Entwickler X brings us M.A.C.E. Space Shooter, a 2D top-down shooter that offers somewhat long sessions to the pick-up-and-play genre. It initially intrigued me simply because it was another SHMUP on the eShop. The screenshots weren’t too much to get excited for but I am always ready for another shoot ’em up. Are there any other genre synonyms? Let’s find out.
Check the settings to turn the retro filter on to give the game a more interesting and familiar feel for SNES and Genesis fans. There are easy, normal and hard difficulty settings. Once you complete a level they can be accessed to play at any time.
The levels are just too damn long to keep anyone interested in the game. At all. The enemies don’t differ, the order of levels is the same. Enemies, asteroids, enemies, asteroids, mini-boss/boss. Repeat. I feel no sense of progression even when collecting upgrades. They come from random defeated enemies and are offered in 1 or 3 bundles. If you find a bundle of three, you choose one and proceed. If you pick up a weapon that is different from your main, you can alter between them with the L/R buttons.
I think the music really got annoying while swaying through the endless levels. Enemy explosions sound like fireworks. A woman’s voice calls out the pickups you obtain. I can’t stress how repetitive this game is, which leans on the long levels and boring nature.
I’m glad I played this game because it taught me an aspect about shmups that I didn’t know was so important because other games don’t lack it – fast bullets. Bullets emerge from your ship at the speed of sea turtles hatching. Preemptive shooting is required so just hold down the fire button the entire length of play. Maybe this game is more suited for mobile.
Once the gun upgrade is found, then the companion upgrade, you can just mow down all enemies that dare cross your path. At the end of each level it says the number of secrets found over the amount available. I think this is gun upgrades and health found. Health and points are found on the top of the screen. I couldn’t pay attention to either while playing at all.
I’m struggling to find the positives about this game, even the boss battles aren’t interesting. The differences between difficulty modes is very noticeable but I would not be impressed with someone playing on hard mode. The one good part about this game is ship manoeuvrability but that is overshadowed by the dirt slow gunshot. It’s bad. I paused and accidentally restarted the level.
I’m sorry to say but save your fiver for a shit pizza and pass on this game. Port it to mobile if it’s not already there and leave it. This game is dust and I’m sad that it’s so bad. There is a lot of potential and more ways to improve this game than I can count. This sounds like a review from theJohn. Carry on.
Beard Score: 1/10
Platform: Steam, Mobile, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 15/11/18 (Switch)
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Action, Shooter