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Official Review: A Space Shooter For Two Bucks

Let’s get things going with a message from the makers of this Two Dollar Bills project:

Since time immemorial, through eons of time and dozens of game consoles, one thing has remained true: humans love hopping into a spaceship to shoot up hordes of alien invaders! In A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! (a game with perhaps the most straight-forward title in history) you get to do just that. Take control of Commander P. Jefferson and go on an intergalactic shooting spree, hopping from galaxy to galaxy in your attempts to wipe out hordes of swarming alien baddies. With over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek humor from the game’s wide cast of colorful characters (all of which are fully voiced-over) and loads of bodacious power-ups to ensure your ship has a fighting chance against the sea of enemy ships and bullets, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! gives gamers everything they could ask for in a space shooter!

With that as our starting point, we can now dive deeper into this new release. Since the game is only $2, how great it can be, right? Well, I’ve had more fun with it than with some $40-$60 retail releases so that should initially give you an idea of how good I think it is.

Controls are simple enough: you can move either with the D-pad or the analog nub, shoot with X, use the Triangle button to unleash your Overdrive attack (which builds over time depending on how many enemies you down), use the Square button to activate special weapons and the L and R triggers switch between the weapons available. And it’s this last bit that brings and interesting twist to the game. When you defeat one of the main bosses you obtain the chance to use their own weapon against the many enemies you’ll find in your adventure. I also specially like how all energy bars resemble those of the 8-bit games of yesterday, particularly those from the Mega Man series which brings the “use the weapon from the boss” reference full circle. There are also some extra bosses, in extra levels of course, that grant you an upgrade to your ship’s hull instead of a new weapon and you can, and should, always accept the extra help.

There are several power-ups (Shields, Bombs, Missiles, etc.) that will pop up from the inside of the alien coalition which helps add an extra layer to this space shooter. Only down to a single bar before the ship explodes’ You could make your way to the Ship Energy pick up that can restore some of it BUT you’ll also have to make it past a lof of enemies, meteors and bullets and any one of those could end your trip, if only momentarily. It’s great that the developer decide to place checkpoints in each of the levels (in fact, several of them per level), specially one before you battle the end of level boss. If you run out of energy you can just continue right from the last checkpoint and not feel as if you’ve just wasted some of your time for nothing.

The more you play, the easier things can get since shooting down enemies releases differently colored crystals of increasing value; starting at 100 credits for the blue ones and going up, and you can take those to the intergalactic store run by Jenna Velasquez (who might have been a looker back in her younger days, but you can never really tell), the “love” interest of Commander P. Jefferson… or at least that’s what HE thinks, since her only interest is that he buys every single item available at the store.

For a $2 game, production values are very high. You get full on voice action (great dialogue!) for every character, colorful and well defined graphics and a very entertaining soundtrack. Do watch the credits for the game and see how many people it takes to make a $2 game… and to see a special message at the end.

The game especially shines on the PSP, since levels are short (3 to 15 minutes each) and favor the portable experience. If you want to play for longer periods of time, you can go into survival mode, what would be called “Endless mode” elsewhere, and get some extra credits for your effort.

An extra objective are the Achievements (that’s their name in-game) you can obtain for the sole purpose of knowing you got everything out of your purchase… and that’s something that I really, really like to do (specially with PS3 trophies that are added to your account in a nice, reviewable catalog). Some you get for killing a set number of enemies, other come as you buy upgrades for your ship at the store or doing very well in survival mode.

A Space Shooter for Two Bucks is a great addition to your collection, especially if you own a PSP. If you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you get the game for free and this, along with the Season 3 Pass for Sam and Max, makes it easier to get your PS+ sub on this December, if for some incredible reason you haven’t done so already.

[review pros=”Only.Two.Bucks
A lot of content in a small package
Great Soundtrack” cons=”Checkpoint in last level” score=90]

Published by Frima

Cost – $2 (Free to Playstation Plus subscribers for a limited time

Available on PS3 and PSP (part of the minis catalog)


– Game was completed and all but 5 of the achievements were obtained.

– Total amount of time played: 5+ hours.

– This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of A Space Shooter For Two Bucks provided by Frima.