PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Super Intergalactic Gang
Developed By: Martin Cerdeira
Published By: Black Shell Media
Released: January 4, 2016
Available On: Windows
Genre: Side-scrolling shooter
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1-2 
Price: $1.99

*Advertising disclosure* Though Black Shell Media is an advertising partner, this review is not influenced by that relationship.

Thanks to Black Shell Media for the review code!

Aliens are plotting to attack the Earth! Thankfully for the innocent humans living there, the Super Intergalactic Gang is here to push them back! Take control of one of a few dozen of your favorite fair use-protected heroes, such as Luke Skycrawler, Rombo, and the Hoolk, and stuff those sorry aliens back into the hole they crawled out of!

As a side-scrolling shooter, Super Intergalactic Gang is solidly playable. The action is fast-paced without becoming too overwhelming – and with the integral “time distort” ability, even the more intense parts are easily manageable. The weapons are many and varied, with most of them being unique in execution: these range from standard machine guns to piercing lasers to lightsabers to a short-ranged fist thrower that bears more than a passing resemblance to Mega Man’s Hard Knuckle. Each weapon (aside from the lightsaber) is chargeable as well, usually creating a larger, more damaging version of the basic shot.

Super Intergalactic Gang
Highlights:

Strong Points: Decent gameplay; good weapon and power-up variety
Weak Points: Assaults the senses; not much content
Moral Warnings: Violence against pixel aliens; two characters are Hell Kid and Mutant Poop

In addition to the weapons, each boss you defeat offers you a chance to take one of two random power-ups. Passive healing, increased damage, quicker time distort recharge, and more are all on the table, ensuring that no two playthroughs are exactly alike as well as breathing some variety into the gameplay. While the luck of the draw is certainly in play, the progression of power is easily discernable and rather satisfying – throwing eight grenades a second while zipping around a near-constantly slowed bunch of enemies is quite the suitable reward for your time.

Super Intergalactic Gang controls well enough, though it’s not completely flawless. The game shows the controls on screen as if it were an arcade game – joystick to move, button one to fire, button two to time distort – but never tells you what that translates to on keyboard or gamepad (arrow keys/Z/X and D-pad/A/B, for the record). There’s also no auto-fire, either by setting or button, meaning you’ll be mashing your relevant attack key constantly for a good half-hour. Outside of those, the game controls without any problems, responding quickly to each command, no matter how fatigued the finger that issues them is.

Unfortunately, the gameplay is hampered by the game’s overall presentation. The 8-bit style shows glimpses of competency, but there’s really no internal consistency to it. All of the many playable characters look decent, though some are more detailed than others, but the enemies vary wildly from appealing to looking like they were whipped together in a minute in MS Paint. On top of that, the game loves to disrupt your view of the action, either by explosions that wildly shake the screen or enemies that fly toward the monitor and completely block your vision for a few moments. The bosses fire easily-seen bullets that stand out against the starry background, but the few regular enemies that shoot at you have bullets that shift and twinkle as they meander across the battlefield, making them easy to lose in the cacophony. While messing with the player’s UI can add to the experience (see Eternal Darkness), this game’s attempt is just hard on the eyes with no redeeming factor.

Super Intergalactic Gang
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 62%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 4/10
Sound - 5/10
Stability - 4.5/5
Controls - 4.5/5

Morality Score - 92%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The sounds, sadly, don’t fare much better. The music in Super Intergalactic Gang is entirely chiptune-style, which fits the game fine – though the only time you’ll really notice it is when it’s irritating. Still, there are some pretty good songs tucked away behind the sound effects that really assault your ears. These vary as well, with each weapon type having its own firing noise, but considering you’ll be shooting off dozens of rounds a second, the repeated effects get grating fast. The worst offender is the energy disc, which has an extremely loud, high-pitched whine that completely negates its use despite being a powerful weapon. It’s not all bad, however; a robot voice announces weapon pickups and time distortion as well as compliments you upon beating a boss, adding a fair share of charm.

Perhaps Super Intergalactic Gang’s biggest fault, however, is that there’s no incentive to keep playing. The story and boss rush modes constitute the bulk of the game, with no difficulty options or challenges to keep things going. The game keeps score, but only during your current run; there’s no apparent way to track your previous point totals at all. The stats screen offers up only enemies killed and total player deaths; total time distorts and playtime appear, but aren’t tracked at all, staying permanently at zero. In essence, once you’ve beaten the game once, you’ve beaten it for good.

There’s not much to say morality-wise about Super Intergalactic Gang. The shooting violence is obvious, but the pixilated style as well as the fact that most aliens spin away to the bottom of the screen or poof out of existence upon defeat keep the savagery down. There are only two instances of questionable language, both in the playable cast: Hell Kid and Mutant Poop. Those are the only breaches, and rather minor ones as well; the majority of the game is clean.

Considering Super Intergalactic Gang was, music aside, wholly created by one man, Martin Cerdeira, the smooth and enjoyable gameplay is an impressive feat. However, its 8-bit wrapper is not so much retro as cheap, coming across more frequently as annoying rather than charming. If you’re an extreme fan of the pixilated style, or feel like playing a new side-scrolling shooter, it might be worth the two dollars the game currently costs.

-Cadogan

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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