Hyper Sentinel has arrived. The FNGR GNS Review.
Back when I was young my Commodore 64 was the greatest thing I owned, spending hours loading games and playing them until my wrists hurt or my parents forced me to leave my bedroom and spend some time outside. One of the games that kept me engrossed for days was Uridium, a 2D shooter that was fast and furious and would make my mum feel sick just watching it. Me and my friends would play this for weeks on end and even have our own league table of high scores (It was the 80’s, this is what you did pre-internet). The publisher of that game Hewson has created it’s spiritual successor with Hyper Sentinel and the waves of nostalgia came flooding back as soon as I started playing.
The graphics are obviously a homage to the 8-bit days of long ago, but the vibrant colours and the crisp graphics make it look like the better looking son of an old man who longingly remembers the days when he was the one who drew the attention (This is not therapy, keep it together Jan). Without wasting time on a backstory you jump straight into the action and start shooting everything in sight on the surface of the ship to release the Dreadnought bosses which you have to destroy in various ways. Some are pretty simple whilst others take a bit more time and strategy, slowly taking down their armour and figuring out the correct way to do this without being blown up.
This is where I got annoyed as the game allows your health to regenerate by simply not getting hit,which back in the day I would have cried out for on some of the hours of frustration and tears given getting blown away just as you were about to kill off the boss. But here it feels like it is an easy way out to just use hit and run tactics on every boss you come across, even on the the highest difficulty where you would want more of a challenge. Don’t get me wrong for new players this will be a welcome addition, but for grizzled veterans with a troubled past and nothing left to lose it isn’t nearly nihilistic enough. The controls are as simple as you would expect while you speed up and down the carrier shooting everything, but the power up are pretty cool when you get them. Ranging from more powerful guns to three metal orbs that fly around your ship taking everything out in your path, they add a more chaotic element to the game which already makes you think you will be having some sort of fit with all the neon explosions and fast paced action.
I have to give a special nod to the soundtrack, which is hard to explain without you hearing it yourself. Imagine Daft Punk at an early 90’s rave while you are on an acid trip and suffering a panic attack at the same time, this gives you an idea of how it sounds to someone who is in their 30’s and it is glorious! I can see why my parents used to scream at me to turn down the sound when I played games on my C64 now, but the nostalgia narrowly beats out the migraine.
Game wise there aren’t enough levels to keep me coming back to the game, or variety in the modes (you get arcade, survival and the option to just fight the bosses) so after completion I aren’t sure what would make me come back and play again. The levels are to similar and while the bosses do change with each level, they aren’t really appealing enough for me to wan to pick it up again soon after finishing.
For the £9.99 price tag the game is a great piece of nostalgia but it always feels slightly inadequate compared to the original, and while it is great for Uridium fans stepping into the 21st Century it is hard to see where it will gain new fans. Where 8 year old me thought Uridium was the greatest game in the world, Hyper Sentinel is a good tribute but doesn’t get close.
Hyper Sentinel is available now on PC, Xbox One (review version), PS4 and mobile platforms.
Developer: Huey Games and Four5Six Pixel
Publisher: Huey Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a review code from the publishers. For our full review policy, please go here.