Developer: Unknown Publisher: Unknown Genre: Retro Shoot 'Em Up Players: 1-2 Size: Difficulty: Easy Download: http://electricgames.com/pc-games/s/pc-spacebastards.html
As I browsed a little known site that was chock full of even littler-known games (like the almighty Alien Phobia), one name caught my eye for its sheer originality: Space Bastards.
Cait Sith sez: Now THIS has potential!
Now, with a name like Space Bastards, I couldn't pass this chance up to download it (who wouldn't?), so, after ignoring the simple description of "Space Bastards is a small galaga-like game (with cool weapons).", it was in my WinZip folders faster than a Krabby trying to escape Professor Oak. But then, when I began to play Space Bastards, I thought to myself, "Hey, wait a minute...This is just Galaga with cool weapons!"
Gameplay--Just what I said before. Space Bastards plays exactly like the old retro favorite Galaga, with you, the one ship squadron at the bottom, firing missiles to and dodging shots from the endless waves of enemy ships, who move in a left to right pattern and aren't any different from one another in the least. You continue doing this for a little while until every now and then, a supply ship flies across the top of the screen. You can shoot that ship, causing it to drop a temporary weapon powerup. There's an abundant supply of weapons, including a fast spreadfire gun, a sort of pod that explodes on contact with enemies, causing a chain reaction (watch the fireworks go off after you fire them continuously!), a laser that can take out an entire column of enemies, and my personal favorite, the flamethrower (still the best weapon ever created!), which can defeat a wave in about three seconds flat. After the weapon wears off, you return to your spoony regular gun, and repeat the process. The best feature of the game comes in with the two player mode. Sure, another human player can join you in your quest for monotony, but the thing that surprised me the most (and you can call me friendless, anti-social, etc, even though I'm not) was that playing alongside the computer in the Two Player mode was more fun than playing with an actual human, due to the fact that the computer is incredibly good--better than I'll probably ever be. Or maybe my human partners just need to get a little better. Either way, it's still monotonous, but the computer makes it a little more worthwhile.
Graphics--Well, there's not much to talk about here. Space Bastards is a clone of Galaga, so that should give you a pretty good idea of what the overall game looks like. The graphics are a little bit improved, and have a few nice effects, like...uh...let's see...maybe the explosions....a couple of the other weapon powerups....that's about it, actually. The graphics aren't exactly jaw-dropping, but they'll do, and do look better than the original game. Anyway, SB isn't made to look well, no, good--it's made to play good, er, well.
Music--Did you say music? Oh, you did. Well, out of the four tracks, here's a quick analysis--
1. Opening screen/Main Menu--Nothing much to listen to. But hey, it's a menu screen.
2. "Aliens suck!" Screen--You'll be laughing so hard at the quote given to you (well, I was), you won't even notice that it sounds like one long electric guitar note.
3. In-Game Music--*shudders* Repetitive, repetitive, uh...repetitive! Either the track is 15 seconds long, or the composers used copying and pasting notes to an unhealthy extent. You'd better just turn your speakers off.
4. Game Over Music--You'll be hitting Enter to start a new game so fast, you won't even notice it. Or is that "You'll be slamming Esc so fast, you won't even notice it"? Either way, you won't notice this track.
The sound effects are pretty generic. There's the "Deeowp" of your gun, a "Kkkch" for each explosion, and an annoying, yet important "Buuuop! Buuuop! Buuuop!" of the approaching supply ship. There's more, but there not as fun to onimonopea-ize.
Control--Left! Right! Fire! That's it! Only the best part is...they're customizable! Well, bland and simple as they may be, the controls don't make you smash into incoming fire or self destruct, so I guess I don't have much to complain about.
Fun Factor--Playing alongside a deadly computer ally is fun for a while, but after about 231 waves of ships, you realize that it's just the same wave of enemies, only they fire more missles at you. Yawn. Still, the weapons make it interesting (and not as boring).
Overall Satisfaction--Space Bastards is such an excruciatingly mediocre game, you'll be wondering why you aren't firing up Alien Phobia or Netscape or Thatburglarthatjustwalkedintoyourhouse (scratch that last one) as you play it. It's a good try to revamp an old classic, and a couple features make it worthwhile, but the real killer is that it doesn't even have a high score list, which eliminates the ENTIRE point of the game! Why play Galaga clones if you can't compare your score to the insanely low or high pre-set scores in the game? Alien Phobia was pointless, yet fun. This is just pointless.