Log in or sign up to comment
13 Comments Refresh
Edited by StarFoxA

As a result of my semi-fanaticism for Xbox Live Indie Games, I've decided to try and review an Indie Game a day for the next month or so. Now I'm sure there will be times when I'm not able to review a game, but I will try my best to stay on top of it. I have 32 indie games at the moment, and am constantly expanding my library, so there's no shortage of games. I just thought this would be a fun experiment, and it would be great to get the word out about some of the lesser known gems on the Marketplace.
So for today, I'll check out Star Crisis, a side-scrolling shooter from Excalibur Studios.

Star Crisis

Kicking off this blogging attempt is an 80 point game known as Star Crisis. It isn't an incredibly ambitious game, but it does succeed at being an entertaining shooter of moderate length, especially considering the price at which the game is being offered. The game is only five stages long, although its retro feel and style, excellent music, and two player cooperative mode, so it's important to know what you're getting for the price paid. While there is an attempt at innovative gameplay (the inclusion of gravity, and a jet booster that causes the player to move up and down; controlled by either the left trigger or left stick), this seems like more of a hindrance than a unique aspect of the game.
A traditional side-scrolling shooter, there's not much that can be said about Star Crisis' gameplay. Sure, you have weapon power-ups, shields, and life, but there aren't many aspects that haven't been seen in a game before. The only notable aspect is the aforementioned gravity and jet booster, and these don't seem like they could have been utilized in any interesting way. Again, it just really seems as though the game would have been better without this aspect, as it makes it difficult to dodge enemies, lasers, and even difficult to pick-up the swift power-ups as the float across the screen.

 The key gameplay "twist" in Star Crisis is the inclusion of a jetpack.

 At only five stages long, Star Crisis is not an incredibly long adventure and can be easily completed in one sitting on even the hardest difficulty. Like most of the game, it lives up to expectations, but doesn't surpass them. Difficulty varies from incredibly easy to moderately difficult, with Easy and Normal modes keeping the game peaceful, while Hard mode is not that much more difficult. The game also has an Endless mode, but without online leaderboards it doesn't really serve much of a purpose. 
One of the best parts about Star Crisis, and one of its main selling points, is the fact that the composer, Magnus Pålsson, also composed the chiptune soundtrack of indie darling VVVVVV. This gives the game an excellent retro feel, and complements the 8-bit styled graphics. Pålsson's influence on the soundtrack is clear, sounding a lot like VVVVVV's soundtrack (known as PPPPPP)--which is in no way a bad thing. It would be awesome if tracks from Star Crisis could be included in PPPPPP as something of a bonus, because these songs rank up there with my favorites on PPPPPP.

 The game doesn't get too difficult, and can easily be completed in a single 30 minute sitting.

Star Crisis isn't a bad game, in fact it's a pretty good game. Sure, there are better games you could buy for a dollar on the Xbox Live Indie Games, but if you do decide to pick up this game, it won't be put to waste. The excellent soundtrack alone is worth the dollar entry fee, and the minor gameplay, difficulty, and length flaws shouldn't be enough to deter potential buyers. This game probably shouldn't be your first indie game if you've yet to venture into the frightening indie game marketplace. Once you've purchased several of the marketplace's best offerings, however, Star Crisis is a must-buy.
Posted by Metroid545

this lasted 3 minutes

Posted by mylifeforAiur

It sucks that I can't play any of these games. I actually kind of want to play this game, if only for said music. Anyway, great stuff!^^ I look forward to all your future reviews ;)

Posted by StarFoxA
@mylifeforAiur: You could make an account in a region that supports indie games, if you're willing to go to such lengths.
Posted by JJWeatherman

Wow, 30 reviews in 30 days. I tried the same thing with movies. Long story short, I gave up after like a week. :P 
This game sounds alright though, especially for the price. 

Posted by StarFoxA
@JJWeatherman: Yeah, it's great for a dollar. The gravity aspect probably isn't for everyone, so I suggest checking out the trial; my friend loved it, and I was indifferent about it.
Edited by Guided_By_Tigers

Get Aphelion....its one of the few 240 point Indie games that's actually worth the full 240 points....its a pretty deep RPG for the price.
Edit: Decay Part 1 and 2 are also pretty cool but are major rip-offs at 240 points a piece considering each "part" only takes like 15-20 minutes to complete and the puzzles really aren't that hard....but it has a great atmosphere and is genuinely scary.

Edited by StarFoxA
@Unknown_Pleasures: I have the trial for Aphelion, yet to check it out though. And I've heard decent things about the Decay games, but there are several games I'd like to check out before Decay.
Posted by Guided_By_Tigers
@StarFoxA said:
" @Unknown_Pleasures: I have the trial for Aphelion, yet to check it out though. And I've heard decent things about the Decay games, but there are several games I'd like to check out before Decay. "
I think the Decay series is a little to pretentious but good nonetheless....also with so many indie games now costing 240-400 points it gets too fucking expensive to play a lot of them. I only buy the ones that I'm REALLY interested in.
Posted by Sin4profit

ooow indie reviews...i should keep up with this.

Posted by StarFoxA
@Unknown_Pleasures: I only have a single game that was 400 points... from a business standpoint, it's not that smart to price your game at 400 points, if you're an indie developer. 80 point games often sell much, much better, due to the "it's only a dollar!" mindset. So I've seen the transverse; indie games have been getting cheaper, not more expensive. The radiangames went from 80 (JoyJoy), to 240 (Crossfire), and then back to 80 (Inferno) because Crossfire didn't sell as well as JoyJoy.
@Sin4profit: Thanks!
Edited by Guided_By_Tigers
@StarFoxA:  I must be looking in the wrong places then...whenever I see a game that looks interesting its always expensive.
Edit: maybe its because if I see a game that looks ANYTHING like a space shooter I immediately pass it over because there are WAY to many fucking dual-joystick shooters....and most of them are probably 80 points.
Posted by StarFoxA
@Unknown_Pleasures: Most games that are 400 points were made when the service was newer, and only offered 200, 400, and 800 price points. Either that or had some development backing or was available on a separate platform. So Weapon of Choice (ex-Naughty Dog developer), Twin Blades (also on iPhone), Biology Battle, Beat Hazard (also on Steam), Platypus (which is also a retail PSP game, I believe), Lumi, etc.