Game Info:

Super Destronaut DX-2
Released: Month day, year
Developed By: Petite Games
Published By: Ratalaika Games
Released: July 2, 2021
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Genre: Arcade, Action
ESRB Rating: Rated E, Mild Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1 offline
Price: $4.99

Thanks Ratalaika Games for providing us with a review code!

While I wasn’t born in the arcade era of the 80s, I still have a hankering for Space Invaders here and there. Thankfully, even with the multitude of clones and spinoffs of the classic arcade shooter, there are still a few titles that surprise me. One such game is Super Destronaut DX-2, a retro-styled arcade game that wears its inspirations on its sleeves but does a lot to liven up the formula in a way that will appeal to gamers looking for a few minutes to kill on their Switch.

Super Destronaut DX-2 is simple: You are a spaceship tasked with destroying as many aliens as possible before you take enough hits and die. While you have a regular shot that can be upgraded randomly by destroying certain spaceships, you also have a bullet time-esque shot that will allow you to slow time down and dodge enemy fire when necessary. There are quite a few enemy types to destroy, from a duo of aliens that have a descending electric fence to some enemies that will launch homing missiles at you. There is a surprising amount of variety in Super Destronaut DX-2, and while rounds only last minutes, the game kept having me want to go for more.

Super Destronaut DX-2

Strong Points: Addictively fast shooting gameplay; innovative yet simple mechanics; nice retro-styled graphics
Weak Points: Some unfair points in later challenges
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence with enemy aliens; some corpses still remain as an obstacle

I like how Super Destronaut DX-2 modernizes the tried-and-true arcade 2D line shooter formula but still makes it familiar to Space Invaders, similar to how Space Invaders Extreme did this. For the price of $4.99, this is a package that has a lot and doesn’t feel like its content is shoehorned in. While you have a classic mode where you can play normally, there are different modes that will modify your playstyle. Time Attack is a mode where you must keep attacking in order to keep your time up since this acts as your health; and your time goes down significantly should you get hit. Time Rush, on the other hand, is a no-holds-barred mode where you’re given a set amount of seconds to destroy everything in your way, with the only thing you’re risking is your score multiplier should you get hit. Bullet mode (my favorite of the five) is a strategic stage where you only get a few bullets but are significantly stronger; in order to survive, you’ll need to hit the right enemies while also avoiding their projectiles. Finally, there is a hardcore mode that makes enemies more resilient and also takes away your bullet time move.

If Super Destronaut DX-2 only included these things, it would be fine, but the game also has a Challenge Mode which is a mishmash of all five previous modes with modifiers. I liked this a lot, as it forced me to switch up my strategy on the fly depending on what I needed to do. Time Attack where more enemy corpses pop up? Guess I can’t go in close, even though that risks me taking too long and dying by timeout. Bullet mode with fewer bullets but stronger attacks? I’ll have to prioritize bigger boss enemies before taking out the runts. It’s a great addition to a unexpectedly big package. I think this is where the game does have a bit of an issue with difficulty, as some challenges are unfair with their difficulty (though these would be present in the mid/late game areas). It’s also a shame that there’s no multiplayer present, because I would have enjoyed a social aspect in playing with a friend; unfortunately, this is strictly a single-player experience.

Super Destronaut DX-2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 85%
Gameplay – 15.5/20
Graphics – 8/10
Sound – 9/10
Stability – 5/5
Controls – 5/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence – 7/10
Language – 10/10
Sexual Content – 10/10
Occult/Supernatural – 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 10/10

The rest of the presentation is nice as well, with a stable framerate regardless of if I played in docked or handheld mode. The soundtrack works superbly well with the title, featuring some electronic beats that highlight the gameplay. The game controls perfectly too, and almost all deaths were because of me getting too close to an alien or realizing I was getting shot a bit too late.

In terms of morality, there aren’t that many things to be concerned about other than the arcade violence. You are explicitly killing aliens as the game does instruct you on the title screen, but there is a mechanic where sometimes bodies don’t instantly disappear and will fall on you. This doesn’t happen often, but it does cause an impediment for players (as well as the fact that aliens will die, albeit in a way that isn’t too gory).

At $4.99, Super Destronaut DX-2 is a surprisingly refreshing shoot-em-up that anyone can enjoy. It’s a lovely tribute to 2D arcade shooters of the 80s, and features some great mechanics that will have you wanting one more go when you inevitably get overrun by aliens.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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