Friday, July 27, 2012

S.P.A.Z - Space Pirates and Zombies (and Bounty Hunters)


is a game by MinMax Games, that I bought from the summer Steam sales over last week for $2.49!

As of now I've had one complete play through and would like share my thoughs and comments about the game.

Overview

Overall, SPAZ is a top down space shooter. Highly skill orientated and action packed! There are 33 ships to build and over 70 upgrades to unlock. The story is very simple. Pretty much, you are a space pirate hunting for treasure and is going to smash your way, system by system, to the core of the galaxy looking for it.

Pros:


  • Highly action packed
  • Controls are excellent for skill based space shooter, but a bit unintuitive 
  • Highly customizable choices and tech selection for your fleet of ships
  • Excellent core gameplay and mechanics, though a bit more content is needed to keep things interesting

They pretty mcuh nailed it for the space combat, it is fun and fairly exciting, however, there are still plenty of room for improvements. Pretty much for you would expect from a space shooter.



Cons:

  • The AI controlled ships are horrible and often suicides during combat for no apparent reasons. The AI really needs to be self sufficient and on par, or slightly worst with the opponent AI, so that they do not become a big liability as the game goes on, as ship rebuilds cost resources. They essentially need an attack move / attack & retreat command
  • The tactic menu, intended to provide overall battle field control, breaks the flow of combat, along with the satisfactory AI control, it makes it impossible to pull of highly complicated movement on your fleet's ship.
  • Lacks replay-ability at higher difficulty level, essentially you are starting the game over with nothing and playing the same thing over again with no new content and challenges, except higher hitting enemies. 
  • game progression a bit too slow
  • very out of the mill story





As a space shooter, the game is a good. However, as a strategical action space shooter, there is a failure of implementation. The transition between combat controls and tactics is very clunky, and needs some improvement to make it more seamless and integrated as part of the action, instead of a pause and think moment in the game.

The game progression is also a bit slow, as fleet upgrade (more ships) comes very late, often much later then needed and feels a bit underwhelming when obtained. Often player needs to grind for ship upgrade prior the fleet hangar upgrade.


Suggestions
If I could make a suggestion to the game is to fit the current upgrade progression and make a "New Game+" mode, where player can take on a higher difficulty with existing upgrades, continuing to fight greater numbers and stronger ships. (like the way Diablo 3 is setup with their difficulty scaling).

Secondly, I would suggest multi-player option for this game if they were to make a new feature. Co-op campaign feature with this game would be great. Even for 2 players playing side by side.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Basic Map Drawing function completed! Here's a demo of a quick composition by the computer. It is nothing fancy, but it is certainly progress!