Shmup Collection is a compilation title of Astro Port Studios titles, brought to the Nintendo Switch by Pixelheart and Storybird. Following from previous Shmup compilations, is this enough to graze that hard earned cash of yours? Let’s go!.
Shmup Collection ties together 3 titles from Astro Port Studios. Armed 7 DX, Satazius Next & Wolflame, if that wasn’t enough Armed 7 and Satazius are also included. While the latter two are just the standard game but with different audio and visual styles it does help bulk out this already tasty package.
Armed 7 DX is up first, a mech based horizontal shmup. First thing you’ll notice when you boot this game up is the level of customization you can have with your bullets. Rather than pick “ships” you choose your bullet load out, quite a nifty difference from the get go.
As soon as your mech launches you’ll realize this isn’t quite cookie cutter, your shot fires directly in front of you BUT if you go up or down it’ll angle your shots. This immediately puts more emphasis on your positioning when dodging bullets and building that high score.
While taking down enemies you’ll build up a charge meter, when this is full you can let go a giant attack on the enemies and show them exactly who the boss is.
Armed 7 DX has alot going on with the screen in terms of bullets to dodge, enemies to crush and explosions to cause. The backgrounds and general level design aren’t much to go on about but do a decent job.
The character and enemy design are decently done, the Mech looks as expected and this is your usual take on Sci Fi Mech warfare. My only gripe with the visuals is that it looks a little too smooth at times, the bigger animations look a little awkward and gives the game a slightly “flash game” look.
The soundtrack and visuals are fantastic in DX but if you want something a little grittier you can always switch it to standard Armed 7, it’s less vibrant giving you the option of both!.
I enjoyed Armed 7 DX a good deal, my initial look at it wasn’t great with the visuals and the angled shot but once I sat down with it properly I really got stuck into the game. It’s a fair length for a Shmup clocking in around the hour mark, the bosses are fun and the customizable shots make replays even more fun.
Satazius Next is the next title to look at, while Armed 7 DX is more of an all out knuckle blazing vertical shooter, Satazius takes the Gradius/R-Type approach, another part of the shmup genre.
Once again you have a range of customizable shots to pick before you jet across space, you’ll be able to freely switch between the two shots you pick & experimentation is encouraged!.
You’ll notice straight away that Satazius has a much more slow and deliberate pace than that of Armed 7. Where that was a little more twitch, this is more planning and position more than anything, you can quite easily put yourself in a death position without forward.
Satazius has some fantastic level design and almost puzzle style elements at times, while certainly on the tougher side of the scale it’s just as addictive as the other titles on this collection, even if it is to just see another level instead of a high score.
I enjoy Satazius Next alot, much like Armed 7 DX it also has the option to change the music and visuals by switching to Satazius. While the toughest out of the 3 titles it has such an addictive “one more go” hook, much like the games it’s inspired by.
Wolflame is the Horizontal shooter of the pack which instantly breaks it up from the other two titles. Wolflame is very similar to classic titles such as Raiden and Strikers 1945 in aesthetics and gameplay.
Wolflame is a military shooter so slightly more grounded than the Satazius Next or Armed 7 DX, this is mostly apparent in its visuals and enemy design.
Despite horizontal shooters being my favourites, I found that I spent the least time with Wolflame out of the three titles. The stages felt very generic at least until the space stages later on. Also the reliance on a checkpoint system really threw me and if you die during a boss battle prepare to struggle against it again as all your upgrades are gone.
All in all Shmup Collection provides you with 3 different experiences from the same genre, for the asking price it is an absolute steal. It’s difficult to rate each game as everyone has a preference to which style of Shmup they enjoyed and it really threw me that my preference was my least enjoyed title.
I enjoy putting the Shmup Collection on and blasting away an hour or two on any of the titles, if you’re looking for a nice cost effective way to get in to the genre OR want some more bulk to your shmup library, Shmup Collection is much easier to recommend than it is to complete Satazius Next!.
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