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In Space We Brawl Review

Shmups(Shoot’em ups for you non-gaming lingo folks)have evolved heavily over the years. Beginning with Spacewar! for the PDP-1 back in 1962, the shmup genre has come an incredibly long way and those early innovations gave rise to simplistic shmups like 1943, Raiden and Contra to more challenging “bullet hell” shmups like Ikaruga, Crimzon Clover and DoDonPachi DaiOuJou. Yet despite its apparent passion, the shmup genre is actually a very hard genre to drive and succeed in and that said, some make it and some don’t. When you’re competing against more popular genres like JRPGs, Survival Horror and First-Person Shooters, it’s an extremely difficult challenge to really put yourself out there as a developer for shmups, especially if your an independent company. Nevertheless, games continue to get release within this sleeper genre and this time around I’ll be reviewing “In Space We Brawl”! For starters, here is the game’s trailer below:

Dem serious faces, tho!

Sorry to disappoint, but Ode to Joy is NOT one of the tracks in this game. Unfortunately, that is just one of the many disappointments this game has. For starters, there is NO SINGLE-PLAYER OPTION! Yep, you cannot run solo on this one, which I honestly find insulting. I mean, how the hell can you NOT have a solo game!? That’s what 90% of the shmup genre is based on!!. The game does offer a Challenge Mode, but it’s honestly more like a over-glorified tutorial and doesn’t offer much in the way of rewards, save for unlocking parts. More on that in a bit. The game offers a multi-player mode. However it is only Local and not Online. So, unless you’ve spent about $240 on 3 additional PS4 controllers, you’re going to have a very boring time and a few pissed off friends. Now if you DID buy a few extra controllers and gotten together with a few friends, then the game can be enjoyable. You and your friends choose from several different ships, each with their own unique style of play. Some are really fast, but weak in the defense while some are super tough, but slow as shit. From there, you get to choose a custom weapon that does different attacks like a shotgun blast, sniper shot and even a goddamn energy sword attack! You can unlock more weapons and parts by completing things in Challenge Mode. But the problem with the special weapons is that the button combination to pull the attacks off can be a bit complex, often requiring you to hold down several buttons while aiming and in the middle of being attacked by your friends, AND while maneuvering through hazards, obstacles and A.I. Controlled enemy ships. I’m sorry but controls for a fucking shmup should not be that complex!

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Visually, the game is stunning! In 1080p, this game definitely shows what the PS4 is fully capable of. The music is actually pretty good, with most songs in the game being of the “clean dubstep” genre, as well as a little House and Trance thrown into the mix. The voice-overs provide a lot of comedic elements to the gameplay, and the different accents really accentuate that quite nicely. Yet even with these 3 positive qualities, the game needs some serious work. A full-blown Campaign Mode would be very nice, as well as the implementation of an Online Multi-player Mode for those who either have no friends or don’t want to shell out a buttload of money for extra controllers. You can purchase this game today in the PlayStation Store for $11.99 USD and EUR.

In closing, I really felt let down with this game. Visually and musically, it’s gorgeous. But as far as gameplay goes, it’s a real disappointment and in my opinion should have been more developed in a way that caters to all aspects of a shmup. The game should have been called “In Space We Bawww”, because that’s exactly what I did. I cried.

4 out of 10

Until next episode…

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