One day in the future when the aliens rule us all and we beg for mercy in our mammalian vivariums, unforgiving judgment will be laid down because of our modern obsession with simulated alien slaughter. Until that day comes, please tell game developers like Glitch-Soft to continue the production of games like Star Marine: Infinite Ammo.
Star Marine is a side-scroller where the player’s main goal is to destroy the opposing alien species. Each mission usually begins with some kind of plot point or picture driven cut-scene to help you get in the mood for murder, the style of animation doesn’t look fantastic when compared to the retro Contra art style of the main game. Luckily the art style in the very brief cut scenes does little to mar the overall package of the game as a whole. The game takes a lot of inspiration from Contra and wraps the whole experience in a polished sci-fi skin using music akin to that of Mass Effect and Unreal Tournament.
The player controls a surly looking space marine with the left stick and his gun direction with the right. Control feels accurate and precise in general, allowing you to concentrate and lose yourself in the score-building onslaught. Star Marine isn’t just a side scrolling shooter however; it’s also a game where you can compete with friends for the highest score by chaining together combos. Social interaction comes in the form of Facebook and Game-Center connectivity, allowing for achievement comparisons with friends or confusing Facebook updates for your family.
High-scores can be polished and honed by earning ‘Gems’ to upgrade weaponry and character resilience. Gems earn you new tools of destruction and add a degree of tactical choice to the game when hunting the highest score. Each weapon suits a different situation, bundles of enemies will be mopped up by a single super conductive electrical stream of energy, but not so useful against a single opponent who cowers behind a wall. Boss fights are one of the most entertaining aspects of Star Marine. Boss design is straight out of the ‘classic guide to boss battles hand-book’. You can feel that the developers of this game wanted to write a love letter to classic games like Metroid and Contra drawing on their nostalgia as a creative source. The Mechanics and rules of boss battles will be familiar to anybody who was alive and gaming in the NES and SNES days, relying on pattern analysis and precise dodging until victory is achieved.
Star Marine: Infinite Ammo has some minor problems such as new paths not opening when triggered but nothing that ruins the experience long term. Star Marine is a great game for those looking for an injection of nostalgia but the grin inducing touches may be lost on younger gamers.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Platform: iOS Release Date: 12/01/2012
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Star Marine: Infinite Ammo for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of five days on an iPhone. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.