Monday, December 23, 2013

Resogun: First Impressions from a Defender Addict

Since I'm a Defender nut, a couple of people have asked me what I think of Resogun, which is a game that is very similar to Defender, yet has enough differences to make it pretty damn cool for this generation of consoles. 

[Read more about my recent Defender world record attempt.]

Plus Big Ol' Bosses!
Resogun has all the sexy graphics you could want. Really. It's beautiful and it runs at a super high frame rate so you never have that "slow down" Defender did. Although the slow down was a pretty cool part of Defender that you could use to your advantage, it's something that would NOT work on a console game nowadays. 

My shorthand description of Resogun would be that it's a mix of Defender (save the humans) meets Robotron (2 stick control) meets Galaga (pattern flying enemies) meets Star Castle (some rotating inside bosses) meets R-Type (bullet walls, etc.). 

These are all great games that taste great together.

WTF is happening here?
When I first started playing, I made the assumption there would be some sort of training or tutorial. NOPE. My friend Luke walked me through it, so it should have made sense as he talked while I played. NOPE. I had to figure it out on my own.

Wow. This is starting to remind me of something. The good old days in the arcade. New machine. No instructions, just a high score table. I get it. 

All of the games this one pulls from pretty much drop you in the shit and hope you figure it out. Oh yes, I can recognize that type of game, no doubt.

Beat your head against the wall until you break through it. 

How I feel when
I play Defender
After playing for an hour, I think I finally get it. There are a LOT of things you have to think about all at the same time, and you only truly succeed when you can get to a point where you're NOT thinking about them. You are reacting to them AND predicting them. 

Kind of like Zen

Kind of like Defender. 

In fact, it's more like Defender than any of the previous Defender-like games. And that's a damn good thing, because there really hasn't been anything like Defender in a LONG time. Maybe ever, including all of the "ports" of Defender. 

Top level thoughts at this point:
  • Graphics are fantastic. Never any slowdown. Amazing feel.
  • I hate the multiplier. It forces me into a playstyle that feels more like I am "playing" the multiplier more than the game.
  • Collecting humans feels more like a way to earn extreme powerups rather than an integral part of the game.
  • I love the circular use of the planet.
  • I love the top and bottom boundaries.
  • I like all of the audio clips telling me what is happening. I would love it if I could turn off "voice" and only hear SFX. Human lost? Please give me a SFX. Etcetera.

Three selectable ships?!? Oh yes.
I played a two player game online. It was nice! I want two player co-op on the same screen. Not sure how to do it, but I'm sick of online multiplayer only games. 

Now, I have to get a PS4, but Christmas dealt me two car repairs, so I'll be playing Resogun at my friends' houses for now. Bummer.


  1. 'Collecting humans feels more like a way to earn extreme powerups rather than an integral part of the game.'

    They can be used to score really big points when you 'hoard' them. Meaning you collect all humans in one place till the end of the level when your multiplier is highest, then turn all humans in. You get extra points having a high multiplier plus subsequent turn-ins of humans (within I think 2 secs)ranks up big scores.

    Nice read!

    1. That's a tactic I had not tried! When I get a PS4 at my house, I'm sure to use that as soon as I can!

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. I "kind of" agree with you on the multiplier thing... That is to say, I understand what you are saying because it is a thought that crossed my mind as well, however, I've sunk many, many hours into the game now, and after a while it becomes 2nd nature to keep some humans around in case you get in trouble or to not pick up a weapon powerup on purpose or keep a human dangling underneath the ship.

    So even though I understand you, I disagree.
    The multiplier (or rather managing the multiplier) is such a BIG part of the gameplay that taking it out would render Resogun to a shell of what it is right now. It takes getting used to and is very frustrating at times. But it is exactly that what makes the game interesting enough for me to continue playing it and continue trying to get that highscore!

    1. Totally understand the enjoyment of the multiplier. It's just not really it for me. I think it forces a player to play a certain way to a reach a high score. It's rewarding play in a manner that I just don't like.

      One solution for this would be to create a non-multiplier version (an option) that had a separate high score table.

      Then we'd all be able to get what we want. And we could discover who can get the highest score without a multiplier. That would be awesome!