We've recently had a go with NovaStrike, an upcoming arcade shooter from Tiki Games for the PlayStation Network. We tested out several early builds of the new IP and each build got progressively better. Despite this, there were quite a few glaring flaws that need to be addressed. Here's our impression on the game thus far.
First up, our biggest complaint was the controls. There are two schemes: Absolute and Relative. The Relative controls are incredibly inane; this set up makes the spacecraft turn on its axis which consequently makes the ultimate goal of maneuvering, dodging, and aiming (or basically any function) very difficult. While this scheme makes the spacecraft more agile for sharp turns, every other aspect of control is sacrificed. Absolute mode is the opposite: less agility but more control. It plays more intuitively as it's less sensitive than the Relative scheme.
After we got past the controls, there was the gameplay. Each level had a set number of multiple defensive and offensive objectives; you fly from one area of the map to fulfill one objective at a time. Now, fulfilling these missions can be a tad difficult due to overly powerful enemies and the lack of extra lives. This was a major problem from earlier builds; however, Tiki already tried addressing these issues by tweaking the combat slightly and adding in the extra lives to the latest build. We say 'slightly' because the game is still quite unbalanced, even with additions like automatic slow-regenerating shields.
We had many more minor complaints, but they all came back around to the issue of difficulty. However, as we take a look back at the first build we played, and gauge our thought from that against those from the latest build, we can't help but notice a huge leap forward. Our opinions were way harsher then than what you're reading now. That's a difference within a week's time. If that's an indication of anything, we might see these problem spots completely erased by the time NovaStrike is ready to hit the PSN.