges, there is a fraction of a second after it reactivates where you can get additional projectiles. I found this very close to the active reload mechanic in War equipment Franchise, where if you miss that shooting window, your next shot will be less impressive than if you allow the timing perfectly.
Keep things fresh
Part of what helps prevent Habroxia 2 From feeling like a renewal of everything that came before it is the non-linear campaign structure, characterized by branching paths scattered throughout. As a huge fan of the early entries in Fox star Privilege, that was just what a HyperSpace doctor ordered. Each branching tendril is actually determined by whether the player can discover up to a series of hidden exit ramps on this interstellar highway.
Ultimately, the progression will start exiting the main “A” path, adding an additional half-dozen paths to follow. Each path also has its own final boss, which is used to signify the completion of that specific path. After clearing each path and clearing the final boss of overlord from the map, the game will succeed in opening up more. At this point, a new Game + is unlocked, as well as the main burst mode, which again adds extra value to an already blast package.
Almost everything Habroxia 2 It does, it works very well. In an age when everyone was content to copy what happened before, it was nice to see this team at Lillymo Games legitimately try to breathe new life into the rapidly aging genre. This is a trip you won’t want to miss, so tie it tight.