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Game Review: Space Chunks 2 Beta

posted Dec 14, 2010, 10:45 AM by Johnny Serafino   [ updated Mar 8, 2011, 12:53 AM ]
I've never done this before, so don't get all borked if I violate some kind of game reviewing taboo.

Today I'm talking about a free game by George Thornton called Space Chunks 2.

                        Quite the menu eh?

The first time I heard of this game was on shmup-dev. A thread for the game was started by "EggRogue"
who apparently takes feedback and is perhaps the very mastermind of this game himself. Anyway,
the game was an instant hit for me.

When I first started I knew I was in for a treat. I was greeted by a sweet music intro before an impressive
menu with apparent action behind it. I fell in love.

              Come on, you HAVE to love this action.

The graphics are all 2D, there's no 3d rendering at all. That meant my pitiful rig could handle the game.
But the graphics while 2D, are still gorgeous. The aesthetic appeal is amazing, and they've obviously
received quite a bit of polish. Everything looks like pre-rendered 3d, which is good.
All of this is taken in while listening to the awesome soundtrack.

If you can peel yourself away from the amazing music and the chaotic space battle going on behind
the menu, you can start the game.

You control a small ship in the center of the screen and get three firing modes: Blasters,  missiles,
and then specials. There's limited ammo for all weapons except blasters, but more ammo can of
course be collected. You can turn you ship from top view with total 360 degree control and accelerate
or break.

The level's start out pretty slow, but there's really no alternative. You see, your ship is quite weak
at the beginning of the game. This leads into another nifty feature, upgrades.

After you complete a stage (which consists of three levels and a boss), you'll get a chance to spend
upgrade points you've acquired for destroying enemies.

An RPG like upgrade system is added on top of the action

Like most games like this, you start out weak and by the end of the game have amassed a huge
amount of power. And not only can you collect and spend upgrade points, but you can also upgrade
other features of your ship by collecting triangle shaped "fragments". By collecting fragments you
can increase maximum capacity of shields, hull strength, special ammo, missile ammo, and can increase
the number of blaster bolts you are able to fire.

Collecting fragments can upgrade other features of your ship.

Aside from upgrades, you can also get up to five wing-mates as your rank increases based on how many
points you get. Wing-mates stay with you the entire game once you get them, if they die new ones warp
in after a short while. This is not like reinforcements, which only stay through the level and once they
die, replacements never come back.

  It's nice to be the side with huge ships sometimes.

There are still a few problems however, but what did you expect from a beta?
The main problem is that once you get past stage 4, things start to get monotonous due to lack of
content. The same bosses repeat themselves, and the game really doesn't get any harder. It actually
gets easier. But this is all due to lack of content, which you can probably expect to appear in beta's.

So what do I say overall?
I say this is an amazing game with way more polish than most have come to expect from an indie game.
The graphics are great, the soundtrack is awesome and goes well with the game, the gameplay is smooth
and simple, and the difficulty curve of the game is almost perfect. The game is still in beta so the content
falls apart eventually.

So I recommend this game to any and every one, waiting with anticipation for the final version.

The beta's final score: 8/10

Had it not been in beta, it would have been a candidate for a 9 or maybe even a 10.