DiscStorm – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, third person, top down shooter
Developer: XMPT Games
Publisher: Mastertronic
Platform: PC, PS Vita
Tested on: PC

DiscStorm – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Easy to learn controls
Bad: visual effects don’t always trigger, framerate issues for such a simple game, soundtrack costs extra. Rather pricey for the content.
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

When you think about frisbees you don’t immediately associate a lethal component. What comes to mind is a carefree sport done in the summer with the sun burning down on your scalp and a cool breeze toying with your shirt. You laugh as a thrown disc flies off and your friends have to race after it to catch it. What’s the furthest from your mind is using said disc as a weapon to become the very best.

discstorm

Story

Discstorm has a rather simplistic story. You are one out of a group of disc throwers, and you want to battle your way to the top. Taking down vast hordes of zombies, skeletons, other A.I. Disc throwers, who are like you, but lack human brain functions. Every zone has its guardian who you’ll have to overcome to unlock another gauntlet. Along the way you’ll be insulted by the sensei of the training dojo and talk smack to boss guardians and bosses.

Discstorm_02The humour in the game is of the quirky kind, and this makes your character comes across as smug. Every stage has the exact same lines and it’s weird seeing different characters say the exact same thing. Having different characters react differently to situations would make things more believable.

Graphics

The pixelated characters and background give the game a cartoonish vibe. The detailed drawn characters add to this. Every character is different yet has the same powers. As you play the game you’ll unlock skins for the characters, making them even more unique. Simplicity is what the game’s visuals exceed at. This, however, also poses a problem. The semi top down view makes it difficult to see if your disc is going to hit its target or miss.

Discstorm_04Even with the enemy dead centre of the crosshairs, the disc sometimes completely misses its target. DiscStorm sometimes experiences framerate issues and the visual effects aren’t always there. When you take a hit your character flashes which means you have a period of invincibility. When this doesn’t trigger, it becomes difficult to know when you are hit or not, and just how long you are invincible for.

Sound

DiscStorm has some really nice tunes and beats in store. Every level has its theme and also its tune. Whether you are traversing the halls of a haunted mansion, or you are taking down mice on a ship, the music never feels out of place. The soundtrack isn’t included with the game, so you’ll have to pay for it, which is a shame. Then again, the tunes are really catchy and they add to the experience and immersion. If you want to nit-pick, you could argue that the game has no spoken dialogue. Though this is a slight let-down, it is not without reason. There is a big roster of characters, and a large amount of boss guardians and bosses, so having to record the lines for the whole roster would up the production costs making the game would cost more.

Discstorm_03

Gameplay

DiscStorm is a top down third person shooter with action elements. The controls are simple. W,A,S,D for movement, or Z,Q,S,D. Spacebar lets you catch the discs midair, providing you are in range of it. This isn’t a reliable way to pick up the discs and the cool down of the feature doesn’t really help. Left mouse click shoots your discs, of which you have three. Right click deflects objects coming your way. If you are out of discs, right clicking gives you a boost ability. This makes you shoot across the screen, and makes you invincible. The sensei in the tutorial dojo says it’s ‘overpowered’. It is, on paper. Straight line boosting into a wall leaving you open to be grouped up upon by enemies. Sometimes it’s just better to tank the damage and rush over to your discs.

Discstorm_06

The tutorial is barebones. You’ll learn the controls and the bare minimum when it comes to enemies. You’ve not even set off on your adventure when you’ll face another kind of enemy. No information about it is known and this happens for nearly all stages. This feels cheap. Giving the players a hint on how to take down an enemy is fine. Giving the player the chance to go back to the dojo when they are going to encounter a new enemy or after they’ve died to an enemy would be fine too. Not giving any kind of information makes the player go in blind. This adds to the challenge and that’s fine if that something you are into. Not giving players the chance to choose whether or not they go in blind feels like a dick move. DiscStorm is by no means easy. This doesn’t mean that you’ll rage and smash your computer in pure frustration. After every wave of enemies you’ll unlock a checkpoint. So when you die you’ll start at the beginning of the wave or the beginning of the fight with the boss guardian or the boss itself.

Dying does decrease your rank. After every cleared level you’ll get a grade ranging from A to C. The grade factors in amounts of deaths and time taken. Simplistic controls and clear battlefield aside, you’ll die a lot. The battlefield is often littered with objects that block your shots and keep you from hitting enemies before they get to you, and when they swarm you, it gets you in the long run. When enemies spawn they are often immune to your shot for about half a second. If you don’t factor this in, your shot will whizz by them and they’ll have an opening to lower your health. So keeping your trigger finger in check is the key to victory.

Conclusion

DiscStorm is a fun and easy to learn top down shooter. Difficulty in mastering the game make getting an A rank that much more satisfying. The simplistic controls and the addition of multiplayer make it a game you can enjoy with friends. It’s a little bit pricey for the amount of gameplay you get if you aren’t going to go for the A ranks. The fact you have to pay extra, about half the price of the original game, for the soundtrack is a bit of a downer. A little too pricey maybe, but that’s what Steam Sales are for.

 

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Q


First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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