Top Critic Average
Stunning to look at, slick and fluid to play as well as being a satisfying -- but never insurmountable -- challenge, Astebreed is a top-quality game that everyone with even a passing interest in shoot 'em ups should have in their collection.
Seriously bursting at the seams with style and beauty from every corner, Astebreed is a must play, and will continue to be a must play long after you've beaten it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more Filune ships to blow up.
This is one of my favorite shoot-'em-ups in years, and fellow STG enthusiasts would be remiss to overlook such a gem. Astebreed is a masterstroke. Spread the word.
Luckily, the added difficulty modes and competing for the best score on the leaderboards adds some replay value, but some might consider the $19.99 asking price a bit steep for what's on offer. For others like me, this is a little slice of bullet heaven that the PS4 has been long awaiting.
With as many bullet hell shmups as I’ve played over the years, including ones that have dabbled in different perspectives of various kinds, I’ve simply never played anything like Astebreed. It’s visually full of detail that you’ll blow by and struggle to appreciate as your screen is full of targets, but for all of that intensity the gameplay rarely has any hitches. Once you get the controls in order it’s smooth sailing and feels very natural, even as the game constantly shifts perspective and style on you. While I couldn’t really tell you much of anything about the story, there’s certainly one there, just since it plays out while you’re desperately trying to stay alive I’m not sure you’re really meant to digest it more than in passing. If you’ve been looking for something different and intense in a bullet hell shooter, Astebreed is a solid choice.
With its delicious score system taken into account, Astebreed is well-constructed, well-presented and well-balanced. A certain amount of delight comes from the novelty of a 32-bit-esque indie game, as it offers a welcome change from the army of sprite-based titles of the previous few years.
Astebreed is great fun, and its download price makes it very easy to recommend – it just seems a shame that the game's six stages can be whizzed through in the best part of an afternoon. Without the Score Attack mode, the game would actually feel pretty hollow, but the blast-'em-up's still sure to stir emotions in anyone who had the pleasure of growing up with some of the fantastic titles that inspired it. Just be thankful that this game exists, saving us all a walk to the arcade and countless pockets of change.
Astebreed is a remarkably well-built indie title, which nails both the mecha genre and its anime flavouring. Anyone who's enjoyed Radiant Silvergun or Ikaruga will find plenty to like here, and though it can be easy to blast through the levels as quickly as possible, its rewarding mechanics and high-score leaderboards will ensure plenty of reasons to make repeat visits.
Nintendo Switch has plenty of shmups to its name, so Astebreed finds itself rubbing shoulders with some of the best retro and modern examples the genre has to offer. With its shifting planes and the constant switch between ranged and melee combat, it manages to offer just enough extra spice to help it stand out, although the lack of an English dub makes its story nigh-on impossible to follow unless you understand Japanese. Still, developer Edelweiss has made an effort to make its previously unwieldy controls fit the confines of the Switch's control interface - although you really should invest in a Pro Controller if you want to enjoy Astebreed at its best. It's not a masterpiece then, but remains worthy of investigation if you love the genre.
While Astebreed may be short in length, it more than makes up for it with its anime styled storytelling and quality, fast, furious action. It's another classy little indie game on the PlayStation 4 that further enhances the console's value.
Edelweiss is to be applauded for applying modern day game design to a genus long in need of a 21st century lick, and while it might not totally rejuvenate an interest in bullet hell shooters, it would be foolish for fans of the genre to ignore a game as polished and slick as Astebreed. Granted, there's a limited audience for this type of game, and it's definitely not for the casuals, but any gamer nostalgic for the time when skill played a major factor in progression should find this a worthy challenge.
Astebreed is a good game that makes you see quality over quantity in a whole new light. The game is stunningly beautiful, to the point that you would mistake it for a triple-A title. However, the game is absurdly short and severely lacks in content beyond the story mode.