Fatal Stormer Review
Most shmups have the same kill or be killed objective, with the difference between a good and bad one lying in the details. Square Gem Software’s Fatal Stormer forgot to include these details along the way, leading to a drab, dull mess.
Fatal Stormer Review
Fatal Stormer follows a similar structure to what players have come to expect in the genre. Set in a horizontal, scrolling style, players must shoot down waves of enemies and the bosses that lie at the end of each area. In addition to a main firing button, there is a customizable special attack with a cooldown.
Most levels don’t do anything out of the ordinary, taking place in such locales as outer space, jungles, underground, or even in the ocean. The opportunity to have some fun with the enemy types was most certainly there, but most of the baddies players will come across are nondescript robots and circular orbs. Even bosses don’t have much imagination put into them, with such names as “Double Gun” and “Lava Man.”
Each of these levels wasn’t designed with much care either. There are a lot of enemies, asteroids, and other factors, sure, but the detailed level designs found in shmups like Gradius, R-Type, or even Super Hydorah just isn’t there. As a result, the overly long stages quickly wear out their welcome. This is one long game by shmup standards, but its length feels more like padding than anything else.
Though we played on the Casual difficulty setting (as opposed to Normal and Hard), we encountered some serious challenge in the game. The game loves to throw a lot of bullets your way, and swarms of enemies do not give players much of a fighting chance. The wonky hitbox makes things that much more difficult to judge as well. Things are somewhat alleviated with a shield, a health bar, and checkpoints, but these feel more like a band-aid on a festering open wound.
Rather, the biggest draw that Fatal Stormer has is in the upgrades players can make to their ship. Credits dropped by enemies can be used to customize six different areas, things that adjust your firing rate, among other factors. Players can also tweak drones that follow players around. In short, there is no shortage of things for players to tweak – for a price.
Fatal Stormer doesn’t do enough to stand out from the throngs of other shmups on the Steam marketplace today. Though the customization features are welcome, the core gameplay gets repetitive far too fast.