Super Destronaut DX (PS4, PS Vita) Review

Super Destronaut DX is a throwback to the 80’s classic Space invaders, only with gameplay revolving around completing challenges and a much faster pace gameplay style. It’s yet another cross-buy title between both PS4 and the PS Vita from Ratalaika Games, giving us a total of two platinum trophies for a very low price. Developer Petite Games have created a game to pull on our nostalgia strings, but is there enough content to keep you entertained?

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A Throwback to Space Invaders.

First things first, if you’re only looking at this game as yet another easy double platinum from Ratalaika Games then you’ve come to the right place. If you focus purely on the trophy aspects only then you’ll most likely hit the platinum without around about 30-60 minutes of gameplay. If you actually want to complete the game and enjoy everything it has to offer you (which isn’t required for the trophies), then there is quite a bit of content provided within the game. 

Super Destronaut DX has five modes in total, including a local multiplayer mode, all of which offer similar gameplay to one another but with a few small changes. There is also an online leaderboard – which appears to be populated by people with incredibly high scores! Seriously, the top person has almost four million points in the classic mode yet I’ve only managed to amass 300k. Similarly, the Time Attack mode has a leader with over a million points whereas I stand at 28k! I’m clearly not very good at this game in comparison to some of the other people out there.

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I love the visuals when you destroy a ship – it may be a bit much for sufferers of epilepsy though.

What is Super Destronaut DX???
Super Destronaut DX is akin to Space Invaders but in much shorter bursts. Each ‘stage’ consists of what appears to be a randomly generated layout of various enemy spaceships which move from side to side (they move to one side, bounce on the edge and proceed to move the other way after moving down a little). Your task, as a small spaceship on the bottom of the screen, is to move from left to right and take out all of these enemy ships without succumbing to the missiles and bombs they throw at you. Some of the scenes have a ‘boss’ which is presented as a red ship in the middle at the top which has more health than the other ships. Once you defeat this ship you’re given a weapon upgrade – this helps you wipe out all of the remaining ships within seconds. You will also constantly increase your kill multiplier as you slaughter the ships – well… until you die that it.

That’s basically the mechanics of every mode and stage within Super Destronaut DX but some modes, like the Challenges, do offer various goals for you to work towards which makes it more ‘challenging’ to complete. One of the cool features I really liked with regards to the art style of the game is the chromatic aberration which is present on the screens and upon every enemy kill. It makes the game look like you’re having a mini rave party with yourself when you’re playing it late at night on your TV or PS Vita in the dark!  The game also allows you to turn that off if you find it’s making you dizzy, or if you’re sensitive/suffer from epilepsy. 

So, what are these five elusive modes I mentioned?!

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The various modes and options.

Challenges:
This is the mode I played for about an hour as I thought the trophies would have revolved around completing all of the challenges, but it doesn’t. See what I mean about it being a short game if you only concentrate on the trophy specific tasks… You have 30 challenges set before you within this mode which range from the simple (Get 10k points in classic mode) all the way up to the insane (Hit a ‘Grey One’ 50 times in 60 seconds in Hard Mode). The Grey Ones are basically dead ships which sometimes fall out of the sky – they will kill you if they touch you so you have to quickly shoot them as they fall. 

I really enjoyed this mode as it not only offers a real challenge and ramps up the difficulty at the perfect pace, but it also gives you a great introduction to the game and practically teaches you how to play as you go through the various challenges set before you. Each challenge will last a few minutes and you’ll most likely be repeating some of them over and over again, which is why the super-fast restart option is a godsend!

Classic Mode:
This mode is basically Super Destronaut DX‘s version of Space invaders. The enemy positions are random and you only have one goal – stay alive as long as you can as you plough through the infinite amount of scenes. Just like I explained before, you have ‘boss’ ships which offer you weapon upgrades and you also get an ever-increasing multiplier (as long as you don’t die). You’re also granted three lives in this mode.

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It’s not hard to achieve the trophy target in any of the modes tbh.

Time Attack:
I’m pretty sure you can guess what this mode is! You’re given a time of 90 seconds and unlimited lives as you try and see how many points you can get before the timer hits zero. The trophy relating to this mode is laughably easy as you only need to obtain 10k within this mode. 10k can be obtained within around 10-20 seconds if you get a good first few scenes with bosses so you can upgrade your weapons and wipe out everyone else. Once completed, the score is uploaded and put against the other players around the world although I doubt anyone will top the people who are currently on there. 

Hardcore:
This is yet another really ‘easy to obtain trophy’ mode which I don’t think many people will play once they obtain it. You only have to get 1k in points with the only disadvantage being that you only have one life as opposed to three. Other than that, it’s the same game. I found it a little challenging as I think the ships may have been ramped up in difficulty, but that could just be my perception as I knew I was playing a ‘Hardcore’ mode. Either way, it’s a good challenging mode but the trophy requirement was way too low. 

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It’s rather addictive! Fun in multiplayer too!

Multiplayer:
Okay, this mode confused me at first as the game would just beep on me everytime I selected it. I honestly thought the multiplayer aspect was missing or it just wasn’t working for me. However, I found out that because it’s a local multiplayer, you need to have two accounts logged in before you can select the option to play in multiplayer. Once in the mode, you both take control of a ship and it’s basically the Time Attack mode. You have a set amount of time and it’s a race to see who can get the most points by defeating the same set of enemies. As such, being the one who gets the weapon powerup basically determine the winner as you can plough through everyone whilst leaving no enemies for the other person to defeat. It’s a fun mode but I feel it would have been better if it was a split screen mode with two sets of the same enemies so the unfair advantage was eliminated.

So, in terms of modes, that’s your lot. You can also take a look at your statistics which lists how many enemies you have killed, how many waves you have survived, etc… but that’s all the gameplay content in Super Destronaut DX. Graphically I really enjoyed the game, it clearly is a throwback to Space Invaders and it even has a rather delightful chiptune soundtrack and 8-bit sound effects within the game. If this game was £8+ I would have said that there isn’t enough content to justify the price as you can effectively complete all the trophies in less than 30 minutes if you’re focused enough. However, at £3.99 for both the PS4 and PS Vita version then sure, it’s a fun game to play, it’s quite addictive and you get two platinums for around two quid a plat. 

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
Super Destronaut DX is a nice modern take on the 80’s classic Space Invaders. The game focuses on quick, fast-paced scenes as you slaughter the enemy ships with your standard gun or one of the various upgrades which drop when you defeat a boss ship. The challenges will keep you entertained the longest, with their ever-increasing difficulty and challenge. The other modes will also offer you a decent amount of enjoyment as well, unless if you’re simply looking at trophy hunting. If you are, Super Destronaut DX can be platinumed within around 30-60 minutes and you get both the PS4 and PS Vita versions for the same low price. 

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A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Super Destronaut DX

£3.99
7

Final Score

7.0/10

The Good:

  • Great visual effects with lots of flashes and screen shake (which can all be turned off)
  • Funky sounding chip-tune soundtrack
  • If going for 100% then the challenges go get really challenging
  • Local multiplayer for quick-fire two player action
  • Cross-buy - get both PS4 and PS Vita version for the same price

The Bad:

  • The content is a little thin on variety and clearly different modes
  • The trophy requirements are really low - so you may be done with the game quite soon if that's all you want
  • The multiplayer is a little unfair as the one who gets the powerup is going to win

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