Bullet-Hell Horde Mode
Aperion Cyberstorm is a 5-player co-op twin stick shooter similar to Robotron or Geometry Wars. Once one screen is cleared, the player(s) move onto the next are(n)a and repeats this process until the game is finished or you quit from boredom.
Defeated enemies occasionally drop crystals that will eventually fade away if not collected quickly. Used as currency, these crystals can eventually increase the abilities of the dozen ships available. Unfortunately, using the trigger button special moves, like rapid fire or a spreading shotgun blast, are cool and desperately provide flavor to the bland gameplay but only last a few seconds, making these power-ups seem more like an unreliable tease even after leveling them up. The slight RPG mechanics are a nice touch but it just takes forever to unlock the good stuff and by that time will be too late.
The best feature about this bullet-hell twin-sticker is the ability to play with a total of 5 local players. The entire game, including the optional Versus and Onslaught modes, can be solo but ultimately becomes a slog. Shooting enemies by tilting the analog stick, the main feature of the game, is actually rather tedious especially when playing solo. The bullets that the ship projects are small and most enemies move fast, have a shield, and are also tiny. Lining up shots actually relies more on luck as spraying in the general direction of a horde of enemies and hoping for the best is usually the only tactic to abide by. The worst part, once you finally defeat all the simple-shaped enemies, the player just moves to the next room to do it all again. There are some dialog boxes that pop-up on occasion but are actually annoying, near impossible to read thanks to small font, and doesn’t really make any sense anyway. It would have been better if they were removed altogether. There are optional collectables to find by blasting through some weak walls but gathering them doesn’t offer anything worthwhile.
The presentation is also rather basic. The simple shapes of enemies and bright primary colors on a dark background make the action easy to distinguish, especially when playing multiplayer on the Switch’s undocked mode, but can get a bit crowded in certain areas. The soundtrack is also composed of electronic dance music that fits the action but isn’t particularly memorable. Feel free to blast your personalized playlist from your speaker phone while you play.
If playing solo, you will want to look elsewhere for your twin-stick gameplay. However, if can gather a couple friends around your Switch then you’ll get an hour of mindless fun out of this repetitive shooter as there are worse ways to spend $14.99.
Also available on PC and Wii U.
Not As Good As: classic Robotron
Also Try: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
Wait For It: a new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles