SCHAR (or Space Counsel for Habitable Aerospace Refuge but that’s a bit of a mouthful for a game title) Blue Shield Alliance is a 2D two stick shooter (or a selection of keyboard button presses shooter but this doesn’t have such a good ring to it). I used my controller for this game with fantastic results, you get to choose a selection of space craft all designed for different abilities, assault, support, balanced and speed. Each giving you a slight edge in combating your intergalactic adversary’s.
Whichever you choose each are fully upgradable with points you earn from completing missions, I chose assault and entered the relentless fray of space. It starts off slow, probably a bit to slow and did put me off at first, but once you complete a few missions and start upgrading your vessel it becomes a much more enjoyable experience. Spending your points depends on what class you picked and personal preference, I started with fire rate and damage so I could scythe my way through the countless advance of interstellar opponents.
You are hampered early on by the sheer volume of enemy’s, they are relentless and aggressive like poking a wasp nest with a stick and it may take a fair few attempts after the first handful of missions. It has no checkpoints so even exploding near the end of the mission gives you a frustrating restart but before you explode your mildly defenceless body is jettisoned into space armed with a pistol (it is a laser pistol if that helps matters). Sadly it doesn’t and some missions will frustrate you to near insanity, they say in space no one can hear you scream but my girlfriend can when I let go with a few choice words at a higher than normal volume. You find some missions are easy as there incredibly short but others drag on and get overwhelmingly difficult near the end, this missions for me lack a checkpoint midway through at least.
The game is mildly enjoyable, it offers that old school Asteroids style arcade space shooter and has seriously reworked that 1979 classic by Atari but it sadly starts to become slightly repetitive. Blowing up a few endless waves of space cretins at first seems great, as you let loose with cannon fire, deploy mines to protect objectives and propel heat seeking missiles out to hunt down there prey but all this aside it seems to be missing something. I even ranked in top three on a few missions and closely scrapped first but don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m some Jedi master. It’s down to sheer luck combined with sadly not a large volume of players setting some attainable scores.
Eventually you will collect power ups and at certain points the game allows you to call in another AI class of your choosing to help your plight, sadly they are an aimless hindrance really flying around killing the odd enemy but not really turning the tide in a fire fight. The support class is probably your best hope, it seems to take a fair bit more damage and at least drops automated turrets that help (a bit).
Sadly this game won’t blow you away, which is a real shame. It’s not really good enough to stand up to the expansive amount of games in this genre, there are just to many better ones out there. The price tag is fair at only four pounds but that is the average price you’ll pay for a two stick shooter. Due to this I can only give the game 5/10, it’s not original and doesn’t offer anything different for the player. It boldly goes where most games end up and pails into obscurity and never to be seen again.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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