Gaming, Technology, Uncategorized, Video Games

Review of Resogun (PS4): Score of 9

If you’ve been closely following my blog, you may have noticed from the title that this is the highest score I’ve given to a game so far. Yes, I’m even rating Resogun over my beloved Halo games! I absolutely loved this game, and in my mind, it’s nearly a completely perfect one. Resogun is action packed, immersive, and insanely fun, and I’m very happy to say it’s one of my top 3 favorite games of 2013.

Before we begin, take a look at that video; it helps explain what Resogun is like. I recorded that using the PS4 Share feature.

“Victory Lap”

Resogun puts you in the cockpit of a spaceship in a sidescrolling “save-the-humans” adventure. Your mission is to destroy the enemy ships as they spawn using the weapons you have available. You’re equipped with missiles and boost; both of which are upgraded throughout the game. By killing enemies, you charge up your overdrive, which is basically a laser of death, and finally, you have bombs which wipe out anything on the screen, but they’re very valuable. At times, the “Keepers” will spawn, and you’ll know what they are due to their green glow. Destroying Keepers will release a human from his cell; your objective is to swoop over to the human, pick him up, and fly him to a safe zone. Doing this rewards you with a shield, extra points, an extra bomb, or another life; all are valuable. If you don’t kill the Keepers before they disappear, however, the human dies; there are a total of 10 to save per round. Technically, it’s not necessary to save a single human, but you’ll definitely want all the extra bombs and lives you can get for the boss battles.

At the bottom of your screen, there’s a progress bar showing you how long you have until the boss battle. Technically you just have to survive until the boss battle, defeat the boss, and you’ve won; the humans are technically optional. However, you pretty much are toast without the bonuses from saving the humans. I say this because it’s a lot tougher to beat the boss with no lives remaining, for example, as compared to having a safety net of an extra life.

There is so much to say about Resogun even though it only consists of five levels. Each level takes approximately 10 minutes from beginning to end, but there are no checkpoints; lose all your lives and start over. Usually this would irritate me, but Resogun is addictive; it makes me want to go back, try again, and win. Whenever I die, I always think “Oh; so close! Maybe next time,” rather than “this is stupid, and I’ll never win.” With that being said, Resogun is wickedly difficult at times.

It comes with four difficulty settings, so I played on the second difficulty level, which was the normal or default setting. It was easy enough that I could beat the levels without having to alter the difficulty level, but it was tough enough that I died a lot too. By no means is this an easy game; let it be known that this game is tough. It’s a tough game because it’s so fast-paced. A lot of the difficulty comes from the fact that enemies continue to spawn in each direction; there’s no time to form a gameplan. Instead, I had to simply strategize as I went along in hopes that it would work out. When I played Resogun, I totally zoned out, and my mind was running on twitch reflexes. Sometimes, I my hands would surprise my brain by flying through a portion without fail, and other times, my brain surprised my hands by hatching a plan on the fly. I eventually learned that there was a bit of strategy that could help me survive. For example, using the boost makes me indestructible for the duration of the boost; using it wisely can get me out of a situation as I plow through and destroy any enemy I touch.

Long story short, Resogun is quite difficult, but at the same time, this difficulty is toned down a little bit by the underlying layer of strategy that isn’t immediately apparent; you learn as you go.

Taken As My Ship Exploded

The levels progress decently as well. Each level is tougher than the last; there are more enemies to kill, more enemy types, and more mayhem. With that, your familiarity with the game and controls increases, your weapon power upgrades, and next thing you know, you feel trained to go dog fighting in space. I can’t stress this enough: the action is insane. By “insane” I mean a rush of adrenaline and excitement. It’s insane in the way that makes you feel epic; like a hero. It’s insane in the way your heart beats faster and you say “whoa, that was awesome!” It’s insane in the way that the game takes a barrage on your senses. Resogun is incredibly fun, not so difficult that you want to quit, and it leaves you coming back for more.

