Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo - Steam/PC Review

A modern day blast into the past.

Game Info

  • System: Steam
  • Publisher: New Blood Interactive
  • Developer: Synset
  • Release Date: March 6, 2017

Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo Trailer

Who it Caters to

Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo sounds like another Capcom remake of one of their classic fighters, but not in this case as New Blood is paying homage to the bullet hell genre. The bullet hell scene hasn't had much in terms of recognition as of late, but Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo just may be the one title to reignite the classic shooter category.Many of us have grown accustomed to the R-Types and Ikaruga's of our time, and Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo takes all of what made these classics unforgettable and modernized gameplay to create a remarkably thrilling experience.

Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo comes with a nice assortment of modes to choose from such as the classic arcade mode and then throws in the epic endless battle and boss rush mode to keep the challenges coming. We also love the use of Japanese as a throwback to Kamui along with the other popular shmup titles!

What to Expect

With bullets flying at you from every direction, with an eclectic assortment of catchy 8-bit retro synth music to keep the adrenaline pumping, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo is a title that anyone should try whether you're a seasoned vet or simply just getting your feet wet in the classic genre. If you’re any fan of vertical scrolling shooters like the classic Kamui, Strikers 1945 or Gradius V, then Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo incorporates just about everything from those classics and puts a more modern touch on the classic genre. The main focus of the game isn’t a story, which really only focuses on your elite squadron shooting down the enemies to restore peace to the universe, the main meat and bones are all in the extraordinary gameplay.

Gameplay

Bullets Flying Everywhere

The first thing you're greeted with once you boot up Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo is a quick overview of the story when then takes you to a very psychedelic menu screen that looks like something out of Miami Vice. The flashy colors are inviting and once you hop into the arcade mode it's like a party about to unfold. You're introduced to an array of characters, many of which reference classic bullet hell titles while some pay respect to celebrated rock bands like Iron Maiden. Each character has their own pros and cons, so picking one that fits your flavor is all there. Once the mission start after a small cutscene, it's go-time and your reaction time is about to be tested, along with your hand-eye coordination.

Each stage grows increasingly more challenging as you blast your way through a horde of ships and a rainbow of bullets, and it's such a rush to have the music keep your energy high as you determine safe spots to avoid taking damage. On the surface, it may seem that bullet hell games require no type of strategy, but once you start to die quite often you start to understand that tactical precision is pivotal to earning a high score.

Choosing the easier difficulty levels, to be honest, just doesn't cut it because you're always spoiled with health power-ups and weapon buffs which totally gets boring after a couple stages. You’ll be using one of the new features quite frequently titled, Slo-Mo Focus, which slows everything down to a very Max Payne style “Bullet Hell Time” and allows you to pull off sleek dodges to avoid death. We used this thing so much that it just became second nature to always have our bar filled up, and our finger on the trigger ready to go. Throw on veteran difficulty or higher and this is where the true bullet hell/shmup experience begins since you'll have to rely on sound judgment to get you through and take advantage of any perks that are thrown at you.

The boss rush battles are a total blast to play as they each come with their own unique approach and so figuring out their patterns is what creates that ultimate thrill. It's easier said than done however as these enemies track your every move and will make sure to create obstacles to prevent you from progressing any further. One minute you think it's safe to use your Hyper Mode/Overdrive then a few minutes later you slowly regret your decision as an entire fleet of enemies bombard you and all that you have are your basic weapons to protect you.

It's all trial and error in Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo and that's the major point about it. You're always coming back to test out a new strategy to see just how far it takes you, and with every fresh attempt comes this profound sense of accomplishment as you feel you're just one step closer to victory. Once you've destroyed the arcade mode, which to be frank is a mere warm-up, hopping into either the endless mode or the boss battle will truly bring out the beast in you.

Endless mode is just a nonstop barrage of enemies and you'll have to eliminate the swarm to rack up a credible high score. This is where we had the most fun because, unlike in classic bullet hell titles where you're usually limited to just the arcade experience, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo allows you to play for as long as your patience can hold up in an infinite battle with merciless enemies. The only drawback that we wish were implemented was online co-op, since that would've really brought the nostalgia gauge up even higher. Being able to eradicate enemies with a teammate would've been so satisfying and being able to save replays of your epic moments would be unforgettable.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

So overall Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo feels a lot like a modern day blast into the past, and the experience we received from it all was a treat. The replay value in endless mode alone is enough to keep you coming back for more, with the boss rush mode giving you an extra taste of excitement when you feel like taking a break from the endless onslaught. Of course, as we mentioned before, having some sort of online feature would’ve really provided more substance long term but perhaps New Blood really wanted players to experience how it felt like back in the early 90’s when online wasn’t predominant. With its kaleidoscope of colors that flash across the screen and its catchy tunes as you shoot your way through to victory, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo lives up to its original by providing a lot more meat for us to dig into.

Playing with the PlayStation 4 controller was an absolute thrill because it felt very seamless to control your ship on screen, but we assume that if you have a joystick lying around and wanted that real authentic experience perhaps that may work as well. Sadly we didn’t have a joystick around us at the time of this review, so we encourage you to try it out for yourself if you have one. If there may be another action packed sequel to EX Turbo, we would surely throw our money down immediately because this is one game that really brought back a lot of those fond memories of playing classic vertical scrolling shooters like 1941: Counter Attack, Raiden, and everyone’s favorite Ikaruga.

Honey's Pros:

  • Great music composition.
  • Solid voice acting to keep the story moving.
  • Fast paced in your face thrills.
  • Very challenging yet rewarding experience.
  • 17 playable ships!

Honey's Cons:

  • Limited options prevented us from customizing the UI.
  • No online mode or co-op modes.
  • A little TOO forgiving with health at times.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo is one of those titles that deserves to carry the torch for the new generation of vertical scrolling shooters because it certainly lives up to expectations and throws in a little extra flavoring to keep you hungry for more. While we do miss the online aspect behind it all, it doesn’t really take anything significant away from the awesome gameplay it entails. With a great assortment of cool characters and pretty weapons, Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo is one space adventure we’d love to continue playing over and over again. Let us know your thoughts about Super Galaxy Squadron EX Turbo in the comments section down below, and be sure to share our articles on social media in order to keep the community growing!

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Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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