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Ballistic SE Review

By , on May 1, 2012


Ballistic SE
  • Publisher: Radiangames
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Released: 26 Apr, 2012
  • Size: 33.7 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Silky smooth framerate and responsive controls; switches from single to twin-stick control on the fly.
  • Ship customization allows for some specialization; pairs well with the 'Challenge' mode.

CONS

  • Yet another basic twin-stick shooter; lost in the crowd despite its polish.

VERDICT

Ballistic SE manages to nail the slick presentation and smart controls that make a shooter really shine, but its middle-of-the-road gameplay holds the game back.


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Radiangames last made an impression on us at AppSpy a little over a month ago with the simple, but thoroughly impressive 'twin stick' title, Fireball Special Edition. Its focus on passive-aggressive play made it a true test of skill as you balanced great rewards with great risk. The developer's latest release, Ballistic Special Edition is far more traditional in its design, sticking to the twin-stick formula, albeit with a few twists.

For those familiar with Fireball, the game will bear more than a passing similarity thanks to the swarms of enemies that seemingly 'flock' towards the player in a way that can only be described as spookily organic. The game's 'Ballistic' mode also shares a similarity to the 'Meltdown' mode of Fireball, slowing down the game and granting greater maneuverability; its one addition is that it also affects your weapons, making them more powerful.

However, it's the inclusion of weapons that dulls the game compared to its predecessor, placing it firmly in the territory of genre greats that include Geometry Wars. Ballistic's twist is that in the basic 'Waves' mode, the player is pitted against increased odds, gaining points at each checkpoint to modify their ship in a way of their choosing; changing the way their weapons work, how big explosions are, maneuverability, and so on.

While it's nice to have a choice, the end result is the same: a more powerful ship capable of keeping up with the waves. As such parity is maintained with other twin-stick titles and it gets lost in the crowd.

With that said, Ballistic SE isn't without points that should be praised. The controls cleverly switch between single-stick and twin-stick controls on-the-fly, allowing you to either concentrate on maneuvering or perform a precise shot as required; meanwhile the 'Challenge' mode provides a distinctly unique test of your skill as you modify your load-out to survive for the full two minutes.

Ballistic SE is a well polished shooter and for that it stands out from similar titles, but it offers little more than this as an incentive to play it.

Screenshots

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