No, it's not a prequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but rather a return to the crowded vertical 2D shoot-em-up genre. This 1985 hit is a lot like Namco's influential masterpiece, Xevious. You fly a spaceship around an Earth-like planet shooting bad guys in the sky and dropping bombs on gun turrets on the ground. The game rotates through a number of mostly good looking backgrounds, including forests, water and weird religious temples. The action is fast and there are plenty of enemies to take down in the air and on the ground, as well as a boss that refuses to give up.
HAL 21 is the kind of game that gets so close, but doesn't quite stick the landing. Even with fast action and a cool boss fight, there's not enough here to recommend. There are no power-ups, the stages tend to repeat a bit too much and I got sick of the one boss rearing its ugly head over and over. Even more frustrating is how pedestrian the whole experience feels, especially when compared to Vanguard from 1981. With so many better shooters available as PSP Minis, nobody should have HAL 21 as their top pick. Interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying.
No, it's not a prequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but rather a return to the crowded vertical 2D shoot-em-up genre. With so many better shooters available as PSP Minis, nobody should have HAL 21 as their top pick. Interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!