Laserpitium (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S)

Laserpitium is a standard 2-D side scrolling shooter.  Choose from three ships with different kinds of firepower and battle though various stages shooting all the bad guys.  It’s available on all current consoles but reviewed on PS4 here.

There are two ways to play.  “Classic” mode has you choosing a path from two stages after you beat a boss.  It’s kind of like how they do it in Darius. In “Full” mode, you choose five stages to play all at once, and then you go through them.  Before you start each mode, you can choose one of three ships with different types of firepower.  The first one lets you shoot front and back, which is most handy since in most stages, enemies come from both sides.  Another ship shoots straight forward but you can switch to a spread shot for defeating baddies at an angle.  The last ship just shoots a homing lightning bolt, which is handy until you realize how weak it is.  You can pick up power-ups that increase the size of your shots, or just gives you bonus points.  If you hit an enemy you’ll explode, but if a bullet hits you, you can take a couple more hits before dying.  When all your lives are lost, it’s Game Over.

The game has tons of difficulty settings, but it’s still pretty hard.  The easiest mode gives you TONS of lives, but you still may run out after a few stages if you’re as bad at shooters as I am.  Some of the set pieces are pretty neat, like an Egyptian style level.  But some areas have objects that block your view in the foreground, which is a bit annoying.  Sometimes it’s also hard to tell what’s a wall and what’s a background object.  That and the difficulty is what annoyed me the most.  But otherwise it’s just a generic 2-D shooter.  Not very original, but it’s serviceable and does what it sets out to do.

Kid Factor:

Laserpitium is rated T for Teen with an ESRB descriptor of Partial Nudity.  Wait, what?  I didn’t notice any of that in the game.  I figured it would just get a ESRB descriptor of Violence since you shoot enemy spaceships that explode when defeated.  Reading skill is helpful for the menu text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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