It doesn't take long for people to yearn for that feeling of nostalgia.
The feeling of what once was, the "good old days" and the like. We keep seeing "new" games come out, that are really just like the games of old.
This brings us to Zeroptian Invasion, which is a Space Invaders, or Galaga clone.
Hello, and welcome to my review.
This game was published by Ratalaika Games. For the uninitiated, they are Famous/Infamous for bringing to light games that have a somewhat easy, and short, attainable 1000GS. While they themselves do not develop the games they put out, if they are the sole choosers of what achievements show up in said games, the ongoing debate is that they MUST surely be pandering to achievement hunters for more sales.
So how does this game hold up to that reputation? As far as padding goes, is it worth the price of admission? Well, lets find out.
For full disclosure, I will note that the reviews purpose is for the games completion, I myself have not gone to the end of the game, but then, I was never very good at SI/Galaga. Ending the "red" area, I managed to get to B2. That's it, and my review will reflect that fact.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game is an 8 bit shoot 'em up space invaders style game, with an accompanying 8 bit sound track and sound effects. To the left and right of center screen is a wallpaper of alien/space ship art, giving the game somewhat of an "arcade box" feel.
Each area of the game is designated by a "color" so, the enemies, background, and barriers are color coordinated by the 3 levels an "area" takes place in, starting with white, going to red, blue, and so on. At the end of level 3 a boss typically flies out to do battle with you, upon its destruction you are brought to the next area.
In the options you have the choice to make the menu and interface lettering less grainy and contrasted, but otherwise there isn't much to see in the options.
If you have ever played an old Atari game, such as centipede, galaga, frogger, pac man or the like, you have a good understanding of what the game looks/sounds like.
GAME PLAY/ CONTROLS
You control your ship with the left stick, firing your gun vertically with either the A button or the right trigger. Your gun has a slight cool down, though you have a much faster fire rate when its shot when you are directly under an enemy.
In the basic Galaga style, you have lines of enemies that move from right to left, decent down a bit, change direction to left/right, descend, and speed up as they get closer. Enemies can shoot vertically or diagonally. You won't need to worry about horizontals, as if the enemies hit the part of the screen you are on, its game over.
Every so often, a white flying saucer style ship goes across the top of the screen, and upon shooting it drops one of three power ups to be grabbed. One is a shield. The other two look to either increase fire power or movement speed.
I say "look to" as I didn't notice too much of an increase in speed, and I wasn't able to get the other power up before/during a boss fight, so I couldn't test it. The other enemies in the game die from either one or two shots regardless.
The simple game controls don't take too much time to master, they are responsive enough, though some bit of time will be needed to learn how often enemies shoot and how quickly you can avoid shots if you are to get through levels before they descend too far down the screen.
3/10 for a majority of the "game" many will play, easily between 5-8 at "that boss". All skill dependent.
Ratalaika is well known for publishing indie games that aren't too challenging per say. However, this game has a slight skill gate, or, a part that jumps from easy to "kid gloves coming off" mode.
For this game, this part comes in the form of R3, or level 7, wave six and boss 2.
Breezing through the first 5 levels is a cinch, even for those, such as myself, that struggled with Galaga and its many clones in the past.
The second boss, however, is where your skills are truly tested. It is frustrating, requires a fair amount of luck as although the boss itself has somewhat of a pattern, the 4 red spheres it shoots that bounce around the screen do not.
COMPLETION / SCORE
Unlike many games published by Ratalaika, this game isn't exactly an assured 100%.
9/11 of the games achievements, or 720gs, are easy enough to attain through trial and error, as you beat the areas of a color, you can continue the game from the start of the next color you get to.
At the time of writing this, quite a few people can attest to the frustration of the 2nd boss, and indeed I myself can state I could not get passed the blue area, making me very glad the achievements are for the earlier areas.
For the purposes of transparency, getting 720gs took me little over 10 minutes, finally beating the games 2nd boss took me little over an hour, and I'm still unsure what I did differently that last time.
The ramping difficulty, early achievements, and the simple fact that you have the ability to buy Galaga for the same price, makes this clones replay value very shallow. Like many an ACA NEOGEO game, the frustration is what will likely stick with you the most.
As such, I can only give this game 2 stars and I feel that to be generous as is. Were the game any more difficult or longer for its completion, rest assured it would sit at 1.5
This game also has no "redeeming quality" for being a Ratalaika product, as you could pick up Super Destronaut DX (a game very similar) for roughly the same price, by the same publisher, and have much less of a headache.