Review: M.O.Z.O.X. Space Salvager
When we received M.O.Z.O.X. back in January, I played it once then tossed it on the backburner. It got lost in the deluge of other minis (including better space shooters) and somehow resurfaced on my PSPgo. Space Salvager is a very basic shoot ’em up with an ambitious feature: the Action camera. When active, the Action camera sets the point of view behind your space ship. Instead of enemies rushing in from the right side of the screen to the left, they are now moving from afar to near. The problem with the Action cam is that it adds depth to a genre that doesn’t benefit from it at all. Luckily, the camera can also be set to Classic mode, at which point the game is at least playable.
If you have played a shoot ’em up game before, you know the drill. You are a lone space ship whose only purpose in life is to destroy enemy ships and collect powerups. M.O.Z.O.X. is a score attack shmup, which means the game doesn’t have set stages. Instead, the game follows a simple, theoretically infinite pattern: Enemies -> Boss -> Asteroid Field. The bosses switch up ever so slightly and the enemies and asteroid fields speed up over time, but besides for that the game remains as plain as a bald bagel. You can see the top score on the title screen, but that’s the only score you can see. This is a score attack game with no leaderboards. The one cool twist that the game has is its score multiplier. Your multiplier increases as long as you prevent enemy ships from passing you and reaching the edge of the screen. In Classic mode, this is a cinch, but in Action mode it’s tougher to judge where your ship’s guns are firing or where the enemy is relative to your location. There are a handful of powerups to collect, including Lazers, Missiles, and Spinners. They’re best used by hoarding them until the boss shows up then holding down the square button to spam fire until the boss is defeated. Lather, rinse repeat.
The problem I have with M.O.Z.O.X. (besides for its obnoxiously long acronym of a title) is that it’s a shmup on a network that offers much richer shmup experiences. For a few dollars more, you can enjoy Mediatonic’s stellar Who’s That Flying?! or for a bit less, Frima’s incredible A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! My point is that there are a lot of shmups on the PlayStation Network, and a few of them are even on the minis platform, pitting them directly against Space Salvager. Unfortunately, M.O.Z.O.X. doesn’t do much to compete at all. Check out those other games if you need a portable space shooter.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- TD-like multiplier system
What I Dislike:
- Underwhelming graphics
- Action camera isn't fun to play with
- Gets very repetitive very quickly