hyper 5 review 1 scaled

It is that time of month when another Eastasiasoft game limps over the horizon, and here the subject of the game, the genre if you like, is to be a shoot ‘em up. Coming from developers Hyper Productions and the aforementioned Eastasiasoft, that game is Hyper-5. Strap yourselves in, it is time to blast off and find out if this is a worthy shooter. 

Starting with the story, the narrative as to why we are flying about and shooting stuff, and I think the word “slim” just about covers it. We have apparently received a distress signal from the planet 4GDT (sounds like my old form class at school) and so we have blasted off, completely alone, to go and find out what is going on. Luckily, our lovely scout ship, designation Hyper-5, has a lot of bullets and nothing to fire them at, so going to see what is happening will give us a good chance to put all this expensive, hi-tech weaponry to use.  

The story is neither here nor there, but in terms of the presentation the news is pretty good. What this isn’t is the usual kind of thing you’d expect from these type of games – you know, retro styled, pixel art, rough looking graphics. Here the graphics are much more modern and up to date, capable of holding a head up high even when compared with the likes of the more modern R-Type games. There is a pleasing blend of zooming in at the start of stages, and even when going from air to water, the transition is handled in a cinematic fashion. I mean, it isn’t going to win any awards for technical innovation, don’t get me wrong, but it is still a step up from what I expected. 

The sound is all jolly pleasant too, with shooting noises and explosions all very much present and correct. One annoying thing is the, I assume, voice of your ship; a robotic female sounding affair, with the same amount of animation and passion as me reading out a list of ingredients in a Big Mac. The Oscar committee will not be called on here. In fact, if I have to listen to her say “Evasive action!” once more I’m going to headbutt the bullets on purpose…

So, Hyper-5’s presentation is good but the story is weak. However, the rest of the game does offer some interesting ideas. We’ll take a look at the upgrade mechanic first of all, as it is a little bit different from the usual type of thing you find in these games. You see, as you go through the majority of shooters, as you destroy enemies, you will receive power ups that make you stronger as you go through each level. This doesn’t happen here, and the result is something a little more interesting. Instead, as you battle your way through the stages, there are missions to achieve in each level, be to shoot a certain number of a particular enemy, or to take a certain amount of damage and so on. Each enemy you shoot, and each mission you fulfil, gives you upgrade points that can be spent between levels in order to power the ship up in the armoury. Certain missions you can take on also let you have access to new weapon systems, and so there is a smidge of strategy in your choices, as choosing the right weapons can help. 

Each weapon system can also be upgraded with the points you get from killing stuff, so replaying earlier levels can be a good way of bumping up the damage you do to stay alive in the later levels. There are three main weapons system to upgrade too: the main cannon, a utility bay, and a special weapon. Getting new upgrades can help you become a whirling death machine, while conversely the wrong choices are very much like bringing a knife to a gun fight; an ignominious death soon follows. 

The levels themselves play as you’d expect, with the action scrolling left to right as you go, with a whole army of cannon fodder between where you start and the inevitable boss. Hyper-5 is pretty punishing, as if you die before the boss, then you have to start the whole run again through the level. Honestly this can be a bit soul destroying, especially on the later underwater levels where it is almost impossible to make out what is a safe bit of landscape, what is a rock and what is a bullet. It isn’t a traditional bullet hell, it is just that the level backdrops get very crowded and the visual noise makes it hard to see what is going on. 

Still, getting through does give a bit of a victory feeling, so it isn’t all bad. There are other modes to play besides working through the story as well, such as Time Trial, where you have to kill as many foes in a short time as possible, and also Arcade, where the action is pretty much that of story mode. 

Hyper-5 is a fairly accomplished shoot ’em up with some interesting ideas. The allowance of tailoring your loadout works well, and the visuals are well presented, but the later levels in particular are very hard to navigate safely. If you like a shooter, and a reasonably priced one at that, then you may well get on with Hyper-5. The extra modes add something nice too, and so while this isn’t going to set the world on fire, it does enough to escape mediocrity.

Source: https://www.thexboxhub.com/hyper-5-review/