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Review: Star Ghost (Nintendo Switch)By Sasari At 09.02.2018 06:38

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Star Ghost is a very simple game. It's taking its cues from the classics of shoot 'em up history. There's no continues or campaign to pick what stage to continue from, just starting from the first stage in the first of 12 systems. No checkpoints, no multiple lives. Throw in another 20p and try to get to the end once again.

The simplicity is evidenced in the controls, as the entire game can be played by pressing a single button: A. Reminiscent of Flappy Bird, hitting this button will move the ship move up on the screen, and releasing makes it sink lower, in something more like a submarine-style control. The guns fire automatically, but they can be aimed somewhat with the analogue, although it's rarely worth doing. There's also a "Traction" level, which will drag the items the enemies drop toward the ship when the analogue is pulled back. On the odd occasion, big weapon power-ups can appear, too, like missiles and huge laser cannons.

Over the course of the 12 stages, the ship will have to shoot down various enemies, taking on space snakes, spaceships, asteroids, and more. Hitting enough without getting hit or flying into obstacles racks up a score multiplier - which is essential for hitting the top spot of the local leaderboards. Vanquished enemies also drop items, which can increase the ship's health, increase the fire rate and spread, and power up the traction strength. Each of these slowly gets used up, though, so keeping on top of the items floating through space is essential. Also essential is dodging the dangerous virus items some enemies' release, which can give negative debuffs, such as jamming the guns from firing for a set amount of time.

There's some replayability here as the stages change a little each time, and the leaderboards encourage revisiting different zones to try and do better, but due to the simplistic nature, some may find they get bored of it all rather easily. It's a shame this updated version is frankly lacking in any real updates. Online leaderboards, local or online co-op or extra modes would have been welcomed additions.

One of the biggest strengths of Star Ghost is the aesthetics. The simplistic, but vibrant, colours, combined with an absolutely superb soundtrack from ultra-talented David Wise, makes it a joy to return to, whether in handheld mode or on the big screen.

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Final Score
For the low cost of £7.99, this is a decent little addition to any Nintendo Switch owner's indie library, and perfect for a quick bash here and there. It captures the same simplistic addictiveness as [i]Flappy Bird[/i], but has the same flaws. It's repetitive and gets boring very quickly, so it's a real shame this new Nintendo Switch version of [i]Star Ghost[/i] couldn't offer up new features.



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