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Blazing Star

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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Blazing a trail

Product: Blazing Star | Developer: SNK Playmore | Publisher: SNK Playmore | Format: Android | Genre: Arcade, Retro, Shooter | Players: 1 | Networking: Bluetooth | File size: 78.3MB | Version: Europe
Blazing Star Android, thumbnail 1
The App Store is this generation's amusement arcade. It's a place that's brimming with games, most of which you can have play for less than the price of a mid-range sandwich from your local sandwich emporium.

It seems only fitting, then, that SNK Playmore is releasing some of its coin-op back catalogue for smartphones and tablets. Metal Slug 3 arrived recently, and now it's closely followed by Blazing Star.

Press star to continue

The game is a side-scrolling shooter that sees you piloting one of six different spaceships, each of which has its own strengths, weaknesses, and style of attack. Pressing two buttons at the bottom-right of the screen lets you fire, and sliding a finger around the screen moves you around.

There's not quite the rhythmic pattern-dodging of a bullet-hell title here, but the action is still fast and furious, with each of the seven levels escalating the ferocity and persistence of the alien threat you're trying to shoot into tiny pieces.

A single hit loses a life, and you only have three lives per credit. Power-up orbs add extra bullets to your already impressively powered weapons system, and floating blue jewels add more points to your tally at the end of each level.

Definitely r type

In an interesting twist, bosses have time limits as well as health bars. If you don't manage to kill one before your time runs out, it escapes, and while you still move on to the next stage you don't get the fat bucket of points you would have otherwise.

The only real problem with the game is the controls. Sliding your finger around the screen works well enough, but sometimes you'll find your hand obscuring the action, and in a game as tough as this that's inevitably fatal.

It's a minor niggle, though, and with some practice you'll be weaving through the hails of bullets and robots with the best of them.

If app stores are the arcades of this generation, then Blazing Star is the equivalent of the machine in the corner that the hardened veterans congregate around, dropping in coin after coin as they inch their way up the leaderboards. This is addictive shooting at its very best.

iOS version reviewed.
Blazing Star
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 30 July 2012
A brilliant, addictive shooter, Blazing Star might have a few niggles, but they're made up for with bombast and bullets
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Jul 2012
Post count:
@Sn1ds | 14:03 - 3 September 2012
Both control styles good for me. I appreciate the the traditional virtual stick control and the drag to move that Eduardo so laboriously explains. Original controls for the original challenge.

The drag controls make it an entirely different game. I was using my iControlpad with the virtual controls but I'll stick to drag now for convenience.
Aug 2012
Post count:
fmilito | 15:36 - 1 August 2012
Very slow movement control.
Needs to be fixed.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Eduardo Matos | 19:50 - 31 July 2012
I just sent This email to SNK, and I guess it summarizes what I think about the game as well:

I just bought the recently released Blazing Star for iPad, and the conversion is just amazing, wish you had made available those graphic options for Metal Slug 3 as well. But one thing is not compatible with the greatness of this conversion, and is the controls. First, the relative touch controls are using the lapse of movement from the original arcade game and is not following the speed of the finger in the screen. Just play any Cave shooter for the iOS and you will understand what I mean. The ship "drags" itself through the screen, and does not follow the current position your finger is touching the screen. The virtual pad seems to suffer from a worse lag time when the pad hits the dead zone at the center of the pad. It should immediately move to the direction you move the pad as soon as you shift the direction, and not only after the dead zone. The shooting buttons should also be reconfigured to better firing. They should come with a rapid fire option, and buttons to manage between the different shooting modes. It should have an auto fire, and then if you tap the button (no matter how fast), it should give the boost, and if you hold the button it should simply charge. These improvements could really turn the game into the best shooter experience on the iOS. Guys, take this in consideration from a die-hard Neo Geo fan, which by the way, Blazing Star is the best shooter ever made for me. Thank you.
Jul 2012
Post count:
John Peat | 19:23 - 30 July 2012
So the alternative control method passed-you-by then?

It's not ideal either tho - on an iPad, the 'joystick' is enormous with a huge deadzone - on a phone it's a bit better.

With the controls fixed this will be a cracking game - as it is tho, you wonder if they bothered to test it (certainly not on an iPad)