Friday, December 13, 2013

Starlight EU beta codes heading out the docking bay

Since the Vita will never enjoy the blistering scenes of Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen, its time to see if the money invested in Starlight Inception from Escape Hatch is worth it. The EU beta codes are being sent out now to those who backed the $150,000 project (one of whom is me).



I'll post some impressions, but there are plenty floating about from the US beta (see video). I'm not getting overly carried away given its tiny budget and team compared to its rivals and the fact its still a beta. Just a fun space shooter will do me fine thanks!

UPDATE: My beta feedback

Unless there's a major visual upgrade on the way, ditch the briefing meeting scenes. It looks ugly, does nothing to advance the plot that can't be done from the cockpit and doesn't paint a good first impression.

In flight dialogue: Like it! Just sci-fi-corny enough to get away with it.

Fighter controls: Nice and lose, fun to fly, a bit juddery near the captial ships but manageable.

Targeting: Touchscreen control to pick from multiple on-screen targets please.

Explosions: Add a check so if a small ship explodes close to you there's only a tiny (or the first part of the) explosion effect, a full-screen near explosion for a dinky fighter seems rather excessive and seemed to kill the frame rate if really close.

Music and game effects: Like the meaty weapon fire and thrust sounds, music suitably atmospheric. Some nice hull-on-hull clangs would help.

Landing: While I liked landing the first time, tell me there's an auto-land option so you don't have to do that at the end of each mission?

Radar and missile sub-displays: Are they really needed? Is there an option to turn them off? Didn't find myself noticing them at all, especially with duplicate information elsewhere on the screen.

Options wheel: Activate by holding the rear touch panel?

On the plus side, no crashes, no getting stuck of mission breaking that I can find.

Other than that, based on the shortness of the demo, that's all I have to offer. There's a few quirks, its nice to know I can blow the turrets off my own mothership without reprimand among others, but I'd happily play this if the full story is fast-paced and engaging enough. Oh, and no damn escort missions please!

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