Retroshoot – “SHOOOOoooooooooOOOOTTT!”, Grig from the Last Starfighter.

Apr24 What is with all this retro stuff anyways?  I mean it’s pretty big, you have all the compilations out there, most recently the Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, not to mention Namco Museum, Midway Arcade Treasures 1, 2, and 3, Atari Anthology, Intellivision Lives.  There was the Sonic Mega Collection.  There was even all the Megaman games for the Gamecube.  There was one with a bunch of Activision classics on it.  Emulators are pretty big, the biggest is the arcade emulator MAME.  What’s the deal with this anyways?  Why are so many people into games that are old, or pretend to be old.  For instance Geometry Wars was made to look like old vector graphics games.  Puppy Games try to make theirs look like they belong to some oldschool game compilation or something, yet still with modern sound, and cool effects that you couldn’t get.  I think there’s a lot of reasons.  For me I get a chance to play games that were fun to me when I was a kid, and still are.  Also some new games aren’t as fun as games used to be.  They try to make it hyper-realistic, or accurate controls.  Some first person shooters just have too many darn controls. 

RetroshootSS01 Remember Wolfenstein 3D when the only goal was to aim and shoot, and you had only a few keys to push?  It’s more than just nostalgia, it’s an attempt to make a fun game, and also to provide something some people have not seen before.  What I mean by this statement is, since I was born in 75, I was able to play all those old games when I was a kid.  Those kids born in the mid-80’s to the 90’s never got to experience what we did.  So to them it’s kind of new.  That’s what today’s review is about a new game trying to look and play nostalgic.  Retroshoot by JGOWare tries to make you think of retro-vectory goodness.  You use your mouse to move the ship around the playfield.  You can collect power-up orbs to give you weapons upgrades and bombs.  Space pauses, and ESC exits the game.  Apparently there’s either 40 levels, or 90 levels, I’m not sure because of the retro-font Retroshoot uses.  There are also 3 continues you can use, but I guess you only get achievements when you don’t use any continues.  That’s another new thing, that was brought about mostly by the Xbox 360.  As if little graphical representations of medals or other rewards is really anything, and yet people still try to get achievements I guess for bragging rights, or who knows? 

RetroshootSS02 Okay so basically you don’t have to press any buttons to shoot, it does it automatically.  Oh by the way the amount of levels is 40, I got to wave 4, and it was the same character as in the instructions.  Anyhoo, it wasn’t very hard to play really.  You basically have to shoot everything that moves and collect orbs.  There was an orb that gave you a sort of  like R-Type’s “force” or a pod, which are representations of little tiny ships rotating around your ship.  I’m guessing to protect you or to shoot stuff, of course that didn’t do me any good.  There is this like electricity powerup, which shoots bolts of electricity around your ship for a few seconds, which destroys anything in it’s path.  There’s one where these little pink balls spread outward in a ring destroying anything in their path.  There are a few others I didn’t get to.  The interface would be good if there wasn’t so much on screen at once.  I mean at the top you have your three ships, your score, and the wave.  That’s all easy, except you don’t really look at that.  Next, half the time you don’t even know you’re hit.  I mean it would be fine if it were a “bullet hell” type.  Because at least then you would be able to tell that it was bullets that you ran into.  You do get “three strikes” and you’re out kind of thing.  In red, so you might catch it sometimes while your playing, and sometimes you might not. 

RetroshootSS03 I’ll go ahead and mention a bit about the graphics now since that’s sort of a big deal for this game.  The game attempts to do glowing vector-type graphics, but they get lost in all the chaos on screen.  Basically the background has a scrolling planet and starfield on it, which is fine, in fact the graphics are nice enough there.  Then there are multi-colored stars coming down, which wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t for the explosions.  The explosions look like fireworks, and they are multi-colored.  So it’s hard to see when some other object hits you, especially since everything is pretty much glowing.  I mean this is a problem from the start of the game, when you get to ships that actually shoot back (somewhere in-between the 4th and the 6th waves) you’re pretty much toast.  Then there’s the infamous “space invaders” like-level.  I could not get past that at all.  In any case none of the graphics really mesh well together.  The sound was pretty much adequate, but the music was this hardcore sounding techno-like music which made it difficult to listen to.  I think if the graphics and sound were tweaked not to be so, umm, noisy I guess it the right word for it, it would be a solid game.

Final Analysis:  Sorry JGO, but this game needs some work.  However that being said, I think a lot of people are playing it, and actually like it, so who am I to judge?  It’s free after all, and it’s not going to hurt you to try it out I guess.  Just don’t expect to instantly enjoy it.

Name: Retroshoot

Developer: JGOWare

Price: Free, it’s flash, duh!

Where you can play it:  Right HERE!

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