Supercharged Robot VULKAISER: What We Think
Aliens are trying to conquer earth and the only way to help is by piloting a mech known as the VULKAISER. With help from the rest of the VulFighter team, you must dodge and shoot to defend earth and stop the catastrophic invasion.
Supercharged Robot VULKAISER by ASTRO PORT is a side scrolling shoot ’em up inspired by 70s anime. It’s a visual breath of fresh air in the sea of gritty space shoot ’em ups on the market and it manages to be a really fun game to boot.
You play as Takuya Akatsuki and pilot the Supercharged Robot VULKAISER. With the help of your fellow teammates, your goal is quell the alien invaders known as The Gogoh Army as they attempt to conquer earth. The premise is as bare bones and basic as it gets, and it felt underdeveloped because that’s all the narrative you get.
Polished Up Nice and Shiny
This game is so slickly stylized that I first thought it was based off an established anime series. It’s made to look and feel like a 70s anime, and for the most part it succeeds. The only issue is that it doesn’t expand on its presentation as much as I would have liked. The lack of a narrative leaves the game feeling very vapid, somewhat soulless. Characters are drawn expressively and colors pop in a way that makes for an inviting world, but there’s nothing else to sink your teeth into.
There are instances where the game tries to offer more narrative through in-between level text from fellow team members, but it feels like a wasted opportunity since most of the dialogue is basic and mainly elaborates some of your teammates’ generic back stories instead of develop a cohesive narrative or sense of camaraderie.
Fine Finite Firepower
The gameplay feels relatively standard for the genre: You can move freely on a two dimensional plane, fire your main projectile and fire off a more devastating Omega attack. The latter attack is finite so it’s best if used on one of the bosses of the game’s five levels to maximize it’s effectiveness.
During levels you’re given the option to team up with your fellow teammates. There are four different pilots you can team up with each with their own different types of projectiles. The projectiles do help mix up the game slightly but they are not unique enough to change up the gameplay in a drastic or interesting way. Teaming up will alter your projectiles, making them stronger and more powerful as in the case of Yukimasa Murata, who pilots the Rocket Fighter plane, making your projectiles fire rockets as well.
How Voltron Got His Groove Back
Moving and shooting feels great and smooth; it’s accurate and has the right amount of acceleration to make dodging easy and accurate. This is important because the game has a varied selection of enemies that you’ll come up against. Nothing too unorthodox when it comes to enemies of the genre, but the right amount of variety to make the game not feel repetitious.
One aspect of the game that feels even better is the firing of your main weapon. On your HUD, besides you and your teammate’s health, you have the Charge meter. This meter fills up the more you shoot. When you release the fire button with the meter fully charged, you fire a slightly more powerful main attack. Effective use of Charge meter will help you excel in the game by making you more effective at quickly disposing enemies.
Since charging the meter takes the same amount of time to recharge every time, you start to realize there is some rhythm aspect to the gameplay. Holding down the fire button until the meter is charged, then release, rinse and repeat. It’s surprisingly engaging once you have the rhythm down. The game also helps notify you of when the meter is completely charged by activating a sound effect and giving you a small visual queue so that you can always keep your eyes focused on the action.
East By Northeast
I must mention the game’s soundtrack. Heavily inspired by the era on which the visuals are also based, it could be taken straight out of Battle of the Planets or Voltron and its ilk. It’s triumphant and foreboding in the right spots without feeling out of place for the game’s aesthetic. Whether a track featured haunting pipe organs or bellowing war drums, the soundtrack enhanced the game’s grandiose, sci-fi tone.
Go, Team VULKAISER!
Supercharged Robot VULKAISER is a great shoot ’em up game. Its fun core gameplay mechanics help lift it above the issues I had with its lackluster narrative. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a fun, stylized shoot ’em up to play. It’s definitely a game that could be described as having more style than substance, but a little style never hurt anyone.
Watch the trailer for Supercharged Robot VULKAISER below: