Vulture Strike Review
The battle for the skies is waged on two fronts in the dimension hopping shoot-em-up Vulture Strike. Unfortunately, what could have been a cool concept is completely and utterly squandered in this title.
Vulture Strike Review
At first glance, the horizontal shoot-em-up antics of this title seem like nothing out of the ordinary. Players must shoot anything and everything in their way, taking down a boss at the end and trying not to blow up in one hit. However, there are two parallel timelines in play in Vulture Strike, which can be freely swapped at the press of a button via its wormhole mechanic. A barrage of enemy fire may be coming at you in one dimension, but switching to the other one will put you in the free and clear.
That’s how it should have been, at least. Unfortunately, not much care went into the enemy and bullet patterns of the game. Solid shmups will have a method to the madness, a way to carefully navigate each stage and come out with the highest score possible. Vulture Strike, on the other hand, throws enemies at the player at all directions, and does so on two timelines. Even on the Normal difficulty setting, there would be at least 60 bullets on the screen at any given time, along with enemies that are just taking up real estate. The hitbox for your ship is large and hard to judge, making it a royal pain to make it out in one piece. Players are supposed to switch to the alternate dimension to avoid this danger, but avoiding cheap design on two fronts is a recipe for disaster.
This is exacerbated by the multiplier mechanic. Players can rack up a high score with it, but it is hard to build any momentum when switching from one area to the next. Things are somewhat alleviated with the Frenzy gauge, which can be used to shoot a powerful blast, but enemies are damage sponges that take a while to vanquish. If bosses are not taken down in time (including one that has a boss on each parallel world), the player loses a life, which feels unfair. There are even enemy “shields” that block other enemies. It quickly gets annoying to hold down the fire button; you might as well tape it down to stand a chance.
Players who lose all of their lives can get the choice to restart each stage from the beginning. Even though some stages are far longer than others, the five levels can be completed in a few hours with the use of gratuitous continues. It’s not like there’s much to see though – the lack of detail on the canyons, water, and enemies make it seem like they were finalized from the early concept stage.
To top it all off, the game has a nasty habit of crashing. One particular crash forced us to do a hard reset of our computer, forcing us to lose all of our progress.
Vulture Strike has an interesting concept with its parallel worlds, but its execution is downright sloppy. The lackluster presentation and lack of care that went into its design make it a huge disappointment.