The shoot-’em-up genre is so well-trodden that you rarely expect originality. However, occasionally, a game comes along and bursts this bubble. Hyper-5 is one such title that impressed me with its excellent gameplay, stunning visuals, banging audio, and competitive gameplay. Accordingly, it is an addictive experience that’ll test newcomers and veterans alike.
Developed by Hyper Productions and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter, this is a shmup title. What’s more, it is influenced by 90s classics. Moreover, there are some amazing 3D elements and some incredible cinematic to enjoy.
Hyper-5 tells a clichéd story.
You’d think that people would know that alien distress signals are bad news. Yet, heroic pilots fall for their plot, repeatedly. Consequently, this is exactly what happens in Hyper-5. As such, the clichéd plot offers few surprises, but, thankfully, that isn’t an issue.
You are the pilot of the Hyper-5 deep space scouting vessel. Upon receiving a strange distress signal, you put your life on the line to investigate the source. However, unbeknownst to you, this was a trick. Accordingly, danger, aliens, and weird and wonderful environments await you on planet 4GDT.
The plot lacks originality, but the action is refreshing.
The familiar story wasn’t disappointing as each cutscene was great. However, it wasn’t as original as I’d have liked and that was unfortunate. Yet, luckily, the gameplay was interesting and a breath of fresh air. With challenges to overcome, an arcade mode to tackle, bonus time trials to try out, and a plethora of weapons and upgrades to buy, it keeps you busy.
The action spans 5 unique arenas as you traverse water, air, and land. Moreover, there are 40+ alien species to defeat, bosses to destroy, and countless achievements to complete. As such, Hyper-5 moves away from well-trodden shmup mechanics as you enjoy a modern take on the genre.
Die, repeat, upgrade, and die again.
The gameplay cycle is simple. Choose any unlocked stage, tackle the aliens, earn upgrade points, and collect power-ups. En route, you must avoid projectiles from every angle while destroying everything in sight. If you live long enough, you’ll encounter a gargantuan boss that must be eliminated. If you can do this, you’ll continue your adventure and tackle a new chapter.
This is Hyper-5 in a nutshell. Once you die, and you will, you can spend your points at the armoury. Moreover, you can alter your load out and upgrade your tech. By doing this, you’ll improve your chances of success and complete every locked achievement.
If you don’t wish to play the campaign, you can test your skills in the Arcade or time trial modes. Each of these options follows the main gameplay mechanics as you are awarded points and a place on a leaderboard. As such, they are moreish and tickle that competitive edge within all of us.
Hyper-5 is stunning to look at.
Visually, games can blow you away. Now, I know indie titles are renowned for their pixelated approach and this lacks a wow factor. Yet, Hyper-5, on the other hand, is different. With stunning imagery, a polished finish, and incredible cutscenes, it is beautiful. Furthermore, the side-scrolling perspective has 3D elements to make the surrounding world come to life. Alongside this, your enemies attack from all directions and this makes it a gloriously hectic affair.
The visuals may be modern, but the audio is distinctly old-school. With synth vibes, loud sound effects, and immersive noises, it is easy to lose yourself in the moment. Furthermore, the upbeat tones add to the drama. Additionally, the aggressive sound effects add oomph and depth to each destructive weapon.
Agile, fast, and deadly.
Shmups rely on exceptional controls and responsive inputs. Thankfully, Hyper-5 delivers on both elements and much more. The incredible UI is simple to navigate, and this makes upgrading and altering your ship a cinch. What’s more, the responsive controls ensure that you are agile, fast, and unbelievably deadly.
This genre can be unhealthily addictive or over in a flash. Luckily, thanks to its many game modes, 40+ enemies, and a vast arsenal of weapons, you’ll experience fresh gameplay repeatedly. On top of this, you must consider the addictive nature of the leaderboard and the tough but fair achievements. Subsequently, this has replay value and longevity.
Hyper-5 is a brilliant modern shmup.
I’ve enjoyed and endured many titles in this genre. Thankfully, Hyper-5 is a brilliant modern shmup that is addictive, rewarding, and familiar. Additionally, it holds its own against its peers as it excels in many elements. However, if I’m critical, the reliance on grinding upgrade points could put some people off. Yet, this is a minor issue and something you learn to deal with. Accordingly, this is a fantastic game and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you find the source of the distress call? Upgrade your ship, avoid the danger, and kick some alien ass.