Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

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Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  Waggly Bean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:32 pm


A Game by:
Flump Studios
Price: £1.99


Hint: Maths = Damage

In with a bang, Flump Studios really know how to do introductions. Just like with their previous outing, Pester, the game starts with hard-hitting, pounding music and the Flump logo. Flames shoot up from the bottom of the screen, and the three ships rise up from below as the title appears. This start-up is expertly crafted to grab your attention from the get-go. Super Killer Hornet Resurrection is a shmup like most of Flump Studios' other games; it shares many of the same mechanics and style of their previous game, and so any Pester player should instantly feel at home with this.

First off I should mention that as the 'Resurrection' in the title suggests, SKHR is a sequel. The first Super Killer Hornet (which is still available to buy on the Indie Game marketplace) was also a shooter, but with a very unique twist. This original concept has carried over to Resurrection, and basically involves maths.

Before you stop reading let me tell you that the feature does work, and in all honesty it works surprisingly well. We all know maths at school was never fun, but somehow Flump Studios have pulled it together and crafted something whereby doing sums is enjoyable, and actually quite satisfying. Whilst blasting all of your enemies in their faces, numbers will also drop down the screen. Collecting these numbers will put the sums together, and once the sum itself is built, three numbers will then drop down the screen. These numbers essentially represent a multiple choice answer. Collecting the correct answer will give you a satisfying power up boost to your weaponry, whilst answering incorrectly will downgrade your weapons, so guessing will penalise you. In this way the game has you multi-tasking in a way that not many others do - you are concentrating on using your spatial awareness and co-ordination skills to manoeuvre your ship, whilst at the same time trying to use your logical skills to solve maths equations. It sounds mad - and it kind of is!


Aside from the maths, the game is really a shmup as we all know them. Hordes of varying enemies fly across the screen in set patterns, raining down bullets on your ship while you desperately try to evade them and simultaneously take them down. And that's fine - it works well. Just like Pester before it, the hitbox is tiny and allows you to navigate your ship through incredibly tight gaps resulting in some pleasing daring escapes. The enemy bullets also really stand out so there are no unfair "oh I didn't see it" moments. And best of all, like Pester the enemies aren't cheap so there never seems to be any impossible situations where you are backed into a corner. Pleasantly, there is always an escape route as long as you are skilled and fast enough.

Graphically the game is hugely improved over Pester and SKH. The sprites are very well realised, enemy and player ships look more detailed, more eye-catching and generally less two dimensional. And the boss sprites are simply awesome, not to mention huge, akin to some of the craziest Japanese shooters on the market. The first boss sees us up against some kind of deformed-zombie head with wings, while the second is a creature to too dissimilar to something you might find in a Castlevania game (you might spot him on the boxart above). The backgrounds in the game have also received a very nice makeover - rather than the generic shapes of landscapes we saw previously, SKHR now has trees, rivers, train tracks and so on. This has the added bonus of providing land based enemy units, and allows the levels to be nice and varied. Add to this the fact that the game has now gone fullscreen, so has done away with the vertical orientation and letterboxing seen in many classic shooters. This gives you more space to really appreciate the games looks.


The Gameplay offers several options before starting, one of which is the difficulty setting. This time round Flump Studios have gone a bit easier on their players and provided an 'auto-bomb' setting, which is a nice touch that automatically detonates your bomb if you're about to be hit. This is a far cry from the hard-as-nails difficulty of Pester. There are also three different types of ship on offer which each have different speed, power and amount of bullet spread, which allows for different play styles. The main game is Arcade Mode, which takes you through the story scoring points, then if you still haven't had enough, there is Time Attack mode which as you would expect pits you against the clock. The difference with this mode is that solving sums actually adds time to your clock, which is a rather clever idea as it forces you to answer as many sums as possible!

Musically the game is an interesting one. The soundtrack is very different this time round, as Flump Studios have struck up a deal with UK band Sixty Fours to provide four tracks of their original music for the game. The music is 'rock hip-hop', but just incase this doesn't suit you there is a 'classic OST' option too, which features music without lyrics. I have played the game with each of these and personally felt that the Sixty Fours tracks probably suited the style of the game that bit better, except perhaps for 'Relive These Times' which I think is a bit mellow for the gameplay. However, the classic OST is still a welcome addition as I'm not sure how many times people will want to hear about the new hat and new shoes that the singer has bought himself!


Like Pester before it, SKHR offers you a range of awards for completing certain requirements. A couple of these are score based, one is based on your multiplier and another on how many sums you've solved. It's a fairly standard list but nice to have the extra goals to keep you playing.

The one thing that lets Super Killer Hornet Resurrection down a bit is that it doesn't feel quite as tense as the first SKH or Pester. I can't pinpoint exactly what the cause is - perhaps the extra space from the game utilising the full width makes it a bit easier, or perhaps playing with autobombs on has made me feel 'safer'. Maybe it is that the music doesn't have the same urgency as in the previous games, or maybe the pacing is just more relaxed. Or perhaps it is a combination of all of those things. I suppose that might actually be a plus for more casual gamers though. Either way, SKHR is still a great game, a solid shooter and one that looks stunning, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend picking it up if you're a fan of the genre.

Score 8/10

Trailer:


Download the Game Here

Developer Website


A review copy was kindly provided by Flump Studios.

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Re: Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  minkey_monkey on Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:55 pm

Good review fella. Not my kind of game, but kudos for such a long and well thought out write up!

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Re: Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  Colne Crusader on Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:05 pm

Wicked. This looks really nice. I'll be buying this. Loving the Japanese influence.

Can't wait for the next game with trigonometry action!

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Re: Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  Markav on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:03 pm

Good review mate. If this was on the 3ds I would snap it up, it looks ideal as a handheld shooter

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Re: Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  Flump Studios on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:09 pm

Awesome review!
Always love reading your feedback on my games.
Will have start work on a black label version to ramp up the tension for you Smile

Just checking, is it OK to take some quotes for the SKHR steam store page?

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Re: Super Killer Hornet Resurrection: Indie Game Review

Post  Waggly Bean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:05 pm

Flump Studios wrote:Awesome review!
Always love reading your feedback on my games.
Will have start work on a black label version to ramp up the tension for you Smile

Just checking, is it OK to take some quotes for the SKHR steam store page?
Glad you liked it. Always nice to have a response directly from the developer too. Smile

And I have no problem with you taking a few quotes if you like, so long as it's credited to TheGamesDen.com so that the site gets a little bit of free advertising. Wink

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