I was hoping the reference to Wipeout was a lazy bit of comparison. That didn’t come from me, but the promo piece when I first wrote the news post on Lost Wing. But do you know what? I’m glad that it’s not really like Wipeout at all.
It’s such a hybrid of a game as I want to say it’s a racer, but without any other competitors, it’s just yourself. In that respect, it’s more like a shooter then?
Lost Wing PS4 Review
Set in a third-person view without any alternatives, Lost Wing resembles other futuristic racers, only without the other racers and fanfare.
Instead, you race through a series of obstacles that grow in number and complexity, all the while zapping them with your blasters. In a cruel twist, to keep the fire burning, you have to charge your blasters. How? Through motion.
So, holding down the R2 button will accelerate, L2 to brake, well, slow down time, and your craft will speed up, all the while charging your cannons. And there I was hoping to snipe off the offending hazards…
This is great though, as unlike Wipeout, you aren’t racing anyone, it’s not blisteringly fast. The game is swift, but not at a pace where you can’t enjoy it.
I relished at the opportunity to replay the same stages again and again. That’s nothing to do with how crap I was at the game. That said, Lost Wing was quite possibly the fastest platinum in history as I seemingly unlocked almost all the trophies in the first 20 minutes, which was great for boasting, but disappointing for the challenge.
Alas, the bug gods heard me, and for some reason, the trophies haven’t been recorded, and the game isn’t listed on my system. As annoying as that is, I don’t play to win trophies and can honestly say the game is an enjoyable shooter.
Twist and Shout
On the surface, Lost Wing is a game on rails that seems rather basic and, if you’re the impatient type, you might find it lacking polish and incomplete.
However, steadily push forward and the intensity of obstacles in your path increase. Other than evasion, the alternative is to blast them, but you need to charge your cannons to do so, and that means accelerating through.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword and entirely in the game’s favour. I liked how the game felt like a programmable treadmill where it would incline slowly the further you got, always offering a challenge without any moments of monotony.
To keep the tempo, the soundtrack is perfectly suited with the appropriate techno beats, in fear of sounding like my dad.
It didn’t have the same intensity of other racers or that urgency you can usually expect, but again, this was an advantage as I found the music was excellent. You can change the tracks with L1 and R1, but don’t expect the diversity of radio stations you would get in something like GTA V.
In addition to blasters and a dedicated bomb, your ship can also jump over certain items, performing a Starwing-like barrel roll in the process. Not only is this a requirement to get past some areas, but it also makes you look like you know what you’re doing.
The hardest thing, however, was the rotational element.
Not An Easy Feat
There’s one particular power-up that I found annoying which reverses the controls and has you flying upside down. The easy solution was to avoid it, but as you get further in a level, the feature is automatic and quite frankly, really irritating as it’s disorientating.
Lost Wing isn’t an easy game, and admittedly, I played the easiest option to explore the game more and get through the bosses, but while easier than the other difficulties, it was still challenging.
Progression to the next levels requires a set number of points, and you end up juggling your speed to replenish your weaponry, there are lots of objects missed, so you often have to repeat a level to improve your overall score.
If you’re into sharing your scores, there’s a leaderboard available too (as should be a staple for any decent shoot ’em up), so you can always push to lead the tables, or only better your score, so you get a respectable entry.
While the gameplay is fair, with tight controls and enjoyable experience, the menu UI is a bit off. A couple of times, I replayed the tutorial in error as to how to select everything is counter-intuitive. It’s bearable as it’s just the menu, but annoying nevertheless.
Fly On Little Wing
Lost Wing reminds me a little of an evolution of F-Zero, some of the vector games of old that include the likes of Tempest, and perhaps even Thumper.
These are all excellent titles to be associated with, and if you like any of those titles, you’ll enjoy this game. Just be mindful that you aren’t racing anyone.
Something I forgot to mention and only realise now as I was thinking up dreadful headlines involving wings (that’s a Hendrix reference, fellow rock fans) was the risk of losing your wings in the game.
A head-on collision will result in your death, but if you clip an object, you could lose one, if not both of your wings in the game – it unlocks a trophy too. You can restore to your former glory with a power-up, but it’s quite fun to manoeuvre around like a sledge in space. That is all.