Each boss battle is distinct and takes a different tactic to win. This is a great amount of variety and variation; I couldn’t use the same strategy to defeat any two bosses. One took the form of a giant snakelike contraption, but another looked like a humongous spaceship, and yet another was like a set of rings, nested one inside the other. Each one had a different attack and defense pattern, and it took a few tries to learn what had to be done to defeat each one. Victory rewards me with a beautiful victory lap and a gigantic sense of pride and accomplishment. I’m pretty sure I yelled “YES!” after each victory as my heart tried to return to a normal rhythm. Fittingly, the final boss battle was by far the toughest, and the entire final level was grueling; much harder than the rest of them, or so it seemed to me.

Even though Resogun is difficult, never once did I feel discouraged or want to stop playing. It took me over two and a half hours (split into three sessions; one hour, one hour, and a half hour) to defeat the final boss, but I practically had to force myself to shut off the system and go to bed each time. I kept telling myself “just one more try; I can do it this time,” even though I couldn’t. It was so much fun! Seriously, I sunk probably near eight hours into this game, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Resogun’s soundtrack is satisfying as well. It’s a techno-dance beat with bass and rhythm, and it suits the gameplay perfectly. It’s the perfect fit, and it helped the experience feel even more immersive. I also loved the colors. I’m a huge fan of color variation in games, and this one was extremely vibrant. all the colors were bright and rich, and they all complemented each other very well; the metallic glint and glare looked beautiful, the explosions were spectacular and colorful, and it created an amazing experience. Just look at those screenshots! Yes; all these screenshots are ones I captured on my PS4 using the Share button.

Even better, Resogun has a great amount of replayability. There are three ships to choose from; each has strengths and weaknesses. I’m tempted to go through and try to win with each ship, and I’m also tempted to gain some more trophies. I’m by no means a trophy hunter; I hardly ever go out of my way for a trophy, but I’m definitely considering at least 50% for this game. There is local co-op, and online multiplayer so you can drag a friend into the madness.

This is More Representative of Actual Gameplay

My only complaint is a lack of story, but hear me out first! I realize that this is more of an arcade game than a storyteller, but the developers could have done better. There is a storyline, but it’s just there to serve as a simple backdrop: save the humans. At the end of the game, you learn an intriguing piece of information about the humans you saved, but since the game is so new, I don’t want to spoil it for you. With that being said, it would have been cool if the game came with a short (even 30 seconds apiece) cutscene between levels, or even a couple paragraphs to read. There could have been something more to the story. Also, the game is free to all PS+ subscribers, but it’s $15 for those without the subscription. I like to get at least a dollar per hour out of my games, so $15 for a game I’ve spent about 8 hours on is a bit pricey, but this won’t be an issue for most people; PS+ is practically necessary now.

Resogun is definitely a game you need to download the day you get your PS4. You will not regret it, no matter what genres you play.

Still Amazed
Matt

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7 thoughts on “Review of Resogun (PS4): Score of 9”

  1. (1) I had to turn on the gameplay video to make sense of the pictures. From the stills themselves I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at other than a bunch of bright colours because it wasn’t clear what the player’s ship looked like. I haven’t experienced that before and it was…disconcerting.

    (2) You appear to be very on the fence about difficulty. These quotes are in order.

    a. “However, you pretty much are toast without the bonuses from saving the humans.”
    b. “With that being said, Resogun is wickedly difficult.”
    c. “It comes with four difficulty settings, so I played on the second difficulty level, which was the normal or default setting. It was easy enough that I could beat the levels, but it was just tough enough that I died a lot too. It’s a grueling game because it’s so fast-paced.”
    d. “Even though Resogun is difficult[…]”

    You can’t start by saying that the game is difficult (a), then call that difficulty (b) “wickedly difficult”, then say (c) you were playing on ‘normal’ and it’s “easy enough [but at the same time] tough enough [to be a nice challenge]” and then (d) conclude that the game is simply difficult. “[W]ickedly difficult” and playing on normal don’t mesh well when you also say that all of it is “easy enough”, these statements contradict one another.

    What I take from this is a writer who isn’t editing their work carefully. You’re a smart guy and you can do better than this. I’d like to see you do better.

    (3) Stargunner is available on GoG (http://www.gog.com/game/stargunner) and it’s free. It looks like something that you’d really be into since you enjoyed Resogun so much.

