Hey gang, Valkor here. We’re slowly starting to pick things up around here at TOV as we move away from films into other areas around the site. This round we’re diving into GameView, where a new indie shooter called “Shooting Stars!” (STEAM) makes its debut in the cave. And to that I say “come at me, bro”!
“Shooting Stars!” is a rogue-like shooter that pits the player against wave after wave of minion soldiers such as dudes with horse heads, drones and cheerleaders, nerds and agents all whilst riding on a hoverboard. After you survive the minions, you’ll face off against a boss disguised as a parody of a celeb such as Psy-cho, Kanye East, Lady Go-Go, Katy Ferry, Gabe Oldwell and even Nuck Chorris (I’m not even kidding), amongst others. And you go through all this in order to save mankind, celebs and fight against the evil that is decaffeinated coffee.
Gameplay is simple as you’ll use the analog on your controller to move and the X & A buttons to shoot – one is for your standard weapon, which is a frikkin’ laser shooting cat that can be upgraded by picking up food dropped by the baddies. And the other is your super, which the game touts as having up to 50 different types! Again they’re enemy drops, but you don’t have the snag it (so take care if you don't wanna switch), but once you go through them you’ll find a favorite (mine is the facebook like barrage). Each time you start you’ll be dropped into a random stage (regular mode); the game starts out rather slow and easy, but quickly picks up throwing a lot at you. And “if you die, you die”, however there’s a chance you can earn a spare life. But once you’re down, then you have to start all over.
There are two modes of play, one that’s mentioned above and then there’s “Daily Run”. Daily Run isn’t random and will be the same each time you start. If you’re fairly new to shooters, then this is a great way to start out as it’s less unpredictable and you’ll easily adjust to patterns. If you’re a shooter guy, then jump right into standard play and all its randomness.
“Shooting Stars!” is pretty frikkin’ sweet game, which does an excellent job of mixing the shooter/rogue genre to combine into an tasty shmup; it’s not as intense or insane as the bullet-hell shooters I’ve played such as Akai Katana or Mamorukun Curse, but it can get pretty exciting as you delve further into the title. Gameplay is on point and while I used the controller (you can use the keyboard or mouse), I didn’t run into any issue gliding my dude across the screen or blasting the baddies – actually any issues I had fell on me; I’m so used to moving at the quickness (the bullet-hell shooter in me) that I’ll run right into an easily avoidable bullet. So I had to tone it back a notch, but once I adjusted the game was easier to play but it still showed no mercy… and I’m OK with that! The Graphics are done well and the game looks great in all of its 8Bit glory with solid bold colors and fluid animation; and even the background has some pretty nifty art if you can catch it during all the madness. The music is a nice techno beat, with some familiar effects tossed in (Pac-Man power pellet sound is prominent and fits so well). However I would have gone with something more familiar to match with all the memes and celebrity satire; imagine fighting on the "Katy Ferry" stage to a play on a Katy Perry song? This isn’t a negative on the title, just something that would have been a nice touch. And speaking of memes and play on celebs, you get plenty recognizable characters and quotes that appear just about everywhere. It adds a nice dose of humor, if you’re familiar with it; otherwise it’ll go right over your head. In the end, “Shooting Stars!” is a simple yet fun shooter that was a lot more fun than I had anticipated.
“Shooting Stars!” is a fun title – but only for so long before you simply grow tired of it. My suggestion would be to take it in hourly doses as you’ll get more enjoyment out of it. If you get sucked into it for more than an hours - even better! Also the score/combo count are way too small to see; there’s plenty of real estate on the side to fit them right there and in bold colors that they’re noticeable.
“Shooting Stars!” is available now on STEAM as well as Android and iOS; and if you’re looking for a simple yet fun shooter that’s filled with loads of referential humor, easy controls and sweet sounds then you need not look any further. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving “Shooting Stars!” a 3.5.