Paladin Reviews

AuthorReview
Hazar Khall
556,021 (345,986)
Hazar Khall
TA Score for this game: 1,040
Posted on 18 August 19 at 11:58, Edited on 18 August 19 at 12:00
This review has 2 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Hello, and welcome to my review of the game Paladin.

Paladin is a twin stick space shooter, played in the style of Asteroids, or Vostok Inc for a more recent example.
The game offers little in the way of story or reasoning, instead giving you a few game modes and a swath of space invaders to shoot, all in the defense of cities on earth.

How was it? As a 10$(usd) arcade game, was the game worth the price tag? Lets find out together.

STORY
You are earth's last hero - defend civilization from annihilation. Protect the cities, destroy the aliens and upgrade your fighter. Drive back the vile invading scum and save mankind in this frantic twin-stick shooter!

The above is what Pumpkin Games, the games developers/publishers, have offered as a story, with next to nothing else added.

While a story isn't needed in an arcade game of this style, as games such as Space Invaders really WAS just you shooting, you guessed it, interstellar baddies, the game tasks you with defending four cities on the "floor", as enemies spawn and fall from the "ceiling" (just for reference).

CONTROLS / GAME PLAY
You move with the left stick, shooting with the right. "Rage", activated by the left bumper, increases your shoot speed and damage, and right bumper sets off any nukes the player has.

You shoot at enemies in typical wave fashion in "story mode", the only mode really offering achievement unlocks. There are 40 waves total, most waves changing up enemies but never offering more than 2-3 varieties per wave.

You have "lives" in typical arcade fashion, 1 life = 1 hit you can take from enemies hitting or running into you.

Upgrades are purchased in between waves, with cash dropped from enemies as you defend the cities of earth.

The game offers a few other modes, namely adventure, countdown, endurance, guardians and deadline.
Each offers different twists to the main story, increasing enemy count or difficulty, giving time limits or penalties, but for full disclosure, I didn't exactly try them for very long.
Each played out just like story mode with whatever twists they offered, and whatever ships you could unlock just weren't different enough to go for.

GRAPHICS / SOUND
As you'd expect from the simple space twin stick genre, the graphics are that 8 bit/pixel love with a sound track to match it.
Nothing too spectacular but as it isn't trying to be anything its not, it fits the genre you go in expecting.

I will point out that, at times, enemies spawned so quickly, or fired in such volume, that it was hard to follow along what was happening on screen. Often times I had lives lost because too much was going on at once to follow or avoid.
I will accept my own fault but, I can't avoid an enemy that spawns just a touch to my left, if I'm flying full speed left. Thus, stock up on lives. I've had cheap game overs.

DIFFICULTY
OUTSIDE of the cheap deaths I was just talking about, the game offers an easier difficulty which proved to be just that. By keeping lives stocked up and pacing yourself, realizing that out of the 4 cities in story mode only 1 truly needs to be kept alive, you are looking at a 2-3 if you are familiar with twin sticks. I'd say 3-4 otherwise, its a simple game to pick up.

While not "difficult" special mention goes to the achievement list being a bit touchy, I did not unlock "Loose Change" ($1,500) when I should have, requiring a new playthrough, and I actually died my first attempt at level 40, and still got the "Kingslayer" (Beat game) achievement.

SCORE / COMPLETION
Things get a bit complicated here.

The game itself wasn't that bad. It has simple controls, a variety of game modes, and the levels at least switch between enemy variants as well.

The issue I had, however, was for a 10 dollar arcade game, I had hoped the different modes would switch things up enough to make me want to play them, and they sadly disappointed me there;
The modes really were just reskinned story mode variants, offering little in the way of incentive to play.
As stated before the unlockables for beating those modes, considering a few required getting so far in story mode anyways, weren't worth my time to try to get at.

As all of the achievements are tied to the story mode, I can't see anybody playing this past the hour or so it would require to get. Because of that, I have to give the game 2.5 stars. Even not being a bad experience, it was disconcerting how empty a game full of options and variety truly was. Past the bells and whistles, only a grind and repetition was waiting for me.

Still, its an accessible 100% for many, and wouldn't prove *too* frustrating, yet at 10$, the list of games used for gamer score and completion padding cheaper than that is pretty extensive, begging the question of what the complete is worth to you.
I guess its 1000 gs and a review for me.
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