Nephenthesys (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

This is a pretty standard vertically scrolling 2D shooter.  There’s a story here, but it’s not very important.  Just pilot your spaceship as you zap everything that moves and avoid getting hit.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Control is simple.  Just move with the analog stick and fire by holding down the X button.  Certain ships will drop power-ups that increase your firepower, and the last tier you get will give you a (mostly) screen clearing shot you can use with the square button.  If you get hit, you’ll revert back one power-up (kind of reminds me of how it works in Legendary Wings).  When you are at your lowest and get hit, it’s Game Over.  You get three continues, but you start at the very beginning of the last stage you were on.  You can choose from several ships with different kinds of firepower, and unlock more along the way, too.

My main problem with the game is that you start over at the beginning when you die.  I wish you could start right where you left off.  It makes the game way more difficult.  Speaking of which, a difficulty selection would’ve been nice, and many enemies take too many shots to defeat.  The whole thing just feels bland and there are way better shooters out there I’d rather be playing.

Kid Factor:

Nephenthesys is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You shoot spaceships that explode and that’s it.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may find it too difficult, though.

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