Friday, April 25, 2014

I'm no video game critic, but I know what I hate.

And I don't hate this.

Starlight Inception is a... grainy experience.  Some of it is weird and stupid.

I can get why someone thought it would be a good idea to let you walk around a few hallways of a ship (very slowly) in first-person perspective.  You walk from the hangar (starting beside a ship that's not the ship you flew on the last mission) to the elevator - when you get to the elevator a menu pops up with all the available floors you can go to.

I decided to check out Engineering - maybe I can talk to some dude who'll upgrade my engines or something?

Nope.  Just about two hundred yards of (slow-to-navigate) hallways, and one dude standing there you can't talk to.  I get why someone thought this was preferable to some nice menus... but it's not.  Menus would have let me get back to the action faster, and it is - by far - the least-fun part of the experience.

So you go to the briefing room (it's always empty when you walk in) and trigger a short, ugly, in-engine cutscene explaining the gist of the next level - only then can you proceed to deck out your ship.

Decking out your ship is cool and fun and awesome.  You spend points earned in missions on more rockets or stealth modules or shield modules.  The game has power you have to manage a'la TIE Fighter - you can reduce your weapon recharge speed in favor of putting you engines up to 200% power to catch up to speedy enemies, or just cover distance faster.

Love that.  Don't love that there's an Energy Module I can buy for my ship that seems to make no discernible difference in how much energy I have to distribute amongst my systems.  I'm not sure what, precisely, it does.

There's also Mission 2.  Mission 2 looks like this:

It's Chicago after a nuclear attack - and, it turns out, the draw distance is due to the amount of polygons the scene is pushing on Vita.

Well, Escape Hatch, if that's how it looks - I'm sorry to suggest - you're pushing too many polygons and need to understand that, as I won't be landing my starfighter on these buildings, I really don't give a shit about how detailed their models are.

Once I got to the end of the 2nd mission, it told me to go home, but gave me no indication as to where I should go.

I'm at the end of the third mission, and it keeps on telling me to "survive the onslaught of enemy fighters" - and I do, as a counter ticks down - only to repeatedly (four times, now) be told I failed the mission.

[update]  It's because even though it gives you no waypoint, it doesn't want you to engage the awesome big enemy battleship in front of you (totally, easily killable) - it wants you to fly straight to your mothership and dock. [/update]

But here's the thing.  And it is a big but.

I don't hate it.  It is scratching my TIE Fighter itch.  It's... amateurish and some of it is just awful, but it offers something no other game does, on Vita (or consoles, come to think of it).

I'll continue giving it a chance.

[update]  Scratch that, I hate it. [/update]


  1. When I started reading I was thinking "He's not referencing The Simpsons season two episode... oh YO! No way!" You did exactly that.

    Is that a mirror you own, by chance... Chance?

    1. I wish - it was just the best image I could find of the painting.