Shoot 1UP DX (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Usually when you play a video game, like a 2-D shooter, when you get an extra life, it goes into reserve and you use it when you lose the ship you’re playing as.  But what if when you got 1ups, you’d use them all at the same time?  That’s what happens in Shoot 1UP DX, a classic styled (mostly) vertically scrolling 2-D shooter with a unique twist.  It’s available to download on current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

At first glance, Shoot 1UP DX looks like any other classic shooter.  You move around and hold the A button to fire as you mow down any spacecraft that moves as you avoid them and bullets.  Defeated enemies leave behind gold medals for points, but sometimes they’ll drop a 1up as well.  Collect it to add a ship to your armada.  Press the L and R buttons to expand and contract your ship formation.  When your formation is expanded, your shots spread wider and you can even shoot a powerful beam.  But you also run the risk of having your ships shot down, as it’s harder to avoid enemies when you are spread out like that.  Pulling your ships closer together means you don’t have as wide a shot, but you can avoid bullets easier.  You’ll lose ships if they get hit, but you can still keep going until your last ship is downed, then it’s Game Over.  So yeah, pretty creative take on a classic formula.  I haven’t seen anything like that before, with the exception of the shooter mini-game in Kirby Mass Attack.  Power-ups are pretty cool, too, like one that mirrors your ship so you get twice the firepower.

When you start, you can pick your difficulty level and also the gameplay speed.  Slowing it down will make things even easier.  Although even after that, the game is still pretty difficult.  A second player can join in at any time, which is nice.  Sometimes in stages you can choose a path, and some of those paths can change how you play, like making it a horizontally scrolling shooter for a bit, or let you fly backwards or in any direction.  Aside from the difficulty, the only other problems I had with the game were minor.  Backgrounds are either uninspiring or weird.  Like one stage you’re just flying over still shots of orca whales.  Okay…?  Most enemies are also uncreative, but the bosses are pretty cool and take up most of the screen.  It also still lacks the charm of classic shooters like Darius or Strikers 1945.  But if you want a classic 2-D shooter with a creative twist, you may want to check this one out.

Kid Factor:

Shoot 1UP DX is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Suggestive Themes.  You shoot any spacecraft that moves, and things explode when defeated.  But what kind of shooter has suggestive themes?  Well, in one stage, the background has a mechanical vibe with giant ladies that look like they’re in cryogenic sleep.  And the boss of that level is a huge top half of a woman with mechanical breasts.  But what’s even weirder is that in the options screen, you can choose to have them wear clothes or not.  Never thought I’d see that option to toggle in a 2-D shooter.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, but not necessary to play, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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