REVIEW: DepthAttack

Whenever I read a game’s description as ‘TPS Game. Homing is divided out of the Balkans and is characterized by’, I think Google Translate had a bit of fun at a foreign language’s expense. Which is unfortunate. To be fair, my Japanese is (currently) non-existent, and I can only imagine how this site reads in translation (though it looks really cool). So while I’m sure the Balkans are nice this time of year, I’m going to assume the description was something about DepthAttack (240 MSP) being a shooter.

DepthAttack - Screen

Either that girl is really tiny, or the cones are freakishly huge.

And a rail shooter on a wireframe grid is exactly what it is, with regular and homing shots in the minor vein of something like Star Fox / Panzer Dragoonexcept with a schoolgirl and none of the narrative, fun, or talking animals / dragon-riding. Instead you’ll be dodging and destroying cylinders, cones, and other flying menaces, only rarely ever being encumbered by your enemies, most of which are re-skinned and recycled throughout. DepthAttack hedges its bets just in the event you do struggle, laying a trail of health pickups before each mini-boss and end boss. Those fights too, are largely routine and reused.

Being easy is one thing, though the game lets you in on its most grievous error straight away, committing the mortal sin of not having an auto-fire and insisting you press down every time in order to shoot. Call it being nitpicky or call it a vote for sanity, but there’s a rule for making shooters. That rule is simple; you should be able to hold down the button to continuously fire. We’d all like to stave off gaming arthritis for as long as we possibly can. Having to pause the game after each stage to physically rest up for the next is never a good design choice.

DepthAttack - Screen2

Even that could be forgiven if there were other redeeming qualities, but DepthAttack doesn’t have any. Variety in any form is sorely missing, just part of the lesser whole, along with its uninspired gameplay, obnoxious sound effects, and ‘bored’ layout (only once did the game ditch the grid look, and it was hardly transformative).

Should you need it, the game does save progress, starting you at the most recent level. At four stages long (about twenty minutes), however, there’s not much real estate to cover, nor any real denouement or extras gained upon completion (reversing the controls doesn’t count). DepthAttack is a poor excuse for a shooter in any language, and there’s zero reason to recommend a trial when it’s lacking in mechanics and duration. It’s just far too expensive to be this basic.

6 thoughts on “REVIEW: DepthAttack”

  1. I have a difficult time with English let alone a language that doesn’t even use English letters. LOL I can’t even imagine!

    1. Ha. I do too, sometimes.

      In an age of slang and truncating words on smartphones, it’s probably more prevalent than it should be. I think it depends on your native language, too. English really is catered to in most of the world, so that creates a kind of ‘free pass’ for us to avoid picking up another language / culture. I’d always found picking up Spanish / French to be stubborn, but now I realize they’re damn near simplistic compared to Korean / Japanese. Forget the characters and the words themselves, you need to learn how to structure sentences, differences between and when to use polite / informal speak, even two sets of numbering things (also knowing which one to use in which case). Fun / educational, yes, but It’s a challenge. 🙂

  2. “…my Japanese is (currently) non-existent…”
    Planning on learning Japanese? I hope to have Japanese Arena: Kana released by the end of this year on XBLIG.

    1. Years ago I gave it a try, but I plan to start back up in the next month or so, ahead of a trip in August. It’ll be all-verbal / romanization, though. I have no chance at learning to read / write it. I’ve been working on Korean, and have done better than I expected, but again, just in speaking it. I’ll see how it goes. Will definitely check out your project when it’s finished. Never too late to learn. 🙂

    2. Well, the focus of my game is teaching how to read / write it. So this will be a good chance to see how well it works if you can pick it up from playing the game 🙂

    3. I’m nothing if not eager to learn. Kind of regret that I didn’t stick with it earlier in life, but I’ve started and never finished so many things, it’s just part of a longer list. Part of that can be blamed on videogames. 🙂

      Each person / program / class is different, it seems. I’ve never really found that ‘sweet spot’ in language learning that’s kept me involved and allowed me to retain everything.

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