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laser disco defenders review smooth play shakespeare

Make no mistake that the old is becoming new once again in gaming, especially in this year of 2016. Despite the many livid conundrums that have plagued our year, many of these nostalgic things are making big headlines as we move forward into the second half of the year. Nintendo is releasing an NES-mini, pre-loaded with multiple games. Ecto-cooler, a sugary drink containing many childhood memories, made a return to celebrate the release of the Ghostbusters reboot. And TV shows, long over but not forgotten, such as Hey Arnold!, Full House, and Samurai Jack have, or are making, a triumphant return to a new generation. This is most especially true in video games.

Continuing this trend is a very special game from Out Of Bounds Games, currently available for the PlayStation Vita, with plans for a PlayStation4 release. Laser Disco Defenders has grooves, funks, smooth plays, and more boogie than most games out there, as the title is greatly inspired by the crazy looks of the 70’s. Amongst that decade was the disco era, an era of dance tracks, crazy moves, neon colors, psychedelic lights, and, of course, the disco ball.

In the universe of Laser Disco Defender, music is everything. It makes the planets orbit the sun, the comets streak across the stars, and for all beings, whether they be human, alien, or machine, to interact and celebrate the universal language of dance. However, as with all tales, anger and bitterness are the catalysts to such a tragedy. When Lord Monotone is rejected from the Intergalactic song contest, he takes matters into his own metallic hands, and hijacks the microbial, an incredibly powerful space station with the power to echo music throughout the entire cosmos! It is up to the Laser Disco Defenders to infiltrate Lord Monotone’s lair and stop this madness as the future of music for many millennia is at stake.


Laser Disco Defenders is a shoot- ”˜em up game, or shmup, in the very same vein as recently released games, such as Score Rush Extended by Xona Games or Blue Rider by Ravegan studios. Players will fly their way through multiple levels and defeat many enemies There are fourteen levels, of which are procedurally generated. Your ultimate objective is to defeat Lord Monotone in his lair and save the disco tracks of the universe. It sounds familiar, however, Laser Disco Defenders has a very unique twist on the formula, and it is one that makes the game very special. That twist is the fact that your shots, and the enemy shots never go away. They stay INSIDE the level.

In most shmups or shooting games, you fire your weapons at a bad guy, never having to think about what that round has gone through. Laser Disco Defender turns itself into a real retro-disco party by keeping shots contained throughout the level. Every laser that you, or the bad guys fire, bounces off the walls, staying in the level. This keeps the gameplay strategic, yet fast-paced. Risky yet an absolute blast. There is a temptation to fire as many lasers as possible, but each shot fired makes your already dangerous mission that much more dangerous.  Friendly Fire safety is turned off, so your own laser fire can actually hurt you. It is a stone groove of a challenge.

Players will complete sub=missions, such as shooting so many types of enemies and getting a particular score, in order to unlock new custom gear for your disco defender. New lasers, new shows, and new helmets all attribute to different gameplay experiences. This is further emphasized as the game is procedurally generated, meaning that enemy placements and level layouts are different with each play through.


What unfolds in Laser Disco Defender is an incredibly energetic space shooting action. Players whiz their way through enemy networks, blasting away at Lord Monotone’s evil forces. Every enemy dished out is a small victory, in the field of lasers constantly bouncing off of each other left and right. Even as you make your way through the levels, there is the constant danger of knowing that your end could be met by your own laser, bouncing off the walls. With each level, the enemies get more challenging, but you, the player, have the moves to groove by and take down the forces of evil! Players will have a tremendous and memorable experience playing Laser Disco Defenders.

Laser Disco Defenders has a solid presentation as well. The game was made on the Unity engine, and features a sharp retro design, with glowing color pallet that is greatly inspired by the bright science fiction of the era. In a nod to that era, the characters actually fire lasers from their fingers, which they make out into a gun. The soundtrack is an absolutely tremendous love-letter to the disco tracks of the era. I couldn’t help but groove to it myself. It definitely keeps the atmosphere of the game charged and fresh, like you are really on an epic mission to defeat a galactic evil.

Laser Disco Defender, as great as it is, does have a few shortcomings. The game’s main campaign, while procedurally generated, is only 14 levels long. The game will challenge you to play the campaign multiple times, each with a different character with entirely different attributes. However, the developer has stated that an entirely new zone will be added in a future update. In addition, there is an Endless mode for those daring to go as far as possible into the game. There were a couple of rare glitches I had found in the game, such as lasers bouncing out of the boundaries of the level and some not connecting when facing extremely large groups of enemies that are actively chasing you, such as the lancer. However, this issues did not ruin the overall experience.


Laser Disco Defenders is a very good and engaging shmup for the PlayStation Vita. With its retro presentation, amazing music, and engaging gameplay, this is a worthy addition for any PlayStation Vita owner, and certainly, a game to look out for, should a PlayStation4  version come along. Smooth Play Shakespeare.

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