Video Game Review
A Space Shooter for Two Bucks!
Playstation Portable (PSP Mini)
Developer: Frima Studio
Publisher: Frima Studio
Few cheap games are actually worth their low price tag. The PSP Minis have been more miss than hit but there are still plenty of gems to be found. Frima Studio’s A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! is an incredibly fun game at its price point…which just so happens to be two bucks. It’s fun, enjoyable, and provides a cheap thrill that’s well worth it’s cost.
Commander Jefferson started life as a schoolyard bully who grew up to become an intergalactic space bully. He spends his day flying around and massacring aliens because he’s bored. Despite the fact that the aliens pose no threat to Jefferson and are minding their own business, Jefferson still blows them away. He’s a doofus in a charming way as his cheesy one-liners aren’t meant to be clever. It’s sort of a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that the plot doesn’t really matter and we should only care about the gameplay.
Thankfully, the gameplay delivers. This game is purely run and gun in that you need to shoot everything that moves. Blown up asteroids or enemies leave behind power-up that will aid you on your way. The action is fast and addictive. The player has a main blaster although after boss battles, Jefferson steals their special weapon to use for his own purposes (just like the Mega Man games). Even though the game is sort of linear, there is the option to go on side missions to score permanent power-ups to help during the harder levels. Destroyed enemies also leave behind “remnants” which act as the in-game currency. Remnants can be used to buy additional upgrades to the ship. Players who find some of the later levels hard can go back to earlier levels to get extra remnants so they could buy more upgrades. Normally this type of grinding would seem tedious but all the levels feel unique and are still fun to play after multiple times.
The graphics of the game looks great. Even when playing this game on a Playstation 3, it looks like something you’d expect from a downloadable PS3 game. It looks like your average 16/32-bit shooter which is good enough for the price point of this game. Even during some of the more chaotic firefights, there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown in the action. Even for a space setting, everything looks colourful and is pleasing to the eyes.
The soundtrack, while not bad, doesn’t stand out as much as the gameplay or even the graphics. The music is decent but not at all memorable. The voice acting is well done though and is quite amusing. It really adds life to the game.
There is also a survival mode where you try to stay alive for as long as possible while trying to get the highest score. It’s a neat feature but because there is no online functionality with this game, it loses its flavour after a couple of play sessions. If it had online leaderboards, it would have been something, but without it, it’s a throwaway addition.
Apparently there is a bug associated with this game where the game either freezes or progress is not recorded. I don’t know if that was an earlier build of the game but I’ve played the game for many hours since I downloaded it in Jan. 2011 and I have not experienced such a problem. I have also played the game on both the PSP and the Playstation 3 and never been hit with the bug. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist as I see multiple examples online of people being stung by it.
Even with that, the gameplay is so much fun that even the odd hiccup shouldn’t stand in your way in downloading this title. Frima Studio did a fantastic job with A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! and if they ever decided to make an even larger game titled “A Super Space Shooter for Twenty Bucks!!!”, I would definitely check that one out. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and download this game. It’s near the best two bucks you’ll ever spend on a single game.