Fission Superstar X – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike arcade action, strategy
Developer: Turbo Pelvis 3000 inc
Publisher: Turbo Pelvis 3000 inc.
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Fission Superstar X – Review

Site Score
Good: Funky quirky style with plenty of rogue elements to discover
Bad: Gameplay seems a bit static with slow ships and arcade gameplay
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Not much is known about space yet. Only the things we know are either from either NASA or made-up shows such as Futurama. There might be life closer to us than we realize, or some actual crab humanoid that will team up with a human pizza delivery boy at some point. The latter is more the situation of Fission Superstar X, where some crazy alien doctor is about to end our lives as we know them… 


Yes, a weird evil genius had the profound idea to make the worst nuclear bomb ever seen. He named it, or according to him she named herself, Celine. Celine wanted to be a superstar and therefore he’s got a delivery scheduled to get her to our solar system. Now mind you, any other normal game would give you the role of the heroes preventing such disaster. Fission Superstar X puts you in the role of… the deliverers. Starting off with just a two-person crew and nothing else, you will quickly forge a path out of multiple choices while shooting, choosing, upgrading and surviving, all to get that sweet big boom at some point. After the introduction explaining what the plan is, there’s not much story given except some rare in-between moments where something funny or random is said. Fission Superstar X is more of a craft-your-own type of game in terms of story.


This game has a quirky, cute little pixelated style with some high-end artwork and graphics spread around everything you will experience. The animations of the explosions and firefights are done well, the parts where you can buy things in the game tickle your mind, including the smooth transitions of the main menu and static screens that flow into gameplay. The fun thing about the art and also the gameplay from Fission Superstar X is that there is this general feeling of not fully knowing what to expect. It keeps it straight and to the point, but at the same time rich in visuals. A good example is that just as you might think you know what’s going on, a few minutes later you will be experiencing an unexplained belt of asteroid cows floating towards you.


The music in Fission Superstar X is pretty rad up to the point that it’s not that memorable, but it does give you that nice action-heavy retro feel while playing. The latter doesn’t connect to the gameplay that well (more about that in a bit) but at least has some sense of originality to it? The sound effects feel a bit cheap at times, with a lot of retro laser sounds that just don’t have much of a ring of impact. That sound you are looking for when seeing visually appealing explosions and a space shootout just isn’t there most of the time. It’s not bad, but it could have been a lot better.


Fission Superstar X is mostly a roguelike arcade action game, and it has some added strategic elements. The game starts with you getting fired out of your initial docking bay as you fly throughout the atmosphere and end up in space. Your pilot, which is a clone made by the meticulous evil doctor, and a scientist, are both manning the ship and making sure that two out of four turrets are working. You will need these turrets to fight off the ”baddies” almost instantly, as the good doctor is complaining about how he doesn’t understand why people don’t cheer on his annihilation project. Those who chase you quickly get stronger and more numerous, but luckily, there are a few things you can do yourself to balance the scales a bit.

You see, besides the pilot and scientist, there are two other spots available. One is for the engineer and one for a medic. Filling these spots will make sure you get another turret for each as well, making it so your ship has less blind spots it needs to cover. In total you will have one turret on the front, back, bottom and top. But your crew has other advantages as well. Every time you finish an arcade level, you get to choose which of the four you want to use to make their skill stronger, to make them better able to soak up damage, to repair the ship a bit, or to heal your crew a bit. When you choose to make their skill stronger, they will permanently be better at i.e. the repairing or healing.

After you finish a level, which will mostly be 60 or 120 seconds of survival to go through, and you already chose one of your crewmates special skills, there is another roguelike option for you to decide what to do. You will be handed four next destinations that have a variety of outcomes. These outcomes can vary from recruiting a new crew member, upgrading your ship with new weapons or armor, or anything else. Most of these options will cost money that you earn by fighting off enemies, and also they will either place your 1 or 2 spaces ahead or 1 space back. The latter has an influence on how fast you will encounter police, which is a stronger boss or level chasing you.

Now, in theory, this all sounds really nice and it has a mix included from classic arcade games and more modern games such as Faster Than Light (FTL) which could potentially work out very well. The difference with those classic games such as Raptor and others where you fly around shooting enemies and collect whatever they leave behind, is that those games are often much better balanced and fair. Fission Superstar X chose for you to have an extremely slow and clunky ship for some reason. Yet at the same time, whatever ships drop you already need to sit behind for, which sometimes is impossible. Cause if you’re not behind them, you won’t make it in time to collect the loot they drop and which will fly off the screen to the left together with the wreckage you just created. The same goes for enemies with sawblades that decide to break down your hull by touching you, after which sometimes you won’t be able to escape them by flying away and they are too close to shoot. Giving you an instant game over. This is a huge hurdle in Fission Superstar X, and if it were up to us, it would definitely be updated because the rest of the game shows a lot of promise.


With quirky cool graphics, and to the point roguelike gameplay, Fission Superstar X shows great things. Yet the real thorn that’s sticking in your game-hungry hands is the way the gameplay is designed when looking at terms of speed and action. The essentials are all there, yet the ship you control is too clunky and slow to call Fission Superstar X a ”fair, balanced game”. It’s an essential flaw in the design that just takes enough away from the game to make it great.



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Fission Superstar X - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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