It is very rare to come across a game that manages to be new and refreshing, whilst reminding me of my very first experiences of gaming on the Snes with my brother. Steredenn: Binary Stars is such a game.
Released by Pixelnest on Xbox in April 2016, this fast-paced, 2D shmup will appeal to many gamers who are a fan of this type of gameplay.
The enemies are aggressive and you must move quickly as you navigate through the levels in a roguelikes fashion that many older gamers may be familiar with, personally it reminds me of Parodious: The Octopus Saves the World.
The main game only has 7 levels but this does present its own challenges. You start with your basic ship and as you proceed, you find upgrades to equip and also weapons, some of which are rarer than others, however, with 27 upgrade options & 35 weapons, the player isn’t lacking in choice to fit on newer ships they unlock.
What is unusual about Steredenn is that you only have one life. You can take numerous hits depending on your shield, you will keep your weapons as you lose health but lose that life and its game over, there are no checkpoints in this universe. Whilst completion of the levels does see the game loop back, that one life becomes very precious.
There are other options as well as the main game, Steredenn does have special events as well as daily activities for its community. There are boss fights, although due to the repetitive nature of the game and its enemies, these tend to be larger ships with bold, impressive attack patterns.
Steredenn does offer a local co-op mode, which, whilst appealing to the nostalgia in me, does limit the gamer somewhat. You both share your life and once you have started your run, one player can not leave and the other continue.
Only one player will be able to sign in as well and so the achievements will not be shared but I think these are minor considerations in terms of how much fun it is to navigate the challenges coop presents.
Steredenn may not stand up to a lot of the bigger titles in terms of content and yet, it is an incredibly colorful & exciting game, the soundtrack will make your heart race as you strive for victory for the twentieth time and remind a lot of us of games we still love to this day.
For users with a Games with Gold pass, you can play it for free or it can be purchased from Xbox or Steam for $12.99.
I think it is reasonably priced for a game that does offer a lot of fun and whilst its not for all ages (rated 10+), it is an action-packed, inoffensive game where you can just have an awesome space battle with lasers and really, that's all that matters in Steredenn.