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Game Review #064: Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Frank W.

Developer: Dreamloop

Publisher: Aksys Games

Category: Action, Multiplayer, Shoot ‘Em Up

Release Date: 11.29.2018

Download Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax from the Nintendo eShop here.

Sometimes You’ve Gotta Take One For the Team…

Doing this whole reviewer gig, I’ve played games of a lot of varying quality. Sometimes I really have to push through a title I don't enjoy, but sometimes I will get a game, pop it open, and INSTANTLY feel the connection of, “Oh, this is gonna be good!” I booted up Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax, I was immediately met with bright graphics and a pumping techno soundtrack, and I was immediately hooked!

Stardust Galaxy Warriors is a horizontal shoot ‘em up game in which you play as one of the various members of the SGW (Stardust Galaxy Warriors… I’m done typing that out) that has multiple modes of play, features up to 4-player Co-op, and a HUGE amount of customizing that you can do. There are 5 different mechs that all have an active ability, which gives them a much clearer “role” than you would get from most shoot ‘em ups. I feel like this game’s strongest point is just the sheer amount of options you have, which really rams up the replay value. I never thought I would be playing a 4-player shoot ‘em up where I felt like we were filling out traditional RPG roles in our party, but here we are! Let's get a little more in depth on one of my favorite games I’ve reviewed thus far!

So Many Choices…

So, let’s just talk about the sheer amount of options that you have in this game. Your combat options include your primary shot, your secondary shot, your melee sword attack. Some mech suits’ special abilities allow you to attack, and some will allow you to defend. Then, to finish it off, every suit has a unique distortion function that can really turn the tide of the battle! From filling the screen with missiles, to freezing all enemies on the screen, or erasing the shots, choosing the correct time to use your distortion will serve you well. After you select your mech, it’s time to select your primary weapon from the 7 available selections.

Each primary weapon features different shot patterns to let you adapt to various situations, and some will synchronize with certain mech suits more than others, so experimenting is paramount. From laser shotguns, chain guns, and rapid-fire laser rifles, to wave emitters, and Flamethrowers, there are a TON of options. And even past there, there are 7 different secondary weapons to pick from as well featuring a similar variety of weapons. Combining all of these can bring you over 100 different combinations of load-outs, so you would almost never have to replay the same kind of character if you really didn’t want to! T

here really is a massive amount of customization, especially considering the main game modes also feature a HUGE upgrade system to further customize your mech to your liking!

Role-Playing and Special Moves

The co-op for this game is superb, and unlike any other shoot ‘em up I’ve played before. All of the active abilities for the mechs, combined with all the weapons, allow you to really dial in what your character is going to be doing. My favorite is the Blue Falcon, and his special move is the Photon Javelin, a move which helps him cement his role as almost “The leader”. The way it functions allows him to visually mark a target who will take increased damage from all sources. This, combined with his Falcon Barrage Distortion—a MASSIVE amount of missiles that attack the targets with the highest HP—allows him to command everyone on which targets to be focused, which is also a great way to clear the screen.

This is in comparison to a mech that fulfills the traditional tank role, Amber Fox. Its special move, Naked Singularity, allows it to attract and absorb nearby projectiles and use them to release an even more powerful projectile! Too much though, and it will overload, so you have to take care as to not take in too much. I found that this, combined with the upgrade system, made for a seriously memorable experience that offers a TON of awesome ways to play.

Diggin’ the Vibes

Also to note, is that the music is absolutely fantastic! From bright, vivid chiptunes, to techno with a never ending beat, I found myself constantly commenting on the music. It feels like I haven't done that in a while, so that was absolutely refreshing. This game features a Campaign mode, where you progress through all kinds of areas as you move your way through with the story beats. After every big boss, you get to go to the shop, as well to purchase upgrades to your stats. You can increase your damage, distortion charging speed, defense, and your power up range, as well as length at the base; but there are also some upgrades that function more like perks that grant a specific effect, like overcharging your shields, or increasing your damage the more time you wait between shots.

This is just another instance of the game catering to your play style, and I really love it for that. It gives me some UN Squadron vibes, which is one of my favorite shoot ‘em up games of all time! It also features a more traditional arcade mode, if you want to go about it that way, an arcade mode with the shop upgrades, and a challenge mode featuring more specific challenges to tackle!

Wrapping Up

All in all, Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax was an absolute joy to play, and I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it like I did! I can’t recommend this one enough, whether you are a seasoned vet of the genre—and yes, the game does get some bullet hell going on by the end, it's no Touhou, but it is a ton of fun! —or someone just looking to try something new, Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax is a safe bet, and a worthy addition to any Switch owner's library! I give Stardust Galaxy Warriors an out of this world 9/10!

This review is dedicated to Big Rock, RIP. If you play this, you will understand.

Final Score: 9/10

Download Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided By MMPR

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