Queen Aka Needs You to Save the Galaxy
Retro-style games will either try to capture that feeling of another era or add their own take on a classic. Hot Tentacles Shooter is one such game that attempts to do both. By which I mean it’s a retro style vertical scrolling shooter while a classic sci-fi theme but aimed at hentai fans.
Hot Tentacles Shooter is a fast-paced vertical scrolling shooter that has all the hallmarks of the classics. The game will start easy at first then it will put a player’s skills to the test. At the same time, it has all the traits of a B-film adventure while complemented by the overall artistic quality.
Saving the Galaxy
During a reconnaissance mission, a platoon of space warriors are ambushed and captured by a gigantic alien tentacle. In response to this crisis, Queen Aka dispatched Alish (the most skilled combat pilot) to rescue them. With nothing but her skills and starfighter, she is the only hope the hostages have.
Players will take on the role of Alish and venture through the galaxy. She will battle waves of enemy forces and powerful bosses. All this to save her friends and allies.
I know not to expect much from a game like Hot Tentacles Shooter but the narrative quality is the right kind of cheese. The story is simple and easy to follow. Given that this is an arcade-style shooter crafted for a more mature audience, the overall story is on point. From its world to character, this is what one would expect and love it for that alone. It’s not deep and thought-provoking but it also isn’t bad or insulting to the player’s intelligence. It falls in the middle of being cheesy in all the right ways.
Blasting Through the Galaxy
Hot Tentacles Shooter is an intense game that strikes a balance between being nostalgic and creative. Gameplay has players moving their starfighter around the screen as they take down the enemy ships while dodging their attacks. Along the way; you will pick up health and power-ups that will give you a slight edge. Once each mission is complete, a hostage is rescued revealing them to the player. At the end of each stage, players will then go one on one with the boss. Unlike the other foes, the stage boss will present their own challenges that will require the player to think fast. Do expect to die multiple times before having a good idea of your enemy. After that, you just need the right strategy.
This is one of those games that will be easy to learn but difficult to master. There is no tutorial at the start but the game eases you in with the first few stages. Gradually it becomes more difficult and your skills are put to the test. When it comes to playing the game, one will be quick to realize that they need to better understand the enemy patterns to better navigate the level.
While it has all the feelings of a classic vertical-scrolling shooter, one can’t also overlook the artistic style. One has to admire the quality of the anime style pixel art being used throughout the game. It doesn’t look cheap or low effort but instead, a lot of attention was put into the overall details. Also, I will admit that it was the anime style visuals that got my attention (I’m a sucker for anime style games). For those who are not into the hentai content, there is an option to turn it off (without sacrificing the artistic quality).
Finally; I have to commend it for nor being too time consuming but rich in replay value. It won’t take you 50+ hours to finish but you will be going back many times just to replay it.
Hot Tentacles Shooter biggest issue is the controller layout and how it functions when using a keyboard. I say only the keyboard because there is no mouse support. The default layout is odd at best and you can change it. However, that will only be temporary as it returns to the default when you exit the game. When actually playing with a keyboard, it feels janky most of the time and unresponsive at other times.
This problem is only limited to using a keyboard. The game plays flawlessly when using a console controller. Being limited to a controller doesn’t affect me personally but devoted PC gamers will have an issue with this (if you know PC gamers then you know what I’m talking about).
The Only Hope
Hot Tentacles Shooter is a retro-inspired game with a good cheesy story backed by its quality anime artistic style. It has all the looks of a classic vertical scrolling shooter while also being easy to get into. It’s not so time consuming but you will have plenty of fun.
Disclaimer: I bought the game used for this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
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