While the Vita has received several retail titles, the download only selection is pretty weak. With less than 10 games, there isn’t a large selection for cheap, fun games. However, StarDrone Extreme hopes to change that. With cross play, better UI and a vast array of levels, it seems like a sure fire hit. While it sounds good, will it actually provide an exceptional experience or was it better on paper?
Let’s see what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of StarDrone Extreme.
When I started to play StarDrone Extreme, I really disliked the game. While it had good elements, it just felt like a missed chance. However, over time I actually started to enjoy the game more and more. While it does take some time to get used to and there are some issues, you will most likely want to keep trying. A lot of this has to do with the harsh medal requirements, which prompt you to do better.
Over 50 Stages
StarDrone Extreme only costs 4 dollars and you’re given over 50 stages to play though. Playing though them all will most likely take several hours, so you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth. Additionally, there are different challenges to complete on every stage. This could be getting to the end, killing enemies, collecting items or lighting stars. This makes the game feel less tedious, though some objectives are a lot more fun than others.
PS3 Cross Play
Easily one of the most exciting Vita features is the ability to cross play with the PS3. However, since the Vita’s release, only a handful of titles have taken advantage of it. Joining this list is StarDrone, which uses cloud saving and loading to allow you to continue playing on either platform. While this is a cool feature, you will need to also buy the PS3 version to use it.
One of the biggest StarDrone complaints was the brutal difficulty. This was certainly a turn off across the board, as the difficulty was more of a game problem than a user problem. Due to these complaints there was a new difficulty setting, though it features easy and hard. The main difference is damage and even that is only 10 or so percent, but you will get roughly half as many points for trying to cheese it.
Every stage in StarDrone Extreme starts with you launching in some direction. From here, you’re only able to move your ship with the aid of a beacon, which requires you to touch and hold to attach. This will cause your ship to spin around the beacon until you remove your finger. Once the connection is broken, the ship will fly off in the chosen direction. Many stages will require pretty precise actions, which is very hard to accomplish with this control scheme.
One of the first things you’ll notice in StarDrone Extreme is that the LiveArea showcases your medal and score. This would have been a fun feature if most stages weren’t so brutal. Due to the poor controls mentioned above, completing tasks can be very difficult. They’re so difficult, in fact, that no one on the leaderboard has currently accomplished this task.
All of the difficulty is due to some strict control requirements. Some stages require you to do things with some precision, that being even slightly off will result in death. This could be due to hitting an edge and drifting into space or accidentally moving the drone into some spikes. Whatever the reason, you’re given a rather low margin of error. To make matters worse, medals can be very stressful.
You see, every stage has a target time and usually a number of things that give you points. Contrary to what you might think, time is vastly more important than collecting anything. This can leave some levels with a rather hollow experience or make the game feel dull in the long run.
Dull and Boring
Around level 13, you will hit a point where everything feels recycled. Just about everything has a stock design, so you will see the same enemies, colors, sounds and overall visuals throughout the game. Additionally, every level has the same starry backdrop, which makes the levels feel forgettable and cookie cutter. Furthermore, the graphics are hardly amazing, though everything looks crisp on the Vita’s screen.
StarDrone Extreme is hardly the best Vita game, but it is priced right. Some levels will give you a headache, though you can always lower the difficulty or pay to skip it. The controls could certainly use a tune up, but they are at least more suited to the Vita’s touch controls. If you’re okay with the harsh gameplay, then you most likely will get your money’s worth with StarDrone. However, if you would like a more polished game, look elsewhere.
[Editor’s Note: StarDrone Extreme was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita Console. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]StarDrone Extreme Review,