Starr Mazer: DSP is an incredible, fast paced, action shooter that offers a ton of replay value. The game offers just the right amount of difficulty that makes you want to come back and try to improve.
Starting with what is the most important to this game, the gameplay, I would say it is incredibly satisfying and fine tuned. Each pilot you play as have to different weapons for their ship. A primary and a secondary weapon. Also each pilots weapons and stats are different. Some have extremely fast rates of fire while others are really slow but powerful. Not only can the shots them selves differ in strength but they may also be different in shot type. You can have spreadshots that can fire in different angles, lasers that fire in a small radius around the ship, piercing shots ect. All of these weapon types are also upgradable too. While in the levels you will see crystal power ups dropped by the enemy aircrafts. Picking these up will slowly fill a power meter at the bottom of the screen. The more the meter is filled the more power/range your weapon will have. This meter also determines how much you can use your secondary weapon. The secondary weapon also differs from pilot to pilot. Sometimes it just speeds up the rate of fire to your primary weapon for a short time. Other times it can be a homing missile that tracks the closest enemy.
Controlling the space crafts feels extremely responsive and fluid. The ships move at a fast pace and although some of the enemy fire is hard to doge, it feels fair. Like a lot of other old school game, in this game you will build up a high score by taking out enemy fighter ships. This score system is a bit different than other games though. In Starr Mazer: DSP you use the score as a form of currency to buy other pilots. The shop mechanic appears after a game over. Buying more pilots is similar to buying packs of cards. Each pack has a number of pilots available to add to your team, some at a higher price then others. The game offers three different packs to choose from when you’re ready to buy pilots. They’re; the Dog pack- which is free but offers the weakest pilots. The Hyena pack- which offers mid tier skilled pilots all of which are not too expensive. And Finally the Wolf pack- which offers some of the best pilots but for a hefty price. The thing to be careful with though is although the more expensive ones will offer better fire power, most pilots still die in one hit. It is something to consider when hiring the pilots to your squad.
The graphics in Starr Mazer: DSP are beautiful. The backgrounds for each level offer vibrant colors and rich detail. The energy blasts from the weapons are all unique and animated nicely. Some of the stages even change the background slightly each time you play. For example, the first stages background could be a sunset on one play through and a night sky on the next. Like a lot of 16bit games these backgrounds are also animated making the world feel more alive.
The sound design and music really shine, the pilot’s voice over their own thoughts/opinions as to what is going on in battle. They even have some great one liners that add to the fun atmosphere of the game. The music has a 16bit techno aesthetic and fits the game perfectly. The sound track is reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim VS the world the game. The old school sounds and designs may not be to everyone’s liking but it does play on the nostalgia and fit the game well.
The plot is basic and far from the best however it is what you would expect from this kind of game. The general idea is your fending off an attack from the evil G’ell. You are given the mission from the Cat admiral.
As for replay value I would say that Starr Mazer: DSP offers some of the most value you can get these days. You will constantly be trying to beat your high score and improve your skills with this game, not only to get further, but to also buy better, more talented pilots. This kind of gameplay is incredibly addicting because it makes you want to improve. Not to mention you’ll also have a ton a fun while trying to get better.
Starr Mazer: DSP is an incredible game that I highly recommend. It offers a strong challenge but never gets too brutal. Any time you die in the game it always feels like you, the player made the mistake and not the game being unfair. The music is catchy and further draws you into the experience. This game also has the old school feel. It is for these reasons that Starr Mazer: DSP gets a 9/10.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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