Futuridium EP Deluxe

8 Overall Score
Gameplay: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 10/10

Fun space shooting & flying gameplay | Great old-school vector art style | Amazing soundtrack

Difficulty is high | Grinding to unlock continue credits | Having to fly through lots of nothingness after dying

Game Info

GAME NAME: Futuridium EP Deluxe

DEVELOPER(S): MixedBag Srl

PUBLISHER(S): MixedBag Srl

PLATFORM(S): Vita, PS4

GENRE(S): Shoot’em Up

RELEASE DATE(S): September 30, 2014

Shooting things while flying through space is always fun.  Because, come on you’re flying through friggin’ space shooting things!  But sometimes high difficulty levels or shaky controls can temper that fun.  Enter Futuridium EP Deluxe, a mobile game turned Vita & PS4 game from MixedBag Srl.

1

In Futuridium EP Deluxe, you are the pilot of a spaceship heading to a large space battle, when suddenly you get sucked into a dimensional loop.  Low on energy, your only way out is to blast energy cubes to stay alive as you make your way across various ships.  Your main goal in each level is to shoot all the floating blue cubes, which then produces a white cube that you need to destroy in order to move onto the next level. There are a total of five zones to go through, with each zone containing 10 levels, plus a bonus board in the middle.  Things start off easy enough, with only the floating terrain around to do you in, but eventually various kinds of enemies start showing up that you can fly around or blast to bits.  If you crash, you get a chance to give it another go with a reduced energy meter, but once that meter is gone, it’s game over.  Thankfully, the more energy cubes you blast, the more credits you can earn to continue your game, up to a max of 10.  My first round didn’t last terribly long as I learned the ropes, but once I started getting the hang of it, things turned fun fast.

The game plays and controls (and even looks) a lot like classic Star Fox.  I was having issues aiming my lasers at first, but eventually learned the placement.  Though I still struggle knowing what I’m going to hit while banking.  One of the big gameplay features is the ability to turn 180 degrees with the press of a button.  You’ll make use of this feature right from the first board and the mastering of it is imperative to maintain your long cube destroying chains.  Flying controls pretty tightly, with slow banking and quick enough climbing.  Everything felt as natural as it can for futuristic spacecraft that we know nothing about.  Some of the enemies can feel cheap (I’m looking at you red homing balloon things), but for the most part they are easily avoidable by boosting away or easily destroyed.  Some of my biggest pain points were shooting cubes on moving trains and in between pillars of a giant monolith city.  The former because I’m an impatient bastard, the latter because I clearly would be a terrible Death Star trench run rebel pilot.  Once you get to the end of a zone, you get to face off against a boss.  These battles can range to navigating through a giant thing to destroy all the strategically placed energy cubes, or simply a straight up bullet sponge.  It is satisfying to beat them either way, and I let out a long held sigh of relief each time.

3

This game starts out pretty hard, and then stays pretty hard.  It’s a little easier to make your way through a zone once you have a good stockpile of credits available, but it is a little bit of a grind to get to that point.  But as you get to zones four & five, you’ll be using every single one to finish.  One of my most frustrating points was when I would die on a level that stretches out far into space, only to be brought right back to the very beginning of the level.  Since all the cubes & enemies you destroy stay destroyed, that meant I had to fly through a good 10-20 seconds of nothingness to get back to where I died, and that is with holding down the boost button.  I’m all for having to replay a level if you die, but the long flights through dead space kill any momentum you might have.  Add the fact that your energy meter gets cut when you get placed back, and you get more frustrating deaths that can induce some mild language when you can’t make it back to your spot and have to use a credit.  I was felt encouraged by improving skills the more I played though.  So while there is a steep learning curve, at least it is a curve and not a rock wall.  What does seem like an impossible task however, are the medal requirements for each level.  Each level offers up three medals: one for completing it without dying; one for finishing it in the insane time limit; one for hitting the block shooting chain threshold.  In all my time with the game, I’ve yet to hit any of the time marks, and only a couple of the chains.  I’m sure a more skilled gamer will not find some of the earlier ones as difficult, but I’ve given up hope that they will go around my neck.  In addition to the regular Deluxe play mode, you can also unlock other modes, such as Classic (energy doesn’t refill after each level), Demo levels, and a Flappy Bird tribute/clone that I spent way too much time in.

As I mentioned earlier, the visuals will remind a lot of people of Star Fox with the minimalist vector backdrops.  I personally love the style and don’t think the game could have been as charming using so-called “modern graphics.”  The level overlays start out with some nice green/purple hues, but while you are unlocking credits, you are also unlocking skins that can be applied at a moments notice.  There are a large variety of options, and they get randomly applied as you start a level, which can make each run feel just a little bit different, so it’s appreciated.  Only a handful of times did I misjudge an obstacle and crash into it, but you can adjust the view of your ship to help alleviate some of that.  And while the visuals are a nice throwback, the soundtrack is a fantastical trip to a future time of delicious industrial beats and electronical happiness.  You get 17 unique songs and they all fit perfectly.  As with the graphical skins, you can switch songs at the touch of a button mid-level.  A couple definitely stood out to me, but they’re all very enjoyable.

6

THE RECOMMENDATION

I was not enjoying Futuridium EP Deluxe at first, but the more time I spent with it, the more I came to like it.  Make no mistake, this is a hard game with more than a few frustrating bits.  But it also carries a high feeling of satisfaction upon completion of a section.  It’s not something to play in large chunks, but great if you need to knock out a quick half-hour or so game session.  All in all, combined with the great art style and bumpin soundtrack, this is a pretty fun way to get your space shooting on.

 

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Futuridium EP Deluxe Vita
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

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Author: Shaun Zimmerman View all posts by
Still waiting for the Commodore 128... Find me on Twitter @Zimm108