Steredenn: Binary Stars is the updated and expanded version of the original game released back in 2015 on PC and Consoles which has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch in an updated and more expansive version. With gameplay that perfectly fits the nature of the console, it has found a suitable home and the definitive platform to play on.
Steredenn: Binary Stars is a horizontal side scrolling 2D shoot ‘em up with rogue-like elements, it is these rogue-like elements that elevate the game above other shooters out there. Binary Stars would be a great shooter without these random elements but its randomness creates chaotic gameplay that becomes quite addicting. Outside of boss fights everything is randomly generated, so there won’t be any memorization of enemy placement or where to find the next power up. Levels last only a few minutes which makes this an ideal title for the Nintendo Switch, allowing a pick up and play style that fits the portability of the console while on the other hand, its addicting gameplay can keep you hooked for hours trying to get better and push further into the game.
It has to be said that the game is difficult - extremely difficult. It’s rogue-like nature can make your run incredibly tough or a bit easy. Though it may be enough to push people away from it, if you keep pushing through you quickly realize that even though you constantly fail, you continually get better and better with each run, pushing further and further into the game. You start your run by selecting your ship, there are 5 to choose from, 1 being available from the start of the game while the other 4 need to be unlocked, and each ship has its own play style and special abilities.
In addition to this there are 42 different types of weapons from scatter shots to laser beams to being able to deploy pods around the screen that auto-attack for you, and 30 different types of upgrades that can be further customizable depending on your weapon load outs. These customizations include more health, creating a shield when you don’t fire your weapons, and allowing you to survive a killing blow once per level and many more.
Various game modes are available too. While most players time will be spent in the campaign mode trying to get further and further with each ru,n there is also an arena mode which allows you to fight against bosses you have defeated in the campaign mode. This allows you to learn boss patterns making future encounters much easier. Daily Run is a daily leaderboard where every player is given the same ship, gun loadout and level, meaning there is no randomly generated content and all players are on the same playing field. You have one chance at this run to take the number 1 spot on the leaderboard for the day. Boss rush allows you to fight a weekly selection of bosses which also comes with its own leaderboard, and then finally a local co-op mode where you and a friend can team up together, select your own ships and power-ups but share the same health bar.
Steredenn: Binary Stars is currently available for only R169 on the Nintendo Eshop which makes it incredible value for money. It’s rogue-like nature means each time you play the game will be different to the last time you played. Fans of shmups will find a massive amount of hours to sink into the game and curious gamers will find a difficult yet fun game to play that has exhilarating gameplay with responsive controls, great music and awesome old school design. For any shmup fans out there, I can highly recommend Steredenn: Binary Stars and those who aren’t sure on it, I can guarantee there are worse ways to spend R169. Give the game a try, it’s definitely one that’s worth it.
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