In Space, no one can hear you scream.
Well, not in this dimension, but maybe in a couple or two of Massive Damage’s Star Renegades. Renegades is probably the second Massive Damage title I’ve invested attention to since the Please Stay Calm successor. It’s definitely a break from the mobile games I was used to. Pixelated palettes are refreshing and a part of the throwback charm. Playing it on Nintendo Switch usually gets the sitdown needed to topple another adventure.
On the field, your three-man party is brought to life through the eyes of a robot, teleporting them to another point in time. The field has exploration points taken over by enemies. The intrigue starts at the fact that no story or lifetime as they call it, is alike. Maps will change. This isn’t predetermined and set completely. Your starting roster is not, either. Start with the bishop-esque android, scoundrel two-piece shooter, and warrior mech. Or not after your brush with death has been fulfilled.
Resist. Survive. Reclaim
Enemies, after they are beaten, go to the Adversary system. Similar to Mordor, the system also levels up bad guys after a defeat and demotes/kills them in their own quest for domination. On the good guy end, it’s rinse and repeat after a death has occurred. Hire some new crew members and stop the evil in another timeline. Additional stats can be added after gaining them. Enemies even say some fun things, during turns, or defeats, so that’s a cool asteroid chunk. Camping helps with bonuses and relationship building, which happens during the day cycle of the game. Though the best place to discuss matters of the mission goals, the charge is only brought here for friends attempts.
As someone who admired the creativity and uniqueness of the Grandia II title, Renegades brought it back with some changes and force. Fights happen on a line in terms of timing. Your characters can see exactly which move cancels out which or gets priority. We got bosses, also. I felt as though I had a lot of fair fights, but at times, scratched my head over some stunts pulled when I figured I’d have better advantages. I did hold a few puzzling looks if I didn’t take in several factors. It felt like a callback to see this sort of system brought in.
Some kinks in the starship that Renegades rode on, though. Personally, I found it hard to be invested in the story because I wasn’t thrown into the narrative as much as the game attempted to tell. Though the missions were generated on the fly, I would have loved a bit more beans to spill on this end. While the camp would be where I’d look first, I have yet to see this in its’ fullness. Running into the same foes takes a bit of time to see what new tricks they possess for the party.
Star Renegades had me reminisce about some of the things I took away from portable RPGs of generations past. The title brings back a classic and underused take on the traditional turn-based. Keeping to a pixelated feel is vibrant in its’ mould, yet Star Renegades’ main issue lies with its legendary investment to continue the journey after several impending Edge Of Tomorrow runs.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 19/11/2020
No. of Players: 1
Category: Puzzle, RPG
Developer: Massive Damage
Publisher: Raw Fury
Download link: US eShop / UK eShop