Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Super Destronaut DX
Release Date: 07/17/2018
Back in 2015, I mentioned how basic the original Super Destronaut on Wii U felt, both in looks, music and gameplay. While it was paying tribute to Space Invaders, just like this DX sequel, the game felt hastily made and beyond generic. I’m happy to report that Super Destronaut DX does not have this problem in the slightest, as right off the bat the background is way more colorful that in the Wii U original. It still keeps the simplistic look and goes a bit overboard with the neon colors, but at the very least it no longer looks generic. The menus are much better than before too, and the music’s a bit more catchy, although it still doesn’t quite reach the status of being memorable. The announcer from Inksplosion is back as well, but he doesn’t sound nearly as bored as before which is also a neat improvement. Overall, this game is significantly more polished than the original which fits the DX nature of the name.
Just like before, the main goal of Super Destronaut DX is to shoot all the invaders and clear waves of enemies over and over until your ships are destroyed. The big “boss” ship rewards the player a powerup upon its destruction, ranging from a piercing shot, a spread shot, to a homing shot, among a few others, and the piercing one ends up being my favorite due to how it absolutely murders waves of enemies, killing them in seconds. A difference I don’t recall from the original when defeating enemies is that sometimes they can turn grey and fall towards the player, being completely invincible until they’re off screen. Sometimes these gray enemies will appear from the background and come towards you in that way as well, so it’s important to keep an eye on both the shooting enemies and the gray obstacles.
There are three score attack modes this time around, from the traditional Classic Mode where you continue to clear waves with three lives before you lose them all, a Time Attack mode where you have a time limit to rack up as much points as possible, and Hardcore Mode, my personal favorite of these modes where you must do the same endless hi-score chasing as in Classic, but with extremely aggressive enemies and only one life. This means that games can end very quickly if you aren’t careful enough, but keeping an eye on enemy bullets and taking advantage of powerups can make the action speed up real quickly. The best part of all is that my biggest issue with the original is finally fixed, since Super Destronaut DX includes online leaderboards, where you can share your high scores on a bigger, wider scale. The local multiplayer mode from Super Destronaut also returns, but I wasn’t able to test it for this review.
Of course, sticking to score attack modes is a given for a game like this, but Super Destronaut DX tries to include single player content in the form of the Challenge Mode, a series of 30 tasks where the player must do things from hitting a certain high score in one of the three modes, surviving for a certain amount of waves, or raising your multiplier high enough. (done by killing enemies over and over without much of a break or getting struck by one) These can be a bit tricky near the end of the challenge list, but they aren’t too hairpulling and you can actually get the trophies for this mode by only clearing twelve of these challenges.
In conclusion, Super Destronaut DX is an absolute improvement over the original Super Destronaut, taking a generic Space Invaders clone into a more addictive and engaging hi-score chaser that’s absolutely worth the $5 for the hi-score chasing alone. Unfortunately, the single player content and the replay value of the trophies are really lacking, with unimpressive challenges and a trophy list so laughably easy that I was able to 100% everything in 20 minutes. In fact, if you’re playing this for an easy platinum, it should satisfy that need well, although part of me wished it had more depth to it. Mainly by having trophies for completing all of the challenges instead of just capping off as twelve, along with higher score thresholds for the score trophies.
Nevertheless, this is a very fun hi-score chaser that will satisfy fans of that genre, and a bit of a surprise for me in particular considering how much I disliked the original. Hopefully Petite Games can improve some of their other Wii U eShop titles in the same way. Funky Physics DX, anyone?
I give Super Destronaut DX a 7 out of 10.