Ballistic SE is the latest from Radian Games. For those who don’t know, Radian pretty much specializes in easy to pick up and play arcade or casual style games. Ballistic SE apes games like Geometry Wars in what is a novel and extremely polished twin stick shooter, that sadly lacks variety. That isn’t to say that it isn’t good or worth playing. It’s just not as strong as it could be.
One thing that immediately sets this game apart is the auto-targeting. If you don’t touch the shooting stick, you’ll automatically fire at the nearest enemies. Enemies are still too fast and numerous for you to sit around, so this doesn’t really make it easy. Just interesting. Sometimes it’s helpful to let the computer take over, while other times it’ll only hinder you. As you fight through wave after wave of these spherical enemies, picking up score multipliers and bombs along the way, you’ll get higher and higher in the 100 wave ladder, unlocking later starting waves as well.
As you climb said ladder, you’ll also unlock various enhancement points, which can be used to add rapid fire, bigger bomb blasts, faster movement, which becomes almost necessary, and even homing shots, which is even funnier on the early levels along with the auto targeting. You can also reassign your points and come at a particular wave in a new way. There are also very cool challenge levels that ask you to survive particularly difficult enemy combos for two minutes, and enhancement choice comes largely into play here as well.
It’s a really slick looking game, that isn’t very colorful overall, but that only punctuates the vibrant enemies. I haven’t even mentioned the totally awesome ballistic meter, which you can unleash when full for torrent of slow motion invincible death. It may seem a little dry on content, but it definitely makes up for that in fun and polish. Decide which of those is more important to you. You can download Ballistic SE for two dollars at the time of this review.
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