Game Review: Super Galaxy Squadron EX

discovers a game that is more bullet heaven than bullet hell

2016 02 16 00005Rating: ★★★★☆
Platform: PC
Release Date: 18 February 2016
Developer: Synset

Bullet hell games – so called because there’s a lot of bullets and it feels like hell. It likely comes as no surprise then that these games can be pretty elitist. Searching online you’ll find no end of videos of people managing to stay in the one exact pixel of safety on a screen so filled with moving things and colour that half the time you can’t even tell where the ship is. What most people are after however is something more casual, or rather something that doesn’t need reflexes akin to a cheetah on 10 cans of Red Bull. And along comes Super Galaxy Squadron EX.

Super Galaxy Squadron isn’t actually a new game. It was released just over a year ago and EX is somewhere between a Remaster and an expansion. What’s changed? Just about everything! It’s a real do over. Everything has been made to look better, gauges and icons have been added to help you keep better track of your health and power levels. New enemies, better level designs and actual story!

Where Super Galaxy Squadron EX stands above other games is in two main ways: It’s difficulty curve allowing  new players to be eased into a difficult genre, and it’s ship selection. I can’t stress enough how important that new player experience is. If you like bullet hell games then you already know what you’re after and what you’re looking for. But if you don’t? Then Super Galaxy Squadron EX is just what you need.

The different ships also allow for a variety of play styles. Whilst the core mechanic of ‘hold down the fire button and move out of the way of all the dangerous things’ stays the same the variations in the ships means you can change things up fairly dramatically. You might want a slow ship that packs a massive punch and can take a fair few hits or you might prefer a super fast, low damage ship where you do more dodging and only take down key targets. You can change your ship at the start of a mission so you can take on different missions in different ways.

The base game was pretty good. EX has made everything that much better, it could easily be Super Galaxy Squadron 2 and I don’t think anyone would have been angry. But instead it’s been released as a free upgrade to the original game! Whilst it’s maybe not for diehard bullet hell fans for a first entry into a genre there isn’t much of a better choice.  It should be pointed out that the review key for this product was provided by the developer free of charge.

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