From the moment I first sat down to play Super Galaxy Squadron EX, it started sucking me in with the beautiful graphics and old-school NES style music. With it’s retro style, developer Synset has created a fast paced vertical shooter that’s a nostalgic throwback to the games I loved as a kid. However, my enjoyment of the game was pretty quickly overshadowed by the intense difficulty level, and the game seeming to glitch out when I would reach a boss.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX has a story, but it doesn’t necessarily pertain to any gameplay experiences you will have. While the cutscenes were enjoyable to watch, the story was forgettable. The most information you really need to know is that there are 14 pilots recruited to fight a war, and you get to choose which pilot you’d like to play as. With each pilot having three stats of varying degrees, you can choose which pilot’s fire rate best suits your style.
There are two modes you can choose (Arcade and Endless), and six progressive stages. I’ll be completely honest in saying that I was about to tear my eyes out by the end of the third stage. The game glitched and wouldn’t load the third stage boss, so I had to completely start over from level one. Two. Separate. Times. If you die and the game DOESN’T glitch, it’s good to know that it automatically saves once you reach a boss. There were a few different options for selecting difficulty levels in the beginning, but even the easiest mode was pretty hardcore coming into the third stage.
If you’re comfortable with knowing you may never beat Super Galaxy Squadron EX, and you’re okay with the fact that it seems to just take incredible luck (and not necessarily skill) to beat a level, then what do you have to lose? The nostalgia I felt while playing was comforting, and it was visually a joy to experience. However, the constant intensity and lack of regular replay-ability may prevent you from finding this game among your favorites. Personally, the frustrations I felt trying to move on to the next level will prevent me from investing more time. If you can get past the drawbacks of the game, you might find some short-term amusement from it. I would recommend using a controller, as the quick and fast movements you need to make will really wear out your hand on the directional pad.
Nostalgic throwback falls short of my expectations
Challenge - 10/10
Gameplay - 3/10
Design - 8/10
+ Fast paced
+ Exciting music
+ Colorful design
- VERY difficult level progression
- Glitching problems
- Monotonous, sometimes frustrating gameplay