April 1, 2023

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Hyper Sentinel – PS4 review


Before I begin this review I have to admit there may be some bias here. I travel to a lot of game expo’s up and down the country and see a lot of games. When I first came across Hyper Sentinel at EGX 2017 I knew immediately that it was special.
Since then I have seen and played Hyper Sentinel at multiple events and every time I see it I have been impressed by the new features added. So before I begin my review please bear in mind that I have only ever played a single level on survival mode and I have followed the development of Hyper Sentinel for the best part of a year.
Now we have that out of the way lets get onto the actual game…Oh, My God, it is special!

Like the arcades of old, there isn’t really a story or a set up to Hyper Sentinel. You are a lone ship taking on massive battlecruisers in space. There is no setup or intro, heck the tutorial is just as old school as the game. one screen for controls the other for enemies and power-ups. Job done, crack on.
However, the game does have medals to achieve in the game. 5 per level to be precise. Some are as simple as finish the level in 13 seconds. Others more difficult like “survive an alien surge for 30 secs”
Put these medals alongside, friend and global leaderboards and you have a hell of a lot to be cracking on with to attain 100% completion.

Exactly what you would expect from the screenshots. Pixelated fun that instantly transports you to your childhood. For those who are too young to remeber the arcade shooters of old then this is a great introduction.
The colours in Hyper Sentinel are so bright, vibrant and vivid that you they really do help in the battles as your eyes become quickly trained to spot orange bullets and other threats.
For the purists out there, you can use the wonderful filters that Huey Games have implemented into Hyper Sentinel and with just a few simple clicks you can change the graphics to either CRT monitor, Commodore C64 and even ZX Spectrum.
The C64 filter gives a wonderful nostalgic and dampened pallet of browns and blues that does a wonderful job of recreating the colours of the icon home computer.
The Spectrum filter, on the other hand, Whilst extremely retro and nostalgic really ramps up the difficulty of the game. The ZX Spectrum is where I began my lifelong love affair with gaming so to be transported back and struggle so much has really made me question not only my gaming prowess but the evolution of gaming too.

The thing most people my age (mid 30’s) will tell you about gaming on the Spectrum, C64, et al is that back then gaming didn’t like you. It didn’t want you to win. There were no save files,  no trophies and most of the time no chance!
Whilst Hyper Sentinel does have Trophies it still wants to kill you. With 12 levels in the game (as far as I’m aware as I cant beat level 10) playable in 3 different modes, there is a lot for the completist to get through.
Arcade mode is a wonderful trip down memory lane for Retro Gamers. A beautiful, challenging Pick up and play game for those who missed out on the arcade scene. In Arcade mode you start the level with a number of ground targets to destroy on the battleship. If you manage to achieve that then the Guardian appears and the Boss Battle is on in earnest.
Each level has it’s own unique Guardian that moves, attacks and evades in its own way so every boss requires it’s own strategy to defeat.
Boss mode is exactly the same has arcade but instead of destroying the ground targets to make the Guardian appear he is already out at the beginning of the level…along with all the ground targets!
Survival mode is exactly what it says on the tin. How long can you survive a never-ending, constant difficulty increasing level? As mentioned earlier, in the true sense of retro gaming Hyper Sentinel hates you and it is never more apparent than when attempting survival mode.
Hyper Sentinel also boasts that it is the worlds first interactive arcade game too with Mixer mode but since that isn’t available on PS4 I can’t really comment on it although it sounds awesome. You will have to check back later to get Martin McCurdie’s view on that after his live stream.

The controls for Hyper Sentinel are extremely easy. Left stick to manoeuvre your constantly moving ship. X or O to fire and R2 to boost. Simple, effective and intuitive controls that allow you to play without thinking about what you are pressing.
The genius of Hyper Sentinel comes in the dodge manoeuvre. I shall say no more than that other than your life will depend on it
Overall Thoughts
A Wonderful game for young and old alike. This is for the retro gamers, the arcade gamers, Father and Son gaming time and so much more. It’s been so long since I saw a game over screen I didn’t release how much I missed them.
That being said I would have loved a few more levels and the PS4 missing out on Mixer mode is a massive blow. I know Huey GAmes can’t help that but PS4 gamers/streamers will feel that they are missing out as I can imagine Mixer mode brings a whole new level of fun and challenge to the game.
Overall Score – 8/10