Put on your disco shoes and ‘fro your hair, it’s time to boogie with Laser Disco Defenders!
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been a little bored, not because of the amount I have to do, but we’re slap bang in the middle of the usual yearly gaming lull when nothing is really out. Sure there are some good titles coming out, but nothing particularly major. This usual lull gives opportunity for lots of indie developers and lots of non AAA titles to breakthrough the barrier. Laser Disco Defenders is a great example of this.
Laser Disco Defenders is a twin shooter space adventure which was released on 27th July 2016 by Out of Bounds Games and Excalibur Games for the Playstation Vita. The game focuses on a disco loving band of characters who are flying through the crystalloid belt in the Seebach Nebula, they are trying to board Monotones flagship, The Screeching Solo. They are not only trying to save the world, but the future of music, so this is their most important mission to date. Although there’s no way to get teleport directly to Monotones flagship, disco space is filled with hyper local worm holes (look how that turned out) so there is a route through some crazy disco caves. Monotone seems to be an evil robot kind of guy, who had his song rejected by a record label, as a result he’s decided to take over the world with his music (cry baby).
The game is aesthetically pleasing, that’s for sure. The cartoony style graphics go well with the lovely disco sound and the general craziness of the gameplay. The levels are randomly generated, so you’ll never really have the same type of level, although there’s nothing much which really changes as the background is always the same. Whilst the music is also pretty good, it’s very repetitive and I found myself turning it off after a while and listening to my own music. It does set the feel for the game, but whilst it’s welcome at first, it just becomes more of an annoyance.
You get to play as one of four characters, each character has their own set speed and a certain amount of lives. You have Mr Baker, a slow and soulful groovy dude with a giant pink afro who I renamed as cupcake, whilst he’s slow, he’s also got a tonne of health, so he’s the one you want to pick. Tommy, an intelligent moon walk specialist, he’s a little faster than cupcake is, but also has 1 less bar of health. Donna, a green space suit disco diva who is a little faster than Tommy, but again has less health. Finally, you have Liz, an energetic roller disco derby champion who is super fast, but dies after 1 hit (unless you have items on), she was very quickly renamed as Rhyhorn, because of her giant yellow drill hair.
As you play and complete levels (or should I say if you play and complete a level) you’ll be rewarded with certain items and gear that you can use. These items will help you to do things like stay alive longer, have better weapons, move faster and lots more things. They do come in very handy, especially the medallion which allows you to stay alive a little bit more. Some of the rewards you get just cause additional problems, as one of the suits I got just made me fire more laser beams which were smaller and faster, causing me to kill myself a lot more.
Once you’ve completed a level, or once you’ve permanently grooved out (died) then you’ll be given a score based on how well you did and the objectives that you accomplished. This does provide a nice little incentive as to how well you did, and does make you want to try and get better at the game.
There’s one major fault with the game in the fact that it’s just down right impossible to complete. If I’m honest, I haven’t even made it past the first story mission, or even the fourth cave in a level as it’s just way too difficult. Games such as this need to have a nice difficulty curve, where in the first couple of story levels ease you into the actual game play and builds up your skills with the game, where as this just throws you directly into some of the most hardest game play I’ve ever tried to take on. I feel like the game would benefit a lot more from an easier learning curve.
Whilst your playing, it’s quite difficult to control your character and to aim your weapons, not to mention the game actually penalises you for shooting by keeping your shots and the shots of those enemies flying around whilst you are still trying to clear it, so now you also have the added trouble of dodging your own bullets. Not only this, but on some of the maps you have to shoot out crystals to get further into the cave to take down the enemies, so you have to fire shots otherwise there’s no way to progress.
Whilst the game is overly difficult and can be very easily improved, with some minor modifications and toning down the steep difficulty curve, but it’s also somewhat pretty addictive and I do enjoy playing it. It’s got a nice feel to it, and it does transmission smoothly. It does have value as a pick up and play game, rather than something that you would sit for hours on end playing, and it’s definitely worth grabbing a copy just to bash out a quick 20 minute train journey. That said, it’s never going to be a huge title, simply because of the shear difficulty of it.