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Review: Big Sky InfinityPSN Vita PS3 Boss Baddie Ripstone shooter arcade
Developer: Boss Baddie
Platform: PSN: PS3, Vita
Release Date: December 11, 2012
A download code was supplied by the publisher for this review
What is Big Sky Infinity? Have you ever heard of a game by the name of Really Big Sky? It launched in 2011 for PC, and was actually a sequel to Big Sky of 2010. So how does Big Sky Infinity factor into all this? It’s the next progression in the world of the game for developer Boss Baddie. It also happens to be available on a new platform. Instead of PC, PSN players will get their chance at it.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the actual game itself. It is a twin stick shooter which is quite at home on consoles as well as the Vita (thank goodness it has two analog sticks). You control a very small spaceship trekking across the universe, shooting at everything in its path. If you’re at all familiar with these games then you know that one stick handles shooting while the other handles movement.
Basically, your goal is to rack up as many points as possible. There are varying modes of the game but the main draw is to simply outlast other attempts. Depending on the mode you select, how you manage powerups is different as well. With Classic mode, for example, you are able to level up your ship after every round. There are a great deal of ways to increase the power of your ship, from increased ship speed to more powerful lasers. On the other hand, other modes will allow you to select anywhere from one to a few leveled up goodies to start with. In Arcade mode specifically, you gain powerups through orbs, a trait that is more typical of side-scrolling shooters.
There are twelve different gameplay modes and at least one should suit every player type. There are extremely difficult modes, a peaceful mode, and even boss rush. All the various modes (except for one) require unlocking, but for the most part there should be no trouble doing so. They basically require that you play the preceding mode a little bit before being ready to take on the next challenge. There is also a multiplayer mode which is different depending on where you’re playing. On PS3, it allows for simultaneous multiplayer while on Vita only you will be shown on screen.
As you now know, the game makes use of an upgrade or power-up system depending on the mode. How are upgrades handled? During play, destroying enemies nets you glowing things called “starbits”. These starbits are used as currency and will be what you use to upgrade the various ship components. Although at first it may seem easy to keep on upgrading, you’ll soon find it becomes a lot tougher. About a fourth of the way through an upgrade, the prices become much steeper. In a sense, leveling starts to begin to feel like its own game within the game.
Big Sky Infinity is fun enough just by playing it, but leveling up certainly adds to it. What helps make the game so entertaining is the fact that levels are randomly generated. You’re never going to see the same game twice and it’s quite exciting. Unfortunately, there are only so many types of enemies, bosses, and hazards, but that’s to be expected. For the low price of this PSN download, though, it is very well executed. It generates levels in such a way that you’re never going to be left feeling like one is broken. Similarly, if the game senses you are doing well, it will increase difficulty accordingly.
Then there are a few touches that make the game seem cuter. There is a narrator who spouts off lines that fit the situation from time to time. After a while, you hear pretty much everything he can say, but before that it is pretty funny. He offers to buy you chips or even admits that he likes you a little bit. His words are often synched to when a group of enemies appear or you defeat a boss. The music also helps set the mood for a nice shooter. It is electronic, but free of dubstep.
The game is quite simple despite the various modes. At the end of the day, all you’re really doing is leveling up and trying to climb a scoreboard. It’s certainly well done and fun, but probably best in smaller doses. Also, for the simplicity of the game, it is recommended to just play via Vita if possible. That is really where the game seems to fit best. Big Sky Infinity’s strength is in how it manages to capture the aesthetic of arcade shooters. If those are the kind of games you enjoy then this should be on your radar.
+ Multitude of upgradable items which don’t max out quickly
+ Wealth of game modes to suit most players
+ Randomly generated levels keep play fresh
- Not huge variety of enemy or boss types
- Narrator was a nice idea but is too limited
- Beyond leveling up, there is little else to compel players
Overall Score: 7 (out of 10)
Big Sky Infinity excels in creating a modern arcade game that is both simple and addicting.
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