Super Destronaut DX 2 (PS4/5 Review): Kill Some Aliens

Fans of the old school can open that 'special' bottle as Super Destronaut DX 2 is out not on consoles, may homage to the classic vertical shmup.
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Writing a lengthy Super Destronaut DX 2 review is a little pointless. 1) you won’t read it, 2) there’s not enough to write about unless writing a thesis on shoot ’em ups and adding weight to it by essentially making stuff up from nowhere.

Instead, let’s say that this shmup is a revitalised version of Space Invaders. It’s had its teeth straightened, had a few lifts here and there, and even had a perm. That last one shouldn’t be happening in 2021, but it seems they’re back in again.

Super Destronaut DX 2 (PS4/5 Review)

Super Destronaut DX 2 is a one-player title where you, assumedly, save the world from alien invaders. Unlike the Taito classic, there are unrestricted controls as it’s easy to freeball around the screen. 

Super Destronaut DX 2 - Score
Score! Source: Ratalaika Games

Obviously, this allows for enemy targeting and the avoidance of shots. Depending on the stage in question, these enemies can appear off-screen, like underneath you, getting in a cheap shot here and there. Alien scum.

Action buttons are the trigger buttons or the X and O to shoot and toggle a limited, slow-motion mode. The latter isn’t for show, and it wasn’t until about an hour in that it became clear that it’ll get you out of the occasional bullet hell. That’s an exaggeration – it’s not bullet hell per se, but some stages will pose a challenge.

Take Your Pick

Ratalaika Game’s latest indie title, developed by Petite Games, offers two main modes: Challenge and Arcade. The former comprises six worlds, and each of them is broken down into five stages. It’s possible to progress to the next stage on completion, but the incentive is the trophies.

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Super Destronaut DX 2 out this week
Source: Ratalaika Games

Pending you hit the score threshold, you’re awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze, respectively. It’ll only count towards your PS trophies if you get the bare minimum of a Bronze. But the key aspect of this mode is the variety of modifiers.

Enemies can become larger or smaller as the waves increase; other times, you’ll have to finish the stage using as little of your ammo as possible; otherwise, it’s unlimited. This carries over to the Arcade section under the Bullet Mode option.

Hit The Arcade

The arcade mode is a little more selective and essentially like Survival Mode. Well, it’s very much like actual arcade shoot ’em ups that the game is modelled on. 

The Super Destronaut DX 2 Arcade Mode includes:

  • Classic – Keep shooting aliens until you die.
  • Time Attack – Finish each stage before the time is up.
  • Time Rush – Last as long as you can (that’s what she/he/they said).
  • Bullet Mode – Don’t run out of ammo (there are ammo drops…occasionally).
  • Hardcore Mode – Enemies enter the screen as if they’ve downed a pint of Unpredictability IPA as they’ll be all over the place, and you have to keep moving.

If you recall from the news piece you read last week, I could play Space Invaders all day. Well, I said that, but it does take its toll, and you need to take a break. The same applies to Super Destronaut DX 2.

Free Play

There are more than enough game modes here to keep you out of mischief. There’s no two-player mode, but surely you have it in you to pass the controller to a friend, family member, or the burglar who’s just entered your home to take that PS5 you’ve been bragging about?

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Super Destronaut DX 2 PS4 Review - Danger, danger
Danger, danger. Source: Ratalaika Games

While Super Destronaut DX 2 works on the PS5 (that’s how this review was conducted), there aren’t any bells or whistles such as DualSense features. If you’re expecting more for this very affordable shooter, your expectations are unrealistic.

For fans of the arcade, as in the old school games like or those MAME titles ‘your friend’ has, this is brilliant. There’s only so much mileage based on the genre, but for what it’s worth, it does it well. Just bear in mind that there are no online leaderboards, so it’s more to do with improving your scores. 

Super Destronaut DX 2 Review Summary

The short of it? Super Destronaut DX 2 is a lot of fun. It’s a classic arcade experience with generous modes (that actually feel different to one another), and you can view your stats too, but no leaderboards. With a cool 80s score, this gets a thumbs up from me.

Pros

  • Simple yet effective gameplay.
  • A good selection of game modes.
  • Cool 80s tunes.

Cons

  • One-player only.
  • Aside from hi-scores, not much replay value unless you’re a retro fan.
If you share this, I'll love you forever (ish)