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Ether Vapor: Remaster [PC] Review

By
Posted on November 24, 2012 AT 01:03pm

Shoot-em’-ups are few and far between in this day and age, so when a new one is released into the world, it’s easy to notice. While there are many user-created shooters out there, when a developer takes the time to create one, it usually means they’re taking a shot in the dark and hoping the hardcore fan base will take notice of their title. Sine Mora surprised the world during its release by being a stylish and entertaining game, and Nyu Media is taking their turn with the updated version of Ether Vapor, Ether Vapor: Remaster.

The first thing that is made obvious right off the bat is that this is definitely an indie game. While it doesn’t look terrible, it’s more than a generation behind as far as visual quality goes, looking right at home in the Dreamcast/Playstation era, with early PS2 graphics at best. While this isn’t something that makes it a deal-breaker, the visual quality of titles in the modern era proves how far graphical content has come. The lasers are pretty colors, though, so it at least attempted to give the remaster a new, high resolution look, especially in the environments, which, despite being pretty plain, look good.

The controls are easy but responsive, with the three weapon types actually making the game an entertaining experience. The main laser provides a ton of firepower, especially during its charged shot, the spread guns fire off in angled directions pummeling enemies into dust, and, while weak, the lock-on missiles are very helpful for enemies when they change perspectives. There are no power-ups or assisting weaponry, which is the only place the game stutters as far as the weapons are concerned.

While the weaponry was a bright spot, most of the rest of the game makes up for it by being lackluster, frustrating, or both. The changes in perspective are fun to watch, but when executed, make for a rage-inducing experience. Credits are sparse and when things gets crazy, not enough to get through a scene at many points, especially during later areas when the game gets much tougher. The perspective shifts make for a dizzying experience, especially when it comes to enemies. Distinguishing depth from your craft to an enemy is almost guesswork, as at times a plane will look as though it’s heading right for you, only to pass harmlessly underneath. The opposite is true as well, as some crafts looking the same distance or further from the previous example will crash headlong into your plane, costing you valuable time and lives. These scenarios are also true with lasers and the obstacle filled levels, and while the shifts make the game look good visually and make for a unique experience, it complicated the game play immensely.

This is definitely a Japanese game, and that is made evident by the voice acting, which is comically bad. There is relatively no story, and while that isn’t exactly necessary in games such as these, some semblance of a logical story would have been nice. The soundtrack was well-done, though, adding a level of intensity to the game that made the frenetic sequences even more fast-paced.

Summary: While this is a game the hardcore fans of the genre will likely enjoy, Shoot-em’-ups are not for everyone. This one puts forth a good effort, but cannot compete with some of the better games of the genre already on the market. A almost invisible story, last generation graphics and frustrating game play make this a game that casual fans should steer clear of, but the perspective shifts, fun soundtrack and balanced weaponry will have hardcore fans ready for another round.

  • THE GOOD: Balanced Weaponry, Solid Soundtrack
  • THE BAD: Outdated Graphics, Lack Of Story
  • THE UGLY: Frustrating Gameplay

Score: 5.0

 

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.




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