Brave Soldier: Invasion of Cyborgs (XSX) Review with stream

Easily described as a chibi-Contra, Brave Soldier: Invasion of the Cyborgs is a pleasant run’n gun action title developed by a small indie team and published by EastAsiaSoft. 

Playing as a cute commando, it is your job to stop an alien invasion of cyborgs that are all palette swapped ninjas. Gameplay remains simple throughout the 30 stages – one button jumps, the other shoots. Along the way, power-ups can be collected from fallen enemies to change the machine gun fire to a spread shot, homing missiles, wave beam and more. It only takes 1-2 minutes to complete a stage and level design reminds me a lot of the first Super Mario Bros. only with a gun.

Gameplay remains casual not just because of the simple 16-bit visuals and basic stage design but also from the lower difficulty factor. While falling down a pit will result in insta-death, the player is outfitted with an extensive health bar and infinite continues.  Rarely will you die from taking too much damage, even during boss battles. Therefore, this is a solid option for beginning gamers or those just looking for a more laid back and mindless action game.

My biggest gripe comes from the weapon drops. These extra guns are not necessarily better than each other, just a little different. Brave Soldier also uses the Blaster Master weapon system – if you take one hit, you lose your current weapon and default back to your peashooter. However, if you manage to combo several kills into a row without taking a hit, the player is rewarded with an optional power blast that work nicely against bosses if the player skill can time it accordingly.  

Unfortunately, this action platformer lacks replay value. There are no abilities to upgrade, no weapons to unlock, and no secrets to find. Since there experience is nothing more than shooting and jumping, it seems like there is just a little something missing. Even if there was one optional collectable to find in each stage, that could have added some flavor. Oddly, there is a scoring system in place, but it serves no purpose as there isn’t even a high score table. 

Despite the casual approach, I still enjoyed this simplistic take on the classic Contra formula and how it is broken down into bite sized stages. For a $4.99 action game essentially made by a one-man dev team, this is an entertaining, low-budget romp of mindless action and a great way to burn a couple hours, earning a bunch of Achievements along the way.  

SCORE: 7.5

More Action Packed: than other simple platformers published by EastAsiaSoft – shooting is involved instead of just jumping

Better Than: Adventure of Poppe

Wait For It: a sequel with 2-player

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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