Title: Starr Mazer: DSP
Genre: Action, Indie, Early Access
Developer: Imagos Softworks , Pixeljam
Publisher: AGM PLAYISM
Release Date: 26 Aug, 2016
Click here for screenshots
Click here for the extended review
Starr Mazer DSP, Controversially good!
The likely hood is you’ve heard a lot already about this game, but my guess is that you haven’t really heard about how it plays. So lets take a moment to ignore the controversy and just talk about the game it’s self.
Starr Mazer DSP was recently described to me as a rogue-like, bullet hell, shooter! In my youth we called these sort of games arcade shoot-em ups, I liked my way better! Its an off shoot of the soon to be released Starr Mazer which in my opinion helps to complicate matters, why the developer didn’t call it DSP: A Starr Mazer Story is beyond me.
The game sports a retro aesthetic which at times looks as if a rainbow sneezed on the screen, but it works and I like it. Character and enemy designs are unique enough to maintain your attention, as are the effects there weapons produce. There is a little bit of pallet swapping going on, but rarely is it even noticeable in the chaos of battle.
Kill them all. . .
The gameplay is as manic as you might expect from a Shoot-em up based on those 90’s classics we all fondly remember, you’re not looking to complete the game here, instead you’re hunting those high scores. If you do well you will be rewarded too, as in DSP when you die you can use your score to buy more pilots. The higher your score, the better the pilots you can afford. Or you could buy the lesser pilots but head back into the game this time sporting 12 pilots instead of the standard 3. This isn’t a bad tactic as you will die a lot playing DSP, you’ll get the chance to try lots of pilots.
There are a lot of options available to you as each pilot has their own weapon and ship setup, their own stats with strengths and weaknesses. Each pilot has a standard and secondary attack, as you progress you can power up their main attack by filling a power bar with pickups from fallen enemies. This bar also depletes when using your secondary attack, so its a bit of a balancing act.
Unfortunately the game offers no check points, you’ll be starting fresh every-time you die. That’s really my first major criticism of DSP, my second being that some standard and secondary attacks for pilots are virtually useless. In time you will learn to avoid these pilots, but it can be a painful process learning.
DJ play that song. . .
The last aspect of the game I really want to talk about is the music and sound effects. When talking about those you must understand this game had a completely new score added that the developer has said is temporary until something more fitting is found. All the same I would say this is one of DSP’s strongest areas. It really pulls you into the moment and you feel the urgency of that moment, I would advise the developer to leave this area of the game well alone.
Starr Mazer DSP is an adrenaline fuelled romp that harks back to a 16bit era, while it might not satisfy those who favour strategy over reflexes, the R-type/Ikaruga fans out there will be thrilled with DSP. It goes a long way to scratching that itch you might have been having.
Performance. . .
I’ve encountered no issues what so ever with Starr Mazer DSP, that combined with its genuinely fun gameplay means I’ll be including it in the “Gaming Hall OF Fame”
Click here for bugs and fixes
Currently we don’t have any bugs reported for this game. If you experience any please report them to us.