Review – Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax is an old school shoot ’em up that originally released on PC back in 2015 and just came to Nintendo Switch. Set in the year 2087, you play as a police force whose job is to restore peace across the universe. The story is presented as dialogue that appears before each stage. It’s utter nonsense and doesn’t take itself too seriously, so there’s fun to be had with it.
The visuals are rather simple and that’s fine for the basic needs of the game. Everything looks clean and clear; it’s always obvious what’s happening. Character models look pretty basic and enemy design isn’t anything special. There’s never anything going on in the backdrops, which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. Nothing stellar to see here, but nothing bad either. The sound design however, is top notch. The soundtrack pushes the action along nicely. Explosions and gunfire also sound really satisfying.
Gameplay is fast and responsive as you would expect from any good game from the genre. As you move across the screen you will have to avoid a huge amount of bullets and environmental hazards whilst destroying everything in front of you to get a high score. It’s loads of chaotic fun.
Split across three stages, each level is short and sweet. Checkpoints are generously placed at the start of each stage and boss fight so you don’t lose too much progress if you do die. Each level gets progressively harder and the difficulty curve is quite nice, starting out simply then descending into precision movement to avoid damage. Alongside the normal difficulty, which I spent much of my game time on, there is a huge amount of flexibility to the difficulty. There are twelve presets and within these you can tweak everything from damage to health and even bullet speed. The high amount of customization makes this one of the most accessible shoot ’em ups in recent memory.
Usually each level has two boss fights, one at the end of stage two and another at the end of stage three. These are fun to engage in and use the mechanics introduced in that level to great effect. Though they are challenging and highly entertaining, the final boss does have a bit of a severe difficulty spike, but it can be vanquished.
There are five characters to choose from; they all play identically which is a shame since there is potential for them to have different stats such as speed or health. What separates them is the special abilities they have ranging from a rocket barrage, to defensive mechanisms such as shields, and an ability to destroy all projectiles around you. There’s also a strong variety of weapons, but with the exception of a couple they all feel very similar to one another. It’s just a matter of preference.
Stardust Galaxy has a wealth of content, with ten unique levels that each have their own gimmicks and enemies that keep variety high. Alongside the campaign there is a decent amount of challenge modes to keep you busy for a few hours. Local multiplayer for up to four players is offered here and should provide some good laughs.
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax from Dreamloop Games offers a good value with strong combat and a nice gameplay variety. If you’re a fan of basic shoot ’em up games, then this one might be worth your time.
Nothing amazing to look at, but nothing too ugly either. Passable in the most mediocre sense.
Good shoot ’em up fun that transitions over to the Switch nicely.
Stellar soundtrack and satisfactory sound effects.
Fun Factor: 8.5
Tons of content for a reasonable price. Plus a lot of mindless fun with utter annihilation of everything around you and challenging bosses.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax is available now on Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
A copy of Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax was provided by the publisher.