Switch version tested
Review code provided
You’re the Federation’s last hope… or probably hired on to be that last hope and Mercs don’t come cheap. Then again, it’s hard to a price on this sort of thing, but John *bleep*(yes, that’s how they introduce him) now can. This Horizon is clearly not for the faint of heart nor involves islands or turnips. Armed with an AI-infused ship, a motley cast, and some grunts of emotion through debris kicking, John must face the elements of cargo ships, hibernation, and possibly a bunch of lives to live. What’s really going on is up to John *bleep* to solve. Dodge, duck, and weave through the ever-changing landscapes of space with rescue missions, protect missions, and the like within the realms of the Federation V. Rebel war.
Star Horizon has now launched onto the Nintendo Switch, and over half a decade on mobile, we’re getting to see it spread wings on a platform that birthed its possible inspiration. Before we barrel roll over to what that could possibly entail, we won’t and we’ll come to the assessment of a pretty cool rail shooter so far that stood on its own. Translating gestures to buttons is a serious task, and Star Horizon does this smoothly. The HUD itself is simple yet quite clean. The ship’s key weapons resemble a bit of Panzer Dragoon, with a scarier one-shot kill weapon to be used later on. John can upgrade his craft to be better at his craft as he becomes an ace starfighter.
The game does present the choice effect paradigm. John makes decisions that will boon or hinder his progress. Something on the lines of Mass Effect, but it feels more attuned to the current level more than not. Save your crew, or take out a generator. John’s reaction to these are voiced out with actors and a few B lines to boot. Add a couple of pop references to other famous space warfare games and there you go. In the first few missions, you’ll see one for those X-Wing enthusiasts.
Star Horizon bumps along its course with few issues to stop it from hitting lightspeed. For instance, it’s a mobile game first, whereas even lowering the difficulty won’t suppress the constant barrages of missile silos, lasers, and other objects that stand in its way. It’s as if it’s ignored several times as difficulty spikes are much. The graphics are slightly better than its original run. It could tire a bit after some runs, yet at times, the aim could be better with its constant moves. I’d shoot a turret, but I would probably be jettisoned before I destroyed it fully or even enemies. It does add a bit of insult to injury for the translation.
Space Horizon has seen the light of day on Switch, before Star Fox did by himself, in terms of the on-rail-shooter. While it didn’t beat out Panzer Dragoon, what can be borrowed does look more techno dazzling than ever. While the fun of this one is limited to everything but imagination, Star Horizon does poke fun at itself from time to time and pays homage to more than just its forefathers. Yet, in turn, its difficulty spikes lead to questionable results alongside its story-altering decision spices. In the end, Star Horizon’s update port stands out from the rest who love a good, yet short, whisk to the yesteryears of controlled space dog-fighting.
TBG Score: 6/10
Platform: PC, Nintendo, Mobile
Release Date: 14/05/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Shooter, Action, Simulation
Developer: No Gravity Games
Publisher: No Gravity Games
Download link: eShop