Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Asteroid Bounty Hunter Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . With sharp backgrounds and a dubstep soundtrack, Asteroid Bounty Hunter has some of the pieces in place for a great 2D shoot-em-up. Sadly, it all falls apart due to the repetitive gameplay and awful lead character. Who knew being a bounty hunter would be this boring? Rating: 40%
Asteroid Bounty Hunter
Asteroid Bounty Hunter Asteroid Bounty Hunter Asteroid Bounty Hunter Asteroid Bounty Hunter
  • Review Score:

  • C-
It used to be that a 2D shoot-em-up would start the moment you pressed the button. They didn't make you sit through story beats or cinema scenes, those games would just shoot you right into the action. I always wondered what led up to the Vic Viper or that R-Type ship being sent on what amounts to a suicide mission. Be careful what you wish for. If Asteroid Bounty Hunter is any indication, we were better off not knowing the pilot's backstory.

Before we have a chance to blast off into space and shoot down asteroids, we're given a chance meet the guy we're supposed to be rooting on. The Asteroid Bounty Hunter, as he likes to be called, is a pompous alcoholic who is only good at shooting down asteroids. And he's not even a fun drunk, as the first thing we learn about the guy is that he accidentally killed his dog from neglect. Say what you will about Zombie Nation's dumb story, at least it didn't start with a pet dying.

After being given a dozen good reasons to hate the Asteroid Bounty Hunter, we're tossed into space to do what he supposedly does best. As it turns out, this is a game about shooting down asteroids. I'm sure this won't come as a surprise, but the asteroids are different shapes and sizes, often breaking up into smaller bits when you shoot at them. Between the waves of asteroids, our hero will need to take out alien ships looking to get in the way. Once you've destroyed those insect-inspired enemies, it's off to the next wave of asteroids.

With the exception of the boss fights, every level plays out exactly the same way. The Asteroid Bounty Hunter is tasked with shooting down a set amount of space rocks, and the level won't end until you've reached that goal. You start out with a goal of 50 asteroids, but each level adds ten more to the objective. This not only becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with, but also time consuming.

Asteroid Bounty Hunter (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The good news is that the Asteroid Bounty Hunter's ship is equipped with four powerful weapons. Conveniently mapped to the four face buttons, these different attacks range from a powerful missile strike to a concentrated laser beam to spinning fireballs. There's nothing especially original about the weapons, but it does help to get the player out of sticky situations.

Instead of picking up typical power-ups, our drunk loser hero collects experience points that he can dump into boosting his shields, weapons, regeneration and whatnot. This is a good idea, but the developers missed an opportunity by not changing the visuals as the ship improves. No matter how many points you dump into a weapon, it's always going to look the same.

Asteroid Bounty Hunter (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Even with some role-playing elements and four different weapons, it won't take long for the repetition to set in. It's not just that every level plays out exactly the same way, but also the fact that they all look the same. That said, the background visuals are spectacular. There's an attention to the planets whizzing by that is absolutely spellbinding. But even with striking background visuals, every level starts to blur together after a while. There's never any variety between stages; you're always stuck shooting down asteroids in the middle of space.

This is a crowded genre, and it's incredibly hard to stand out from several decade's worth of 2D shoot-em-ups. Great looking backgrounds and an asshole hero simply isn't enough in 2016; developers have to do something fresh with the concept. Asteroid Bounty Hunter takes an already tired idea and beats it into the ground. Who knew being a bounty hunter would be this boring?
comments powered by Disqus