Vanguard II was released in the arcades back in 1984. This small space shooter/bomber game makes its way to the PSN in the form of the PS3 and PSP compatible mini. Is it worth going back and reliving some old school 80s games?
You play as a small spaceship in a semi open world, free roaming area. You are tasked with attacking a number of pods with your bombs before being able to bomb the central core of the base. While doing this, some pods will fire projectiles at you and enemy ships will circle you to try to take you down. Every enemy will go down with one good shot of your lasers. Each level gives you a different amount of pods to destroy before you can take on the central core, and some larger pods count for many pods instead of just one. You gather points for each kill you make. After gaining 100,000 points, you will gain an extra life.
The controls are somewhat strange. You are always moving in the direction you’re facing, and the only way to turn is to manually turn. So if you’re moving up on the screen, in order for you to move down, you have to rotate around with the D-pad. You can’t just hit the opposite direction, doing that will stop your movement so you can get a better shot off with your bombs. There are 8 directions you can face so you’ll have to time your bomb drops well. There is a reticule in front of the ship that shows where your bombs will land. With the controls the way that they are, it can become difficult to maneuver.
The enemies move very sporadically, and some of the projectiles seem to kill you before you even see them. The game gets even more difficult as you progress, so destroying a lot of pods is highly recommended so that you can earn points for extra lives.
For $3, it’s an ok game to mess around with. It works great on both systems, and it does offer up a decent challenge to players. Just remember, the game’s controls will take a little getting used to. It’s a nice, quick pick-up-and-play game if you’re looking for a quick shooter fix.
Review copy provided by publisher.