Assault Android Cactus
• Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
• Players: 1-4, Local Only
• Achievements: Yes
• Steam Trading Cards: Yes
• Steam Controller Support: Yes, Full
• Retail Price: $14.99
High Level Premise – Overhead Twin Stick Shooter
Graphics/Style – 3D animated w/Unity
Music/Soundtrack – Upbeat/fast paced electronic, fitting for its bullet-hell style
Story – You are part of a team of androids who are fighting to rescue a spaceship from a robot uprising
Replay-ability – High, as most levels leave the player room for improving rank
Time Commitment – 10 hours, more if aiming for perfection
Value – Moderately high, decent amount of substance and unlockable content
Favorite Element – The ranking system gives players reason to memorize levels & boss patterns until they’ve reached “S+” among all levels
Sean Says – Assault Android Cactus is a terrific, multiplayer twin-stick shooter. The whole package contains enough content to keep the player glued for hours, striving for perfection among all levels, and working towards obtaining all of the unlockable items and characters. It is an overall solid package, with a glaring flaw that I find painfully hard to overlook. The lack of an online multiplayer component in a genre that should undeniably contain one, is too difficult to ignore.
On a lighter note, the game adds a plethora of variety for the player. It contains a handful of different playable characters (androids), each with their own respective weapons. Mastering how and where to use each character provides a meaningful experience among each attempt to improve your rank within a level. In addition, switching your android on a level that you are snagged on can make all the difference among an otherwise difficult area. Another example of variety are the ever-changing levels, which become more variable as the game progresses. Mastering each level and boss pattern is essential for the perfectionist.
Being a game that thrives on multiplayer, I can only recommend this one to those who have friends or family to partake in the fantastic local co-op. If this happens to be your situation, Assault Android Cactus is a solid package with a lot to offer! Otherwise, bearing the absence of any online multiplayer, the single player experience alone may not be enough to earn your time and money.
Gareth Says – How excited I was when I heard that we were able to review this game! This was the game that I voted for in the PlayStation Plus “Vote to Play” campaign. Sean and I love twin stick shooters, and were really excited about this one. Sean turned it on first and was explaining the menus to me. I loaded it up as well, ready to go. We were in a party chat trying to figure out how to invite each other to play. Well jokes on us, there is no online multiplayer component. This is the sole reason that I could not fully get into this game.
The game itself is wonderful. It runs butter smooth and looks great. The different androids with their own weapon and specials reminded me a lot of Contra as I played through it. The levels had enough variety to keep it interesting and the boss fight patterns were well thought out and took more than a few tries to memorize the patterns. Clearing my first level and getting an “S” rank was rewarding. Keeping the combo meter up through a whole level was also very satisfying.
The problem is that every time I had an “I did it!”, or an “I will change something this time around” moment, it was always followed by “Why in 2016 can I not play this game with Sean without having to sit on the same sofa” – it is simply unacceptable. In this day and age of gaming, online multiplayer is forced into games that do not need it. There are constant complaints when a game like BioShock or Mass Effect, predominantly single player experiences, tack on online multiplayer. Yet, Assault Android Cactus, a game that becomes more fun with more players can’t have it…I wish the developers had considered it for the PlayStation release.
If you enjoy the solo play of a twin stick shooter and memorizing the pattern of a level while you chase that perfect ranking, then this game is for you. If you have the ability to go to your friends’ house and play the game regularly, then this game is for you. If you are like Sean and I that can only play online, then this probably isn’t the game for you. If you are looking for a good online multiplayer twin stick shooter, I would check out Dead Nation, and If you still have a PS3 then I would also recommend looking into the Alien Breed series.