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.
One of the most impressive indie titles of the year and arguably the most cinematic and accessible 2D shooter of the modern era.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With game-changing gameplay, beautiful visuals, and a decent story, Astebreed makes for a great diversion that you'll wish could go on forever.