The screenshots of this will put you off. Trailer will put you off. Don’t be put off…
This game is a pure blast of retro arcade piloting and blasting with a bit of the Thrusts about it. You start off with a basic combat aeroplane with an “original” engine and “original” body and a basic machine gun for a weapon. You then launch from a submarine (jet aircraft launching from a sub with a second world war theme… okay!) Your initial basic mission is to take down as many bad guys as possible ranging from other fighter craft to aircraft with more teeth, boats and battleships.
A combo multipler meter adds up as you take down enemies without a significant break, and the top end of this varies depending on the difficulty setting you have opted for.
The three component mentioned above (body, run and engine) can be upgraded in the hanger depending on what you have unlocked – your machine gun can be replaced by a laser or a massive fracture cannon amongst others, while the body can include bombing equipment or even a nuclear weapon that explodes when you are taken out, emptying the screen of bad guys with you. The engines include a anti-gravity and underwater propulsion system amongst others. Of course each different piece of equipment has it’s advantages and disadvantages so it’s sensible to mix and match parts to complete a certain mission. Each different combination even has it’s own name in the game which is flashed up as you launch.
Depending on what main weapon, body and propulsion system you have unlocked and are using, you have three missions available on each trip out (one for each component), though they don’t have to be completed immediately, and remain active until you do complete them. This certainly focuses the gameplay a little, which otherwise might be a little repetative. These missions can range from destroying your first battleship to taking down x number of a certain enemy type or even taking out a sub while you combo meter is at max.
As well as unlocking components, you can also obtain different colour schemes for the game, some of which are rather loud as you can see from the screenshots!
The graphics are basic, even rudimentary, but this allows a huge amount of sprites to be thrown around the screen at once, and thrown around quickly at that – just wait till you check out the SFMT mode which has an ari raid siren going off from the get go, to give you some idea of how hectic that’s going to be.
With enemy targets ranging from small fighters to battleships to huge zeppelins there is plenty to take down and they do keep coming. Plus there is the ultimate unlock where the three components are all mysterious artifacts, but I won’t spoil that surprise for you (it’s called the Urauser 😉 ).
It’s hectic, it’s very arcadey, and a huge amount of fun all wrapped up in a suspiciously overly-retro package that might lull you into a false sense of security.
If this had just been the PS Vita version for £7.29 on the PlayStation Store it would have lost a mark, to be honest as it’s not quite enough of a game for that price, but considering you get the PS3 version as well, it’s good value for money, at least in my PS Vita and PS3 owning opinion.
It gets a strong recommendation from me!
At A Glance
- Title: Lauftrausers
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- System: PlayStation Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: Yes – PS3
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: Download: 60MB