In a market that is currently becoming saturated with variations of the “bullet-hell” genre, Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a standout title that offers an immense amount of challenge, skill-building, selection, and replay value that it’s competition does not deliver on. It’s addicting, satisfying and leaves with an urge to continue playing even in the face of impossible odds (literally, as the game literally throws everything it can at you) and repeated continues. For shooter fans, this is one of the better titles in the genre available on Steam.
SGSEXT boasts a retro-styled look, reminiscent of the 16-bit era. Though the graphic style differs from the serious tone of the story, it lends to the overall gameplay strongly. The visuals are bright, shiny, bombastic, and vividly colored to give the player a hyperactive visual treat to accompany the fast-paced gameplay. Despite the heavy amount of elements that bombard the player each second (hence the genre being named “bullet-hell”), they are not distracting to the point where you can’t pay attention to your craft which is an important element of balance.
All of the available ships have unique designs and firing patterns line up seamless with how your craft can attack enemy craft and defend themselves from enemy fire and barrages. Overall, the visual style lends to the game rather well, similar to older games such as RayForce and Gradius.
Though the gameplay is simplistic in nature, the sheer amount of enemies to combat alongside the climatic boss fights is inherently addicting. All of the available craft have attributes covering firepower, defense, and agility, allowing for different playstyles and pacing. Whereas most shoot-em-ups boast only one craft or a small handful to select from, SSGEXT offers 17 different crafts to choose from, each with their own pilots, backstories and firing methods.
Though many new players will go for the main craft that provides an even balance of offense, defense, and speed, playing through the game with each craft can drastically alter the strategies used to evade enemy fire while offering varying levels of strategy in order to use them effectively. With this, the replay value is multiplied tenfold and gives players 17 reasons to revisit the game for another playthrough.
As stated before, many shooters do not offer this level of depth and replay ability, which makes SGSEXT an ideal purchase for those craving classic Japanese shooter gameplay and maintains its spot as a standout title that’s well worth any gamers time. For $10, you simply cannot go wrong, and the game even comes packaged with the non-Turbo variation of the game for an alternate challenge.