Apr 23, 2010


I've reviewed several shooters here over the past month or so and none has really caught my eye. My first video game ever was Space Invaders. I may have played Pong in a Sears or something, but Space Invaders at the Thornwilde clubhouse in Warrenville, IL was the first time a video game impacted me... and THEN they got Galaxian! Eventually I graduated to Galaga which is still one of my favorites video games of all time. It would be nice to have a game of that quality on the Android and we do indirectly via NES emulators, as the NES version of Galaga is excellent, but when using emulation a lot of the power the Android offers is wasted on trying to perfectly replicate another machine's hardware which means there's lots of room for a native Android game of this kind to excel.

Radiant offers more than the other shooters I've reviewed. I was surprised to see that it's from Hexage, a company that has produced a couple other Android and iPhone games, as I was under the impression it was more of an indie game... not that Hexage is a massive corporation. In Radiant it's the usual gun at the bottom of the screen that moves back and forth firing away and once again my peeve with Android shooters relying on autofire comes to light. I'm fine with that being an option and I was surprised and pleased that Radiant supports the DPad for movement in addition to the touch screen... so why not allow me to press the space bar to fire when *I* want to? And the 'bleep bleep' sound of my gun firing away over an over started grating on my nerves after 5 minutes of play. Still the game is quite impressive with nice, smooth animation. Even the gun at the bottom of the screen which is actually a spaceship flying through space is animated as it flies left and right.

The beginning of the game has you flying through an asteroid belt. You can destroy the small asteroids, but your pea shooter does nothing against the big ones. All throughout the game there are stages, thus there's a feeling of accomplishment that Space Invaders doesn't really offer, and there is dialog with a commanding officer that is very nicely done and well written. My favorite quote is "just mindlessly blasting away, sir" as that's what this is... a mindless space shooter (and that's not a bad thing). As you grab power-ups and earn money you can buy upgrades for your ship. In other words, this game has a lot more depth than a typical space shooter.

The graphics, sound effects, and controls are all very well executed. If you're looking for a shooter on your Android then this is probably what you're looking for. As for me, I got bored after five minutes of shooting baddies. The game features three skill levels so I decided to crank it up to hardcore and experiment a bit. I didn't really have much trouble at first and was able to get the point that I could upgrade my cannon by two levels. After doing so the repeat rate improved and instead of 'bleep bleep' it was 'bleep bleep bleep bleep' and I died shortly thereafter. In fact, I'd say that's a key point of what I'm looking for in a good shooter... not so much the levels and story (which are done well here), but challenge and different weapons. I don't want my game to last forever and involve saving... I want to play a quick game while I wait for the train to come. And I LOVE the dual cannons that Galaga sports and Radiant also has that kind of stuff going for it. In summary, this is a very well done shooter and warrants 5/5 stars... I just wish it had a fire button as an option rather than auto-fire as that would make it almost perfect for me. For more details check out the video below.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Alster! I'm glad you decided to give "Radiant" a closer look! I think the biggest dealbreaker for this game is the auto fire. Either you like it or you don't. But regardless of how one feels about autofire, it is obvious that "Radiant" is a professional (looking) game. IMHO, Polarbit and Hexage are the best at consistently making quality games for Android... Keep up the great work!