Ballistic is the latest from our friend over at Radiangames, Luke Schneider. Its a pretty simple twin stick shooter that is kind of like Geometry Wars, in that is plays like an arena game. There are set amounts of waves that you fight over time, all of which progressively harder.
The game looks absolutely great. It takes a lot from its Radiangames brothers in how fluid and simply it looks. All of the explosions are fantastic looking and every effect has a watery look to it in just how fluid they look. Also, a cool design choice on the developer was making the menu actually sink into the background so it looks like the stage you are on.
The gameplay is really quite simple, but it gets spiced up by two things: the upgrades, and the bombs. First, the upgrades. You can choose from a variety of them, such as rapid fire, which makes you shoot faster, or remote bomb, which allows you to detonate bombs on the board from a distance. Once you get up in the higher waves, you can get five or more upgrades, which is when the game gets really crazy. When bullets are spreading all over the screen, bouncing off walls, and hundreds of enemies exploding.
As for bombs, they are spread out through the arena kind of like in Fireball where you had to set off bombs to kill enemies. Only this time, you have a gun. There are two other pick ups across the levels too: the big purple X to get your multiplier up higher, and a small circle to give you another life.
A few other simple but cool mechanics are how you can change how you shoot. Normally, you shoot four bullets at a time in a wide spread, but you can hit the right bumper to shoot in “pulse mode” which fires only two bullets at a time, allows you to move much faster, and with the right upgrade can be set to seek enemies. You can hold the left or right trigger to go into “ballistics mode” where your shots do much more damage, but if you’re in it for too long, you’ll over heat and not be able to fire at all for a few seconds. Also, you can cycle between the three beats that the game provides by hitting left and right on the D-pad. All of the songs are really great, I just wish there were more of them.
The only other thing is the challenge modes, but they all have the same parameters of 2 minutes, progressively harder enemies, and you get a new life every 30 seconds. Apart from varied enemy types, they all play and feel very similarly.
There are leaderboards, which are integrated well. You can see your score with the tap of a button, but I don’t know if there is an easier way to find your friends than scrolling through and finding them.
18 – A solid game with plenty of different mechanics. With fluid visual styles, awesome music, crazy power-ups, and challenging as hell enemies, how could you not love this game?
- -1 – The soundtrack has maybe 3 songs, all of which are great, just can’t help but hoping for more.
- -1 – There really isn’t a different between the challenges in challenge mode. They just have a different enemy set up.