Gone are the days of the old-school shooter, when games like Tempest and Defender were there to amuse us. These days, people need a little more complexity with their shooters – although that doesn’t stop some companies from trying to cater to the old-school crowd. That’s exactly what In/Framez Technology Corp. does with Hyper Void for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and, in spite of its difficulty spikes (that’s part of the fun, kids), you’ll get your money’s worth out of this enjoyable shooter.
The game throws you head first into 29 different levels, in which you’re gunning for all sorts of enemies that want nothing short of killing you. That includes launching missiles at you, shooting spikes across the screen, or sending flame bursts that can obliterate your ship in a matter of hits. And that’s nothing compared to what the bosses have planned for you, scattered across so many of the stages available.
Hyper Void is tough, to be sure, as you’ll die several times within the first few stages, then find that was a mere set-up for the greater challenges that lie ahead in the upper count ones. But, again, that’s part of putting your old-school shmup skills to the test, and In/Framez does a splendid job of making this happen. The game caters a lot to the classic Tempest crowd, with rotational stages and lots of dangers to avoid as you use three different types of fire to extinguish enemies – a consistent stream of bullets, a stronger shotgun-style blast, and a laser beam that lasts a few seconds. (You have to recharge your firing rate in order to recuperate and use them again.)
You’ll be testing a great deal of your reflexes playing this game, but still feel in awe as you rack up a high score and eventually get better at tit – just like any good-natured arcade game should do for you. For good measure, there’s plenty of replay value, as you can go back and try to accomplish even greater scores than you did the first time around. Don’t bother going back for the story, though – it’s cryptic and not really that well told, merely serving as a placeholder for the action stages that lie ahead.
The graphics in Hyper Void look surreal, and may cause a few of you to freak out if you can’t stand flashing imagery. Nevertheless, the nouveau-style stage design is pretty neat, and the enemy effects really flash out across the screen, challenging you at every turn. The game also runs at a pretty steady frame rate throughout as well, especially during the boss battles. It really looks good.
As for the music, it’s slightly repetitive, but still pretty good when it comes to shooting action. The sound effects are decidedly retro as well, complete with little phaser noises like you’d normally expect from a good “shmup”-producing companies.
If you can withstand a bit of challenge – and don’t mind some imagery that gets a little too “showey” for its own good – you’ll enjoy Hyper Void. It caters back to the classic shoot-em-up state of mind, with great controls and visuals in tow. And it’s affordable, too, only costing a few bucks to add to your library. Considering how rare good shooters are these days – not first person, mind you – that’s a feat in itself.