The PS3 has a lot to answer for… while they’ve been around long before it’s conception, it has made twin stick shooters popular in the home and we’ve seen a never-ending stream of them. Some have been classic games in their own right (Super Stardust HD and it’s PS Vita follow-up, for example) but others have been less-than-inspiring. With so much competition, Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe had to be pretty damn good, or bring something new to the table…
Where Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe differs from most other shoot-em-ups is that – as the name suggests – you’re up against a time limit, 60 seconds in fact and that each game lasts for exactly that long. You’ve only got one life and you’ve got to use your wits and lightning quick reactions to shoot everything that moves and score as many points as you can before the timer runs out. Sounds simple enough but knowing that you’re playing against the clock adds an incredible amount of tension to the game and makes the fast arcade action even more intense than you could imagine, knowing that you could be seconds away from a new personal best score but may not have enough time to achieve it.
Anyway, back to the game itself and it uses the traditional twin stick controls – left to move, right to shoot, with the right shoulder button triggering your missiles (smart bombs to me and you) that you can launch to destroy enemies on a larger scale including those that can’t be destroyed by your lasers. There are a wide range of targets for you to shoot at ranging from static targets (giant cubes) that break down on impact into smaller ones Asteroids style to ships that chase after you but ultimately the aim is still the same to destroy everything in sight. Unlike other twin stick shooters that have never-ending or repeating playfields, SSSD is set on a flat plain with fixed boundaries making things that little bit tougher as you have to think and react quickly so you don’t get pinned against the virtual wall or trapped in a corner.
With such a tight time limit to the game, Sixy Second Shooter is all about points so you have to do as much as possible to build your score up as quickly as you can. As you destroy objects around you, you can chain these by hitting several in succession for a scoring bonus and as you might expect, the more you can chain into a single destructive wave, the more points you can score. You’re not just stuck on your own though – no shoot-em-up would be worthy of self-respect without power-ups and there are a plethora to choose from here. On screen they appear as a variety of green wireframe geometric shapes and each affect the game in different ways. First one adds an extra missile to your arsenal (always handy in a tight spot), second is a smart bomb that triggers the moment you come into contact with it. After that you have a chain booster, a weapon power-up (giving you a short period of double cannons), one that speeds your ship up (probably one worth avoiding in such a confined environment) and a slow motion powerup which temporarily slows the game. During this one, you can still move and fire at your normal pace, but everything else – including the game’s timer – is slowed down to a crawl. This is a personal favourite as not only could it help you out of a tight spot but will buy you more time on the clock!
Finally, appearing randomly on the playfield will be yellow portals. Flying into these will take you onto the next level of the game – harder and faster but all of your adversaries are worth more points when you destroy them. This adds a novel strategic twist to the game as you try to decide whether to play it safe or spend the early part of the game hunting down portals to get to the higher levels to concentrate on your score later on. If you want to aim for higher scores, this is how you really need to play.
As you play the game more, and progress through the levels and beat your personal best scores, new features will be added and unlocked. Initially, the game always starts at the lowest difficulty level but as you play eventually you will be able to choose which of the first five levels you start on enabling you to get higher scores from the off. There are also two visuals styles. First is the modern, “Techno” look (complete with a fast paced soundtrack which fits the frantic gameplay perfectly). Eventually, you will be able to unlock the “Vintage” look which displays the game in monochrome and has an old piano jazz track playing in the background. Personally I prefer the Techno look as it fits the game better but it’s a nice touch.
Sixty Second Shooter is an incredibly addictive game and by it’s very nature is something that you can pick up and play for short periods whenever you feel in the need for a quick arcade fix, yet it’s compulsive enough for lengthy gaming sessions where you have an uncontrolable urge to beat your own high score. The pacing of the game is just right, easing you in gently on the lower levels right to the point where your brow will break out in a sweat on the higher stages but not to the point that you’ll want to throw the Vita in frustration. You may end up running out of those all important sixty seconds time or losing that solitary life, but all that you’ll want to do is start again and try to push that high score a little further…
And really that’s it in a nutshell. Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe is a real gem on PlayStation Mobile. Still images don’t do this game justice and it’s one of those shooters that just has to be experienced first hand to appreciate just how good this really is. Without a doubt, this is one of the best arcade games available for PSM right now, and is worth every penny. Unless you absolutely loathe playing shoot-em-ups, you have no excuse why this shouldn’t be a part of your games collection. An essential purchase.
At A Glance
- Title: Sixty Second Shooter Deluxe
- Publisher: Happion Laboratories
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 6Mb