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.
With game-changing gameplay, beautiful visuals, and a decent story, Astebreed makes for a great diversion that you'll wish could go on forever.
Astebreed is a fantastic indie old school shooter that is fun for both veterans and those new to the genre
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.