ul corner ur corner

Casual Game of the Week: 'Star Defender 4' Review

Submitted by thankeeka on December 31, 2007 - 10:21am. Exclusive Game Review

In this hectic world we live in, many times work and appointments must come before the fun and joys in our lives, including that of getting to play videogames whenever we want. Gone are the days when we could fire up a game of our choice and spend hours toiling away – now we seem to game in stolen moments here and there. With that in mind, perhaps it is no wonder that casual games have become such a popular gaming choice (especially with women who make up the vast majority of casual game players), as casual games allow us to either jump in and get those quick fixes of gaming bliss or either play them for as long as we want when we do have the time. In honor of the casual game, we'll be bringing you a new Casual Game of the Week every Monday to help you find that fix you might be needing in your life, and this week we have: Star Defender 4

When it comes to my gaming addiction, perhaps more than any other game Galaga was the one that got me started, sucking down my quarters as I tried for that top high score. Many years later Galaga is but a distant memory for the most part, as the game seems quite primitive now in both terms of gameplay and graphics. However, that doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t come around and update the formula and once again provide me an arcade experience I haven’t had in some time. If you’re looking for the next advancement in the way of Galaga or Space Invaders, Star Defender 4 is your game.

Star Defender 4 should feel quite comfortable and familiar for fans of old school arcade games, games that were once about nothing more than space ships battling alien creatures as they advanced down the screen; Star Defender 4 follows the same mechanics, and though not much has changed in a way it has.

In terms of story there really isn’t one when it comes to Star Defender 4, but you know what, that’s perfectly okay. You play as a young pilot battling a horde of alien/technological/insect creatures that want nothing more than to kill you. Much like the old games you only control left and right movements, which are done by sliding your mouse left and right; though there is a ton of space above you, however, you can’t move up or down in any way, which makes dodging enemies and bullets much harder. As you slide your ship left and right with your mouse, you’ll be firing off your bullets by holding the left mouse button down while the right mouse button is used to fire off your secondary weapons.

Weaponry plays a big factor in the game and whether or not you’ll survive or die quickly. When you start the game off you’ll have a steady stream of bullets and a handful of missiles that you’ll be able to shoot off, and with just that you’ll get by for a little. As you kill enemies powerups will start to fall down towards you, and if you’re able to catch them you’ll be able to improve both your weapon sets. On the left mouse button weapons you’ll get first bullets that speed up and then spread out into three directions, then you’ll advance to wave like ammunition that is even more powerful, and so on and so on. On the right mouse button side of things you’ll receive more missiles, shotgun like abilities, life draining homing lasers, exploding enemy seeking bees, and many other weapons. You’ll lose your right mouse button weapons as you use them and expend them, but the left mouse button weapons will only go down as you get hurt by enemy blasts.

The game follows the old school gameplay mechanic of one hit one kill…for the most part. You are able to get powerups to give you the ability to survive more than one hit, but generally you’ll find that once you die, it’s very hard to get back to where you were power wise and be able to survive more than one attack. The enemies don’t help matters as there are so many creatures flying around on the screen and shooting bullets that it’s often very easy to die. Enemy creatures will swirl and come at you, they will hang in the air and shoot towards you, they will fire two bullets at once, fire one bullet, shoot lasers, and do things like release mines that explode in arching circles…just to name a few of the attacks these enemy menaces are capable of.

The game has many different levels and several different difficulty levels as well, so you’ll have a lot to keep you coming back for more. The game also has a high difficulty level regardless, though it might not seem like it to begin with. The first world, for example, I was able to get through without worry or being killed once until I eventually made it to the large boss who killed me numerous times. When I got to the second world, however, I found myself being killed over and over, unable to even move past the first or second level on some occasions. If you’re looking for a challenge Star Defender 4 will certainly test your ability. One thing that also proves challenging is the controls sometimes, as a sensitive mouse will have your ship darting about frantically in hurried moments, which might save you from one enemy, but zip you into the line of fire of another.

Graphically the game is really impressive, as the backgrounds are rather lovely, the creatures are creative in their design, and the animations are different for all the enemy types and they move fluidly and are generally just very well done. The game also sounds good from the audio side of things, as the sounds of explosions and gunfire sound perfectly well.

If you’re a fan of old school arcade games such as Galaga or Space Invaders, you’ll feel right at home with Star Defender 4, a game that plays like a nice homage to a genre and series of games long thought dead. The game won’t be for everyone, and the quirky controls of a fast moving ship hurt matters too, but when all things are considered Star Defender 4 is still a fun and challenging game.

Our Scoring System

Download The Demo Or Buy The Game At Playfirst

or at BigFish Games

bl corner br corner