Astro Tripper Review
- Posted April 1st, 2009 at 02:37 EDT by Eric Blattberg
- 12 Comments
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When all is said and done, Astro Tripper is a bundle of fun.
- The fast-paced, rewarding gameplay
- The play/price ratio
- The satisfaction that accompanies the unforgiving difficulty
- The frustration that accompanies the unforgiving difficulty
- The stale presentation
Wow, another top-down shooter on the PlayStation Network?! How… unoriginal. Yet, despite its wealth of competitors, PomPom Games’ Astro Tripper manages to stand out from the crowd with its retro, healthily streamlined gameplay, not to mention its very affordable price point.
You see, Astro Tripper is not another ‘dual-stick’ shooter like Blast Factor or Super Stardust HD, nor is it a free-flying experience like NovaStrike. Astro Tripper finds its niche in utter simplicity. The levels are viewed from a top-down perspective, but some contain vertical hills and slopes which have a minor effect on gameplay. Your ship is equipped with two weapons: a blue power laser and a red spread weapon; very simple, very functional. The controls are incredibly basic, but extremely tight; either analog stick steers the ship, X fires, Square switches weapons, and Circle flips the ship left or right (you face one of the two directions the entire time). It’s all pretty self-explanatory after a few minutes in the game.
The basic goal is straightforward (see a recurring pattern here?): shoot all enemies in each level within the time limit. Power-ups, dropped from blasted enemies, upgrade the weapon that’s equipped when you acquire them. The two modes, Adventure and Challenge, each has its own objectives and leaderboard. In Adventure, players take on four chunks of three or four levels, which all culminate in a ‘Big Boss’ battle. Challenge, meanwhile, is a survival-style mode where you play on one level against waves of foes until your sole ship perishes.
Despite its simplicity, Astro Tripper is devilishly hard. There’s no shame in beginning on Easy when it comes to this game. Enemies are everywhere, and the stringent timer makes boss encounters much more difficult than you’d expect. The harsh difficulty is a two-way street. If you’re not inherently skilled at old-school shooters, then you’re bound to experience some frustration when you’re coming to grips with each level. One touch from anything -- and there’s a whole lot of ‘anything’ on-screen -- and you’re toast. Then again, it’s supremely satisfying to finally clear a world after getting mowed down by a Big Boss time and time again. Ultimately, perseverance pays off – it’s just a matter of patience.
Visually, the game is less than stunning, though it’s not poor by any means. Astro Tripper certainly retains that evocative old-school feel, but it still feels a bit lacking. It’s hard to pinpoint anything “wrong” with the presentation, but nothing is all that noteworthy or impressive either.
Let’s be honest here though: you don’t buy a game like Astro Tripper to impress your friends. You buy this $5 USD gem to play an old game with a coat of fresh paint, and it’s a purchase well worth making.
- 9:46pm EDT - March 31st, 2009
i bought it because it was so cheap, and im glad i did at first i was dissapointed then i got to the spider boss, completely changed my mind. My only gripe is that it isn't as flashy as some other titles other than that great value
BTW the naruto ad making the WHOLE page a link SUCKS
- 9:49pm EDT - March 31st, 2009
Custom soundtracks are great for a game like this that has no talking or anything. I agree about the part with the difficulty being insane, it gets stupidly hard at some part and the count timer doesn't help that either.
- 9:56pm EDT - March 31st, 2009
looks alright, but i still rather spend my $5 on mcdonalds lol
but yea i agree with edward_moffet wats up with the naurto ad thing? This is psu, PLAYSTATION UNIVERSE, not NARUTO universe.
- 9:57pm EDT - March 31st, 2009
i wish i had a credit/debit card so that i could buy something off the playstation store altho first thing id get would be crash team racing
- 1:33am EDT - April 1st, 2009
I used to love games like this when I was a kid. I think I might get it.
- 1:56am EDT - April 1st, 2009
A must for trophywhores!
2 easy gold trophies! my brother 100%et it in 1hour! ;)
- 3:05am EDT - April 1st, 2009
@ #4 - CTR is the best game ever! lol
Might end up picking this up sometime later, depends how bored I get with what I have..
- 6:59am EDT - April 1st, 2009
I got it, its fun but I die alot. damn spider, I just started though so I'll get it.
- 7:32am EDT - April 1st, 2009
The game is a fun lil blast from the past! well worth the $5 price tag!!
- 8:07am EDT - April 1st, 2009
Good old days!
- 11:04am EDT - April 1st, 2009
This game is WELL WORTH the $5 purchase. All you need to do is skip one of those McDonald value meals and there you go. There game is extremely fun. The trophies are hard enough to where you won't just get them in 15 minutes of playing the game and that's on easy. The graphics are good enough for a new gen game as well.
I love the Challenge mode. My favorite one is the Cube Challenge (last level). I broke the 2 million mark last week putting me at #11 on the leaderboards. I was pissed too because I died in a silly way and I could've EASILY broken into the top ten with one more sweep of the level.
I hope they add some DLC in the future. They could do more levels, do more modes. They should've add co-op play in the game.
- 2:03pm EDT - May 7th, 2009
Yeah I have this game and it's fun but hard. Gonna try beat that spider.
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