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Review: Habroxia

Many video games are releasing in the Fall, and for several months, it is a rolling conveyor belt of endless goods. Many smaller games are released within these cracks and many provide their degree of entertainment and interaction. For many of these games, they aim to please and entertain, but not to innovate or revolutionize established mechanics. These particular games simply seek to entertain and have fun and that is where Habroxia falls. Habroxia is a new space ship shooter from lillymogames that puts players into a spaceship to fight across the stars and save the universe. While the game certainly doesn’t innovate or provide anything new, what it does do is entertain and provide a solid challenge, even if it is on the short side.

There isn’t really a story for Habroxia, and the game drops you right into the fray, tasking players to go across fifteen missions, shoot everything on-screen, and fight giant bosses at the end of each stage. How and why is never explained, but that leaves the focus squarely on the gameplay. Across these missions, players fight waves upon waves of enemies through space stations, asteroid belts, and the wide-void of space. For most of the game, the objective is to shoot absolutely everything in sight, but occasionally, some levels will change up the objectives, including rescuing stranded astronauts and destroying large bosses. Additionally, the orientation of the level will change. For the most part, Habroxia is a side-scrolling shooter that orients from left to right, but occasionally, the level will shift to be a vertical spaceship shooter, with enemies coming in from the top towards the bottom. The ship is equipped with several weapon types, including the ability to collect power-ups. For weapon types, players can use a direct shot, a spread shot, and a parallel shot. The first shot is perfect for eliminating single targets, while the spread shot is perfect for eliminating multiple targets. The parallel shot has laser fire from the sides of the ship to destroy emplaced enemies, such as gun turrets. Power-up includes drones, missiles, and the ability to maneuver quickly with a speed boost.

In terms of gameplay, Habroxia sticks to the fundamentals but doesn’t do much else to innovate or revolutionize the genre. The spaceship shooter genre has seen an almost endless see of games from Ghost Blade to Freedom Finger to Under Defeat and so on. Various shmups try and carve their own style and rhythm to the genre, from the SNES-inspired visuals of Jamestown+ to the mech-based co-op of Stardust Galaxy Warriors Stellar Climax. Having this type of uniqueness that elevates expectations of breaks the mold is exciting for the player and engaging to play. Habroxia does not feature any of that, but what it does feature is solid gameplay and a sense of nostalgia.

Habroxia features a solid challenge, without ti being overwhelming. Waves of enemies appear and being able to down them all in rapid succession is fun and entertaining. The boss fights are the true draw of the gameplay experience, and it is satisfying to see that almost every level ends in a satisfying boss fight. The bosses come in a variety of spaceships, including one that is essentially an aircraft carrier in space, and downing these bosses is enjoyable. At the end of each level, players upgrade their craft with more health and weapons, increasing the enjoyment of the overall experience. Regrettably, upgrading the ship to its maximum potential is a solid grind, requiring players to replay missions to retrieve more credits to upgrade the ship. Despite this, Habroxia features solid enough gameplay to keep players going.

Habroxia also evokes an old-fashioned sense of style as well. The visual presentation is reminiscent of the old-fashioned styles of shmups, such as R-Type and Gradius on the NES. The music is unremarkable, but simple and gets the job done. The ship designs are neat, especially the boss fights designs, and overall, the game does a good job of reminding players of simpler shmups but also providing a solid gameplay experience. For completionists, the game will be quite the hunt as well, with trophies to collect on PlayStation Network. While the experience lasts between two and three hours at best, Habroxia provides a good hunt for trophies and achievements.

Habroxia is a good spaceship shooter. A video game isn’t obligated to push and break boundaries unless the team wants to achieve that. The most important thing in a video game is fun and entertaining gameplay, which Habroxia has. The gameplay is solid and the visuals are well polished in achieving an older fashioned game.  While it would have been nice to see a story in Habroxia,  or why the game is titled Habroxia what is present is a solid budget-priced spaceship shooter that is worth your time, especially if you are a trophy hunter. Save the world, inside of an afternoon.

Habroxia was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita system, thanks to a review key generously supplied by Eastasia Software

Developed by illymogames

Price: $7.99

Platforms.: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Steam

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