Review: Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer (PS3 Via PSN) by Anthony Barlow
December 30, 2008, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

[By Anthony]

Yet another 2D shooter makes it’s way onto the PlayStation Store and, whilst that might sound like a bad thing, it seems to be going quite well. These games are giving players a good selection within the genre, which is great (at least we’re not being charged to play UNO or something). So, ok on with the review.

For those who don’t know Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer is a 2D, side scrolling, sci-fi shooter from EastAsiaSoft. Released on the PC in December last year, how does this PSN port hold up? Hit the jump to find out.

It’s surprisingly good actually. Soldner-X (Translated: Mercenary-X) is another shooter which has stuck with a classic play style, yet still innovates, which is quite rare considering it’s genre. Not only that but, Side Quest have turned what, traditionally, would be a simple looking game into one of the nicest looking games on the PlayStation Network. The environments are all very different from one another (which makes a change) and the varying enemy types, although they might seem a tad over the top, seem to work well within the environments. You do still get some of the mainstays of a sci-fi game (e.g. massive ships in boss battles) but none of it ever seems forced, which is quite an achievement for something so simple.

Gameplay-wise this game is great. The simple 2D side scrolling makes a change from the top down style seen in many a game on the PlayStation Store. The frantic combat players face in Soldner-X would, personally, make me adopt a twin stick control scheme. This has not been done, but surprisingly simple button presses work really well and are beneficial to the player.

Speaking of combat, the amount of weapons and upgrades available puts Super Stardust HD to shame. There’s so many weapons in your arsenal to choose from, each of them changing the way you play the game and defeat the enemy.

Reading the above might make you think this game is perfect, believe me it’s not. With the amount of action going on on screen it often gets hard to tell where you are on screen, which doesn’t help in a mostly combat orientated game such as this one. Another thing I found tedious and frustrating is the way it is set out. You play the game in four ‘world’ chunks, which means if you die (and lose all your continues) then you have to start again at world one. This doesn’t help the game one bit and although it’s less frustrating than the system used in Astro Tripper it will undoubtedly force you to leave it alone for a while before going back to it. My final gripe with the game is it’s pricing. I understand, that as a small developer they want to make some money but, I feel, £7.99 is a little too much. Similar games (e.g. Super Stardust HD) are priced a little lower, and someone who has not played either is more than likely going to go for the cheaper option.

Overall the game is really good, the gameplay is great, the visuals are great (if not marred by the amount of action on screen) and the amount of action and weapon choice is fantastic. I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes this type of shooter (and even to those who don’t). Even with it’s flaws, a must purchase in my book.


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[…] game was one of the ‘hidden gems’ on the PlayStation Store something I reiterated in my review from last week. Ok then on to the competition. We’ve got four codes for the aformentioned game to give away […]

Pingback by Competition - Soldner-X: Himmelssturmer « XeNonX

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