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[PlayStation 5] Rick Henderson Review

[PlayStation 5] Rick Henderson Review
  • On September 27, 2022

Rick Henderson from eastasiasoft and Fat Pug Studio is a fun endless sidescrolling shoot ’em up on PlayStation. Learn more in our Rick Henderson review!


Rick Henderson from eastasiasoft and Fat Pug Studio is a fun endless sidescrolling shoot ’em up on PlayStation. It pays homage to the classic 16-bit games in the genre with a look and feel that would not be that out of place among the 1990s shoot ’em ups we all know and love. With three different ships to choose from, 40 different enemy types to destroy, and 15 boss variants to defeat, you can get a good variety of elements thrown at you for each run you take on as you try to survive for as long as possible.

Since the game is of the endless variety, you can take on the Standard Endless Mode, the Hard Endless Mode, or div into a Boss Raid Mode. The Standard Endless Mode offers, well, the standard shoot ’em up experience balanced to provide a good challenge without overwhelming gamers. The Hard Endless Mode dials things up a bit, with more enemies, more bullets, and a higher challenge. Boss Raid Mode is a boss rush type of experience in which your skills will be tested in full as you try to defeat all bosses on a loop.

Rick Henderson Review - 1

There are three pilots and ship combos to choose from. You can select the titular Rick Henderson, who is great at saving the universe, loves coffee, but hates bad perk selection. Maybe Throaxx is more to your liking, a pilot who is great at pottery, loves hot machine grease, but hates bathing. Your last option is Ben X9, who is great at juggling, loves philosophy, but hates doing backup. As for the ships, Rick pilots the Terracorp Blade V3, with 10 shield charges and a good overall speed, Ben pilots the Vampyre Yards Sper, which has 9 shield charges but is faster than the other two, and Throaxx pilots the Nakamura Defender, which has 11 shield charges, but is the slowest of the bunch.


Each ship will also have a specific special ability. Once the blue special bar starts to blink, you can press the Triangle button. Each pilot and ship combo will have a different special ability. Rick’s special will create a hologram that will be targeted by enemy bullets, homing missiles, and some enemies. Ben can activate a microwarp that will allow him to jump a short distance to get out of a tight situation. Throaxx can call in an artillery strike that will launch a rocket barrage to deal some extra damage.

You should definitely look into checking out the tutorial so that you can learn all of the basics. You’ll pilot your ship with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you move around the screen to avoid enemies and their attacks. This is very important since enemies can come at you from all sides of the screen, as well as even teleport right into action in the middle! You can use your main weapon with the Square button, use your secondary weapon with the X button, and activate a third weapon with the Circle button.

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You can’t immediately switch between firing each weapon, so be sure to wait for the right time to do so, or else you’ll leave yourself wide open! Your ship’s hull integrity will be presented as an orange bar below your weapons. Once you run out of orange squares, your ship will explode! When hit, your shield will protect you for a moment. You can use this to your advantage and ram into an enemy or two in order to deal some damage. If you can destroy enemy after enemy, you’ll be able to boost your score as you increase your score multiplier. The higher the score multiplier, the better your score boost as you destroy more and more enemies.


There’s also a bit of a rock, paper, scissors going on for this one. Bullet weapons deal the same damage to all enemy types but usually have some recoil. Energy-based weapons will deal double damage to shielded enemies but will deal half the damage to armored enemies. Missile weapons will deal double damage to armored enemies, but they will deal half the damage to shielded enemies. You can clearly see the shields on enemies. As for armored enemies, they’re usually the big enemies coming at you. You’ll know an enemy is taking full damage since it will blink red. If it’s blinking purple, then it’s taking double damage. But if it’s blinking orange, that means it’s taking half damage, and you should change your strategy.

Once you defeat a boss, you’ll get a chance to select one of the four different upgrades it will spawn. You could get some extra missiles for your special artillery strike, remove your ship’s shield while gaining a +100% boost to your score, gain the bullseye upgrade that gives you a 10% chance to have bullets deal double damage, collect the speed freak upgrade so that your ship can move faster, or maybe you’d like to add the energy maniac upgrade so that your ship’s energy attacks can deal 10% more damage.

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Something else to consider is the Graze system. Whenever an enemy bullet or a missile comes near your ship but doesn’t hit it, the graze bar will get a small boost. Once you’ve done this with 10 enemy bullets or missiles, the Graze bar will be filled up, and it’s then that your pals will come in and help you a bit by unleashing a hail of bullets. Having all three ships on the screen firing at once can make a big difference while exploring a level or when taking on a boss!


The trophy list includes 12 Bronze trophies, 10 Silver trophies, and 6 Gold trophies, and to be able to get that Platinum trophy, you’ll have to complete one loop for the game, which means completing six levels during your run. Something to consider is that the game will sometimes throw some random events at you, and completing them three times each is part of the trophy requirements for four trophies in particular. Due to the randomly generated nature of the game, it’s those four trophies that will keep you playing for a handful of hours as you try to get all four trophies to pop. If you find the jinxed power-up, grab it immediately since it increases the chance of getting a random event.

Another one to keep your eye on is the trophy for reaching Colonel Rank. To increase your Rank, you must fill up the bar at the bottom of the screen by collecting the required Rank items left behind by the enemies and bosses you destroy. You must collect one of each Rank color to level up, and to reach the Colonel Rank, you have to do this seven times. As a heads-up, after defeating a boss, you should get as close as possible since it will release several Rank items, and being on top of it as it goes boom will allow you to collect all of them. If you want some extra help, you can check out this Rick Henderson Trophy Guide.

You can customize your Rick Henderson experience on PlayStation by checking the options menu and changing the different settings to your liking. Along with the expected sound options for changing the values for the music and SFX values, you can also change the bloom intensity, activate or deactivate screenshakes, screen flashes, and the scanlines filter to give it that old-school look, or activate or deactivate chromatic aberration.

Rick Henderson Review - 4

Rick Henderson gives us a fun endless sidescrolling shoot ’em up that pays homage to the classics of the 16-bit era, providing a ton of replay value as you take on run after run of randomly generated loops. The game is available for a budget price of only $7.99. And since this is a Cross-Buy title, your purchase will give you access to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game at no extra cost, with each one having its own trophy list for you to work on for a new Platinum trophy for your collection.

This Rick Henderson review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by eastasiasoft.

Review Overview

Fun 16-bit style endless sidescrolling shoot 'em up