Review – Absolute Blue
The shoot ‘em up is a genre that has a rich history, both in arcades and on home consoles. Absolute Blue looks to cement itself as a part of this history. It does so by invokes feelings of classic titles such as Darius and Gradius. There isn’t really new ground to be broken in the shoot ‘em up genre.
In that respect, Absolute Blue plays it safe, by following a formula that has worked for the genre for decades. There are some interesting aspects that do make it into the game that only serves to add to the gameplay experience.
Unique use of checkpoints
While the use of checkpoints in a game is hardly newsworthy. I must say that I did like the ways in which they were used in this game. Not only do they serve as a respawn point upon death. They’re also used to help move the game’s story forward. At checkpoints during a stage, a text window will pop-up. Sometimes this window will display relevant information regarding your ship. Other times the box will contain information from your commander.
These boxes often contain story-related information, that helps move the story forward. While the story isn’t always at the front of someone’s mind when playing a shoot ‘em up. I appreciated the effort on the part of the developer.
Both buffs & debuffs
The game follows the standard practice of allowing you to pick up power-ups to upgrade your ship. The power-ups can give you a boost to your weapons, speed, and extra lives. The other side of this is that you can also get power downs.
These power downs affect your speed and weapons and sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart from power-ups. While it can be hard to avoid them at some points in the game. At other points getting a debuff can be beneficial adding a level of strategy to the game. Again, while it’s not breaking new ground I like that sometimes even a power down can be a benefit.
The not so good
While the game offers a fun gaming experience that manages to also hit the nostalgia button. The game suffers from a big flaw, that I would be remiss for not bringing up. The game suffers from crashing at random points.
For me, it crashed on the second world every time I played. This bug prevented me from not only finishing the world but also the game. Once the game crashes you must reopen it and start from your last save.
Now I did send an email to the developer and explained my issue. The good news is that the developer responded to me. Told me that they’re already aware of the issue and working to fix it.
This morning before I uploaded the video file containing the review I saw that a patch for the game had been uploaded onto Steam.
Now I haven’t had the chance to play the game since the new patch. So, I do not know if it solves the issue or not. I will provide an update as to this review both here and on the sites YouTube channel once I know.
Absolute Blue doesn’t try to rewrite the book when it comes to the shoot ‘em up. It does take the elements of a classic shoot ‘em up and use them to make a modern game, that looks and feels like the classics of old.
Have thoughts, or comments? Sound off below.
Update 4-29-2018 As of now I have played for four hours with no crashes. So for my machine at least the patch seems to have worked.