Friday, September 17, 2010

Four Quarter Friday - Hypership Out Of Control

Before we dive feet-first into this, I'd like to direct your attention to Hypership's description on the XBox Live Marketplace.

That last line is undeniable proof that Kris Steele of Fun Infused Games is a dirty, filthy liar. I had fun with your game, Kris, and just to spite you I'm going to tell EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET just HOW much fun I had. SO THERE.

Hypership Out Of Control is a sort of vertical scrolling shmup but with an odd twist: there really aren't any enemies. Instead, you're just flying through space, dodging your usual retro shoot-em-up obstacles like asteroids and colored blocks. Oh, and you have no brakes and your accelerator is stuck. I forget to mention that? Whoops. So yeah, you go fast with your thumb planted on the fire button to desperately shoot everything out of the way that you can and dodge whatever you can't at breakneck speeds. Along the way you'll grab coins to raise your score multiplier and power ups to help keep you alive a little longer. Because you will die. And then you'll hit "Try Again". Because, despite what that lying jerk Steele said, you just had fun.

Also, I said "retro" earlier. And I meant it. The game probably has a better color palette than the NES (and better sound as well) but otherwise Hypership looks like something that belongs on an upright next to Galaga and Bosconian. It's my favorite kind of retro: authentic without the slowdown and sprite flicker. On a less technical point, the game has a bunch of little humorous bits plugged into the game designed to make you smile just a little bit more than you already are from the sheer amount of glee you feel when playing. Coins and blocks start spelling "woot" and "die die die" in some levels, and the load screen gives you fun facts like "no chicken has ever crossed a hypership". It's got charm, and though this game is fun enough we always appreciate that extra mile good developers go to make us happy.

So it's goofy for a shmup and it looks and plays like a lost Namco cabinet. But does it have that same addictive arcade feel? You bet it does. Even though your eyes are red and dry from not blinking for the duration of each life, it feels like a crime whenever you don't hit "Try Again". Unless, of course, you're going to try one of the game's four modes that you weren't just playing. There's your normal mode with your three lives, a hardcore mode with one, a training mode to try each wave out individually, a hyper mode with no speed limit, and finally a coin mode where you have "infinite" lives but are constantly hemmorhageing coins and the game is over once you run out. In addition, there are leaderboards for each mode (local and online), extra "awardment" goals to go after, and local multiplayer for you and up to three buddies.

Considering there's enough "one more game" addiction here to keep you occupied in single-player for hours on end and even more when you add some friends to the couch, that alone should justify the one-dollar purchase. Which it does. But let's all remember one more important fact that the developer INSISTS isn't there: the game is fun. Eye-melting, curse-yelling, holy-crap-it's-four-in-the-morning fast-paced fun. Which is what video games are about. So, Kris Steele of Fun Infused Games, if your intention was to create a game that's no fun at all, you failed. Because Hypership Out Of Control is one of the funnest games I've played all year, and if it wasn't for a need to let you know that tidbit of information or a desire to let everyone else know that the game is worth their time and money, I'd still be playing it right this minute.

Hypership Out Of Control from Fun Infused Games is available on XBox Live for 80 MSP. Played and died multiple times on each mode, forced my girlfriend to play once with me, and felt a GIGANTIC sense of accomplishment getting through all ten waves...only to lose my last ships on Wave 2 like a total failure. Also, I apparently twitch so badly when I lose ships that the cats run away in fear.

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