Sometimes I get caught up in the moment and am overly enthusiastic about a game, only to return to it a few months later and have a different stance. That is not the case for Hyper-5 – easily one of my favourite shmups of all time, and more so that it’s now on the PS5.
A game of all-time might be a tad dramatic, but it is one of my favourite shmups, and based on the games I’ve been playing since the 80s… yeah, it’s accurate. Developed by Hyper Productions, it has since become available on consoles courtesy of Eastasiasoft, and if you’re concerned that I might not say it, it is, indeed, ‘a blast’.
Though Hyper-5 takes a cinematic approach, the story isn’t going to be one you’ll quote in the pub as there isn’t really one, but it looks pretty, and that might be one of the first things you’ll notice. But the UI won’t win you over, and the voiceovers are a little meh. Good, got that out of the way. Let’s continue.
Hyper-5 Review PS5
There is a good deal of features in the game, with the campaign most likely your go-to experience. There are five well-paced levels that might seem a little stingy, but the difficulty is apt, and there are plenty of challenges available for repeat play. These challenges tend to be shooting down several enemies or completing a clear run of all five stages without dying. They’re tailored to your skill level but way more accessible than most shoot ’em ups.
To begin with, Hyper-5 is relatively slow, and your ship is a little too vanilla regarding its arsenal. Heh – arse. Fear not, impatient gamer, for the upgrades in this game are frequent and readily available, genuinely changing up your play style. That is if you opt for the Progression style of play. Battle-hardened shmup veterans would be best suited to the Precision style of play. Besides the ‘standard’ blaster, there’s a tech bay secondary option (powerful, but has limited ammo), missile variants, plus drone supports called Outriders. They’re the best.
New gear is unlocked through progression, but in defeating complete waves of enemies, there will be the upgrade currency known as UP that can increase the power of your weapons, increase the gameplay speed, as well as build upon your existing health and retry options. It really is a comfortable ride and doesn’t feel like a grind. Even after finishing the challenges, I would come back to play simply because it’s very enjoyable.
But There’s More…
As stated, the Hyper-5 campaign is likely to be your first port of call, but once you’ve done that (or if you’re one of those defiant people who do things their way), there’s the option to play the arcade mode – chasing the online leaderboard dream, and time trials. These aren’t filler features either and are worthy of just as much attention as the campaign.
Visually the PS5 would never be challenged with this game. The graphics aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re very nice, nevertheless, and all the enemy units, bosses, and stages work well together. There are a couple of visual glitches not seen on the PC version, but they are only minor. If anything, the UI is the downside of the presentation, but really, the gameplay is a lot of fun.
Arguably the draw is the number of challenges, time trials and scores to compete online, but even after that, Hyper-5 is just so playable, and though I have a lot of love for the PC version, having spent hours on it, playing this in the lounge with a DualSense was that much more enjoyable. Regardless of the version, this is one of my favourites.
Really? Isn’t it obvious? Massively replayable, entertaining gameplay with a wealth of upgrades, challenges and varying modes, Hyper-5 is a definite recommendation, irrespective of some of its flaws – it’s essential, in my opinion.