[PS Plus Reviews] January 2016- Futuridium EP Deluxe

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

I am no fan of arcade bullet hell. I am also not a fan of one rougelike element- permadeath, as in no checkpoints in between long stretches of gameplay.

So Futuridium EP Deluxe should not be a game for me to enjoy from the start. It is a spaceship shooter, but it’s not a bullet hell shooter. It’s an arcadey spaceship shooter with short bursts of levels, cleverly designed, and rewards smart manouvering rather than twitch reflexes.

It’s not bad, but I have reasons why I don’t enjoy it as much, but maybe it tickles your fancy, as it is, at the end of the day, a very well-put game regardless of its indie status.

Do note this game is available for both PS4 and the PS Vita. This review is based on the PS4 version.

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Graphics & Sound

Build using the Unity engine, Futuridium uses a highly stylised aesthetic that evokes 90’s futuristic design. It is pleasant looking, but a little sparse. I bet it looks nice on a smaller screen of the Vita.

Soundtrack is well put together, if you are a fan of the latest techno music. I am no fan of the music, but having the ability to switch songs on the fly with the left and right d-pad anywhere is commendable, but throws me off since this has made the menus to be only navigated with the analog stick.

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Gameplay

Here’s what you do: you navigate around the short chunks of level to shoot all the blue cubes. Once that done, a white core appears. Shoot that and it ends the level.

You have limited amount of energy, powering your movements. If that all depletes, it’s game over, and all progress is lost, unless you have unlocked credits, which allows you to continue on with a score penalty. Respawns take a huge chunk of energy, so smart manoeuvring is key.

The controls feels a bit iffy, as you nudge slowly and not as fine as you would expect. The spaceship will keep on moving in a forward direction. There’s a 180 button for quick turns, and a boost button. With some effort, it is something that can be getting used.

The level designs are nothing to write home for the first few, but starts getting clever and interesting along the way.

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Content & Longevity

There’s 50 levels,  broken up to 5 zones. Finish the zone, to open the next. The difficulty can keep you busy, and there’s extra modes, unlocks and medals to get.

But the game is designed to be played in small bursts rather than hours-long sessions. There’s also a mode to play single levels for high scores.

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Conclusion

Not many PS4 players may enjoy this game, me included, but approach it as a pick-up game on the Vita, then it becomes a pretty substantial experience. Then again, the gameplay isn’t strong enough to interest me to play more than I have already, and it’s a hard sell.

But at the price of free for PS Plus subscribers, maybe you should try it out if you like its’s bite-sized level designs, pretty aesthetic and decent soundtrack if you’re a fan of techno music. Plus points if you own a Vita.

It’s a 5/10 game for me, but it isn’t bad. It’s just something I find hard to enjoy. But maybe the same won’t be for you. I highly doubt it though.

Looking for other PS Plus reviews? I have you covered. Click here for a full list of games I managed to cover.

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