Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype – The Last Chapter Review

You may of have heard the term SHMUP before and wondered what does it really mean, whilst the majority of gamers may be able to decipher the encrypted code that is Shoot ‘em up others may struggle to know whether that term simply means games with guns.

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype The Last Chapter could be the definition of the term SHMUP we have all been looking for. In recent times SHMUP’s have come back in a huge way, games such as Sturmwind on the Dreamcast or The Last Hope on the Neo Geo AES have received critical acclaim for bringing the genre back from the 80s and into current times.

Whilst Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype has been around for a few years on the PS3, eastasiasoft has been teasing gamers for quite some time on its release for the PS Vita and PlayStation TV. To give you a quick snapshot, its 3014 AD and the virus wars have ended, peace was restored, however whilst rebuilding the civilization, splinter factions formed, the most dangerous was the D’aarg. Obviously the earth defence force stood no chance against them. In 3123 AD the president of the planet union gave the EDF full authority to defend them, that’s where you come in with your bad ass Soldner X Prototype ship.

If you are thinking that this may be another insanely difficult bullet hell shooter, think again! It’s actually quite passable, the game allows a huge life energy bar which decreases slowly when hit, therefore you can wreak as much havoc with your choice of three unique gun systems on the enemies at hand. Once you have selected your choice of three ships, all with their unique abilities, it’s time to defend the Earth. Buy pressing R whilst playing, your gun selection changes into a powerful wave of electricity with absolute precise position, ensuring your bolts hit the enemies directly and simultaneously, you can keep cycling through the gun selections and choose either waves of fire, wiping out enemies with a strong flamethrower or the multiple bullet option, one press of the fire button sends multiple bullets in multiple directions to each approaching D’aarg. No matter what you choose, they all come with their different level of damage, so ensure you have chosen wisely.

As with the previous instalment, expect to see beautiful flowing graphical representations of deep space, asteroid belts & ruined cities on your quest to defeat enemy fleets. The only real issue I have personally faced is the length of time it takes to destroy bosses. Most boss enemies are usually flying robots or mechanical eyes with arms, it usually takes 6-7 minutes (yes I timed it) to destroy a boss and whilst it is fairly doable in the earlier stages, it is near on impossible in the later stages of the game.

Some of the new features in The Last Chapter to look out for are the 11 new trophies to add to that ever growing PlayStation trophy wall. A new challenge system with 13 tough opponents and a mystery secret stage, as well as 3 brand new added stages to Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype.

As with every current European SHMUP, the music is absolutely fantastic, great synth tunes come blaring out of your Vita to delight the senses. This alone demands a soundtrack release, I could honestly say I would listen to it in my spare time, truly enigmatic.

Overall this 2D side shooter has a lot to offer a true expert or beginner alike, great control system, easy to use gun control, fantastic graphics and a killer soundtrack. You really don’t need to know too much about the storyline, like with all SHMUPS, it’s the action that’s addictive. By the way this is the only version where you can experience the true ending of the story.

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About: Matthew Cawley

I always had a passion for games even in my younger years, when I first received the Atari 2600, Pele Soccer was the flavor of the year, I played that game so much I actually started seeing top down soccer players in real life. My first real advanced gaming experience was when I received the Commodore Amiga 500, this is where adventure games took over my life, Sierra classics such as Police Quest, Space Quest, Kings Quest and the entire Leisure Suit Larry series dominated huge portions of my childhood.

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