Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Game of the Day - Star Guards

I say it every time and I'll say it again, I'm a sucker for a dual joystick game.  In the great tradition of previous GOTDs Black Widow, Total Carnage and others, I give you Star Guards.

Star Guards is another good example of the dual js genre (its great-granddad is Robotron 2084).  You move with the left joystick (albeit kind of choppy and staccato as your robot twists and turns) and shoot with the right.  And Star Guards adds the element that up to three can play at once.

The enemies you shoot are all kinds of robotic and space oriented baddies.  Cartoonish graphics dominate.  Each wave requires you to shoot a certain number of leaders.  So while you are shooting all kinds of things, only the leaders (you'll have to figure out which on each wave) count toward finishing the stage.  The screen tells you how many leaders you have killed and how many remain to finish the stage.  The screen also tells you how much energy you have left.  Each energy unit is essentially one hit you can take from enemy fire or crashing.  The good news is you can increase your energy by capturing energy pods (they look like molecules).

A couple of other nice touches are included...  You get to pick every stage you go to after the first from a large star map, and there are many to select from.  Also, after a certain number of waves or success, you are awarded all types of powered-up weapons.  Since you shoot your normal weapon with the right joystick, the super-weapon is activated by pushing the start button.

The other great thing about the game is that it is up to 3 player simultaneous.  And at the end of each wave, the bonuses and power-ups are only awarded to the player who killed the most enemies.  A nice little addition to the competition.

So play Star Guards and save the universe.  If you play it with a friend (or two), you are gonna need 4 or 6 joysticks, so this is the perfect time to crack out those Xbox wireless controllers - the game plays very well using the analog sticks.

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