XBLIG Review: Hypership Still out of Control

Oh no!  Your space ship’s brakes have failed (still) and there is apparently no other way to offer counter resistance (still) so as a result you will only continue to build speed (still) until you meet an object that can slow you down (i.e. kill you).  Also, there are space god coins to collect and obstacles like asteroids and big blocks to avoid.  Race through ten waves of peril in an attempt to achieve a high score that you can hold over your friends, or your dog if you have no friends, but your dog probably isn’t very good at the game so it is a hollow victory.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCCt3xndAlY

For those unfamiliar with the original Hypership Out of Control (of which this game is a sequel to, of sorts), it is a top down arcade style space shooter.  Like most top down shooters, the point is… well, points.  Rack up as high of a score as you can while the difficulty and speed ramp up.  You can fire lasers, which are able to destroy certain objects (asteroids, spinning space spike wheel things), and there are a fair amount of power-ups as well.  As you progress you go faster and faster making the objective of avoiding all the obstacles increasingly harder (partly cause there is more to avoid, partly cause of the whole speed thing).  In addition to receiving points from blowing stuff up, you also (in fact mostly) get points from collecting coins along the way.  Here is another set of parentheses (just for the hell of it).

The womb power-up, I mean shield.

The aforementioned power-ups come in various forms.  Pretty much everything you would expect to find is here, shields, a laser upgrade, star power (limited invincibility), bombs which clear screens as well as slow downs and speed-ups.   Power-ups are plentiful but often difficult to grab at high speed. One very nice touch is that any timed power-up makes a distinct sound as it is running out, meaning you won’t accidentally run into an asteroid thinking you still have star power.  They all lend well to the gameplay and really work to make the game better.

This is what space looks like.

Overall in terms of gameplay things work as you would expect from a top down shooter.  Things are a little sensitive, in that you often fly into something you really genuinely didn’t think you would, but you moved far more than you expected.  Other times they seemed not sensitive enough as I attempted to maneuver through some tight areas (that’s what she said?).  Ultimately though, point left and you go left. Can’t ask much more than that.  One thing that was interesting though is that I consistently forgot that I could move forward and backwards as well.  I mean, I knew that I was able to but I just kept forgetting to actually use those directions when flying around.  Not sure what that says about the game, but it is somewhat interesting.  The game’s 4 modes offer a fairly difficult challenge as well, as I never made it past wave 7 (of 10) in the game’s normal mode. Additionally, up to 4 players can play the game at the same time (locally).

Speed limit? Really more like speed guideline.

The décor is all retro, like most of Fun Infused games.  From the audio to the graphics, the game mostly looks like an updated version of a late 80’s, early 90’s arcade game.  The soundtrack is perfect for the game, and the menu track in particular is very catchy.  Graphics mark the biggest (by that I mean most likely to be noticed) improvement over the original Hypership out of Control, as a lot more detail has been added to the various objects in space.  Asteroids are no longer just flat brown circles, instead they actually have craters and other details on them giving them a much more realistic look with more depth to them.

Space spike wheel things in action!

As hinted at a few sentences ago, there isn’t a drastic difference between Hypership out of Control and Hypership Still out of Control outside of the graphics.  The soundtrack, the interface, hell even the box art are remarkably similar.  Hypership Still out of Control is less of a sequel and more an example of a small time developer going back to an earlier concept and updating it with their improved skills and ability. While new fans should certainly opt for the newer version of the game, it is improved over the original after all, Fun Infused hasn’t really offered much in the way of incentive to purchase the game if you already owned the original.  There is a whole brand new wave, and it isn’t like the waves are entirely identical between the two games, but there just isn’t really enough there to warrant a 2nd purchase if you didn’t absolutely love the first.

Space is lonely, unless you play with friends.

Hypership Still out of Control is fun, and difficult in all the right ways, no doubt about it.  In fact, this is probably a big part of the reason that Fun Infused ultimately decided to return to the game and give it a facelift after having improved their skills.  The facelift was a success, but an almost identical game still lays underneath making for a kind of dual opinion on this XBLIG. It is totally worth a buck if you like top down shooters or arcade style, high score point orgies.  If you have to pick between the two games, the 2nd really is the way to go. That said, if you already own the first there isn’t much of a need to buy the 2nd outside of showing the developer support or you just really loved the original.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: N/A
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: N/A – Copy furnished by Fun Infused
Current Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Recommend Purchase Price: Doesn’t get any cheaper.
Why you should buy it: It is a solid game that is fun to play.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You already own it, only without the word “still” in the title.

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.