Flightpath: Adventures in Venaris (XSX) Review with stream

Published by EastAsiaSoft, the company known for releasing bite-sized games at affordable prices that are loaded with easy big-point Achievements, has released Flightpath: Adventures in Venaris, a game that mostly goes against their norm.  Although the price point is still low, this is a meater game, one that actually makes the player work to unlock the coveted Gamerscore.

This is a vertical shooter but with an intriguing upgrading system and with a higher emphasis on narrative. On top of that, the cast of characters also stand out because the anthropomorphic roster aligns with something of a Star Fox title. To be clear, a shmup with a focus on plot is a rare beast and it ties directly into the branching paths of the gameplay. Honestly, it is unexpected but that is one of the reasons why this shooter is as entertaining as it is.

If you watch my stream embedded in this article, you’ll notice that I mention how precise the gameplay is. In short, movement and shooting just feel right. While the visuals do not push the hardware in any way, they are serviceable and never had to contend with any slow-down. Thoughtfully, there is a toggleable option that slows down the gameplay whenever a character’s dialog box appears. Again, once again keeping the narrative as a focus.  

Flightpath also separates itself from other shmups due to the weapon enhancement system. At the mid-point and beginning of each stage, the player is given the option to unlock or adjust loadouts. Enemies can drop currency that can be used to purchase near gear for your ship.  However, more cash doesn’t necessarily mean you will become an overpowered machine. Rather, the ship is limited to the amount of firepower it can output due to its generator. Even if most expensive generator is installed, it cannot contain the firepower of the biggest weapons. There are multiple weapons to consider too. Not only can you fire forward, there is also a optional nose cannon, can shoot sideways, and a backwards shooter all carry a cost of energy. So do you load up the front shooter but sacrifice firepower to the rear and sides? Or do you spend that extra cash to increase the shields and armor? There is no right answer, but the player will earn enough cash by the end to unlock everything, providing the freedom to mix and match loadouts for specific stages. It is an interesting mechanic that remains in balance.

Even with so many weapon choices, the difficulty remains consistently challenging. But as another interesting mechanic, when the player dies, the mouse that runs the shops let’s you borrow his loaner ship, with a pre-established loadout, and try your hand at completing a side mission while he fixes your main ship. If you succeed, he will repair your ship to full health without additional cost. These side missions, although shorter, are challenging and varied too. However, it gets a little tedious during the escort missions because the ship you need to protect can stupidly fly directly into fire.

Flightpath: Adventures in Venaris is a quality old fashion shooter but with plenty of modern and unique gameplay elements that easily make it stand out. As nonsensical as the narrative is, putting a focus on this aspect of the experience is refreshing for a shooter. The loadout options are entertaining too, making this one of the better and more interesting shmups to hit the digital storefront in a while. Oh yeah, and it isn’t another tedious simulator or roguelite.

SCORE: 8/10

Also Try: Attack of the Karens

Don’t Forget About: Dead End City

For Something A Little Different: Turret Rampage

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

Please consider supporting me on Patreon or BuyMeACoffee.

Liked it? Take a second to support squallsnake on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
Back to top