Review: Stellar Attack
Developer: Laughing Jackal
Publisher: Laughing Jackal
Price: £3.49 | €4.99 | HK$ 29.00
Rating: Everyone | 7+
What I Liked:
- Great art style makes graphics pop on both ps3 and psp
- Plenty of modes and playable ships
What I Disliked:
- Controls are awkward, and can lead to some cheap deaths
- Gameplay lacks finesse.
- The game has one particularly awkward interface issue.
From the Makers of Cubixx comes Stellar Attack, part Asteroids, and part Zuma, It forms an enticing prospect, with a great looking art style similar to the game gravity crash, and a choice of control schemes that resemble said game, with one option being the old faithful combination of turn and thrust, and the other being a decidedly more modern approach, with either the d-pad or analogue stick thrusting your ship in the direction of your choice. As long as that direction is one of the 8 ways the game allows you to move in. Even with analogue control, Stellar Attack sticks to a system of 8 directions with which to move your ship in. I stuck mostly with the more modern approach, as I preferred being able to control my ship’s direction in a far more precise manner.
Sadly, neither of the control schemes provided me with a method of maneuvering that wasn’t awkward and frustrating, with the older style of control being fiddly and inconsistent, and the more modern control scheme served to irritate me just as much, due to the inaccurate nature of only being able to aim in 8 separate directions. There are dodge moves mapped to the shoulder buttons, but the distance covered by a single dodge seems much too meager to be of any use, and I didn’t honestly see much point in a dodge button if the actual act of dodging is unable to move you out of harms way.
Also, the game lacks a quit button. It’s a strange omission, and one that only served to irritate me further, as I was unable to quit out of the game and back to the main menu without either destroying my ship enough times to achieve a “game over”, or quitting directly to the XMB and relaunching the game.
The only thing Stellar Attack really has going for it is its art style, which has a smooth, clean, colorful look that is visually appealing on both the ps3 and psp, with the shapes translating well to the larger screen. Also, the game has a good amount of content included in it for the asking price, although the other gameplay modes are essentially just the main mode with different health layouts, which is somewhat disappointing.
Stellar attack makes a great first impression, with great graphics and a good soundtrack. It’s once you get to playing the game, however, that it all starts to fall apart. Lackluster controls and awkward gameplay unfortunately mean that Stellar Attack is a tough purchase to justify, especially with better games out there on the PSP.