A once friendly AI has turned on humanity and the fate of the world is now in the hands of two anime characters and their constantly firing ships. For a classic 2D scrolling shooter, there is a ton of story and narrative here. In fact, there might be too much lore as the dialog scenes interrupt the action of this pleasant shmup.
There are two playable characters, each with their own loadout which adds to the depth and replayability. One character can use the optional collectable bits with twin-stick controls which makes for intuitive play control. Like R-Type, players can collect occasional power-ups/shields but will instantly die if you touch any part of the environment. The one-hit deaths make for a challenging campaign but the player can unlock more credits by collecting stars and spending them in the main menu. Other features, like a sound test and gallery can also be unlocked. The soundtrack is also pretty groovy.
Wings of Bluestar is a straight forward shooter and isn’t trying to be anything special. This simple “hold the button to shoot” approach is very pick-up-and-playable and there are no meters to fill or special shots to coordinate. Instead, players just need to plow forward and shoot anything that moves which results in a simple yet mindlessly entertaining experience.
For the most part, the screen scrolls to the right but there are moments when gameplay shifts vertically. Enemies often appear from all sides so players will need to stay on their toes but this is the type of excitement that makes the gameplay experience fun; you are a single ship faced against hundreds of enemies but you have the right tools to survive. Unfortunately, some enemies can look like power-ups which will cause frustrating accidental deaths and some assets, especially ones in the background, are grossly low resolution making sections looks oddly out of place. This is an EastAsiaSoft title though, which means Achievements are easy and worth large Gamerscore and the $15 asking price is easily justified. There is also a 2p local co-op mode too.
Wings of Bluestar isn’t going to win any originality awards but there is no need. Instead, players are treated to a simple, old-school shooter experience with just enough meat on the bone to keep you satisfied.
Also Play: Sophstar
Don’t Forget About: R-Type on GBC
Also Consider: Spacewing War
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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