There are really only two things you need to know about Hyper Ship Out Of Control. Firstly, it’s brilliant for the 80 points that it will cost you, and secondly, you will not be able to complete it. Ever. Past that, it simply leaves us to sum up what the game is about and how it plays. Works for us.
You’re the pilot of a hyper ship, and your space breaks have gone, leaving you out of control. It’s not going to win any BAFTAs, granted, but it’s that kind of humour that makes it infinitely more playable than it could have been. This is a hardcore, twitch game of the purest variety, and it could have taken itself very seriously. It doesn’t, and the little touches it has really make it. ‘Fun’ mode, for example, is simply a violent, flickering background that will almost undoubtedly spark epilepsy, so watch out for that.
The basic premise is that your little retro ship (circa 1985) speeds through waves of obstacles at increasingly high speeds. The speed cap for each wave increases and while waves 1-4 are doable for the average gamer, anything past that requires some seriously good reaction times. From the top down view you have the ability to move around the screen, but when the action gets particularly frenetic, you’ll most likely find yourself hogging the bottom of the screen in order to give yourself more time to react.
Really, it’s not about reacting though. If you want to get anywhere with Hyper Ship Out Of Control, you’re going to need to learn the levels. Thankfully, there is a mode that allows you to practice any one wave over and over again. It’s difficult to see the genuine value in this for the average gamer though. Most of the real fun of the game is in the four-player mode, which doesn’t add anything past the fact that it allows your mates to get involved. That’s enough for us though.
As if it weren’t difficult enough, it has a number of modes that ramp up the difficulty. Super speed mode takes away the speed cap for each level, and hardcore mode gives you one life. One life! If you’re up for a challenge, this is the game.
Hyper Ship Out Of Control isn’t going to change your life, or do anything amazing. It’s a fun, multiplayer title based on the old-school “I’ve got more points than you” idea, known as score attack for those in who play a lot of this type of game. Deliciously retro, lovingly crafted and well worth the price.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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