    1. Concerning the screenshots/video:
      The first shot is of the “victory lap” at the end of the match, and there are explosions that go off as a sort of firework show. The second one (if I recall) was taken right as my ship exploded, so there is no ship in the picture. In the last shot, the ship is in the bottom center of the screen. I posted these because it showcased the bright colors and disconcerting quality. I think one has to play the game to appreciate exactly what the pictures are; to make sense of them. The final screenshot is the most representative of what the gameplay usually resembles; lots of enemies, explosions, green XP cubes floating, etc. It is a busy atmosphere. I suppose that “busy” is the best way to describe it.
      Concerning the difficulty, I suppose I could clarify by saying this:
      There are portions that are insane, but there are other portions that aren’t so tough. It alternates, and it takes the player on a roller coaster ride. One moment I found myself saying “it’s not so hard” only to have to eat my words during a tough sequence. With that being said, I felt this way on only normal difficulty; there are two tiers higher than that, so I assume it’s absolutely grueling.

      1. What I find most troubling is that you don’t seem to recognise my criticism or why my criticism is particularly pointed.

        My point with (2) is that you need to make clear what it is that you are saying and that didn’t at all come across. I know you can write better than this and I’ve seen your writing deteriorate over the past few weeks. I’m not sure why or what it is, but you’ve been much less careful in how you’ve said the things you’ve said.

        There isn’t a way to clear up the confusion with what you mean in respect to the game’s difficulty without re-writing pieces of this post. I encourage you to do so.

      2. I recognize your criticism, and I understand what you’re trying to say. We’re seeing my articles with different filters. You see it as a consumer, a reader, and a critic, and I don’t mean that with a negative connotation by any means. I see it defensively; I want to be able to justify what I wrote, and a lot of times, I think what I said makes sense in my own mind. I sometimes fail to realize that the way it sounds in my head isn’t the way it’s read.

        I’ve never been big on editing, and when I edit, it’s usually more for grammatical errors, typos, etc. I know I need to do a better job at actually reworking articles as needed; it’s tough to break an old habit. The past few weeks have been crazy for me; studying for finals, preparing for my Eagle Scout Ceremony, tweaking my schedule and studying overtime to create room for a Thanksgiving trip my family just took, etc. Long story short, my crazy life is about to chill I little bit starting in a week or so, as the semester ends next week. I plan to use my month long break to improve my blogging, as I’ll be able to focus more on it instead of schoolwork.

        I enjoy blogging; I really do, so I crank out articles because it’s out of my passion for what I do; not because I feel like I have to. Now it’s time to find a way to do what I want (continue to write a lot) while doing what I need (actually improving the quality and not necessarily the quantity). It’s the only way I can get better and hopefully secure a job in the industry as an adult after college, which is my ultimate goal.

        I did take you up on what you said, and I re-wrote portions of the post and I added a little more explanation. It took seeing that somebody was confused for me to realize that I wrote something confusing; in my mind’s eye, it made perfect sense. It was just my filter.

  2. I really wish that WordPress could figure out comment nesting and the ability to edit comments. For whatever reason I can’t reply directly to your comment and have to create another one.

    There’s a number of little things that I can pick out here, things that I want to pick out, but I won’t. I’m not sure if it would be entirely fair. Your writing suffers from a lack of oversight from the conceptual stages through the writing and to the editing stages. You have the basic mechanics to write well, you’ve simply not been taking the time to do right by yourself and make these posts be as well-written as I know you can. This is unfortunate and needs to be fixed immediately, with great vigour and attention paid to details.

    What you’re doing isn’t ‘blogging’, that’s a bullshit cop-out. What you are doing is writing and writing is a communicative act, intended to bring people to understand something. If you do not become interested in editing your work you shouldn’t expect people to be interested in reading your work or even understand what it is you’ve written, instead you should expect disinterest, confusion and people taking different meanings than you intended. We all make mistakes, no one’s writing can be perfect, but when we write there is a real obligation for us to write well.

    I realise that you are still a high school student and taking some college classes or other. The differences in our writing abilities are the differences in both eduction (theory, reading) and experience (practise in writing). As such there are going to be a plethora of mistakes that you make. I just ask that you don’t try to defend them, that you recognise them and work to fix them. Most people communicate very, very poorly and if you can tighten up your writing you will be that much more effective at what you do.

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