By Steve Baltimore / February 6th, 2020
|Developer||Final Form Games|
|Publisher||Final Form Games|
|Release Date||December 12th, 2019|
|Platform||Switch, PS4, Steam|
I consider myself very much a novice when it comes to Shmups. I love to play them, but sometimes I have a hard time getting a hand on them. A few of the Touhou games have almost broken my soul, but I love them. When I got a chance to check out Jamestown+ on the Nintendo Switch I jumped at it. This game is a huge update of the indie classic Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony. It features upgraded graphics, audio, all the DLC is included and even some new content as well. Let’s see if this update makes this classic shine even brighter.
The story here is so bat-shit insane that it’s awesome! Set on 17th-century British colonial Mars, tentacled warriors of Mars have formed an alliance with Spanish Conquistadors. Now the only hope England has is disgraced knight Sir Walter Raleigh. Can He defeat all the enemy forces and save the colony?
In addition to a great story I love the graphic design of Jamestown+. The game reminds me of Metal Slug if it were a vertical shooter. Enemy sprites look outstanding and all of the environments are top notch as well. These vary from towns of the old West to tentacle infested lands. In addition to its amazing looks the game runs smooth as butter. Even with multiple players and bullets flying in dozens of directions the framerate remains solid.
Jamestown+ has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a long time. Each track is fast paced and really gets you pumped for the glorious bullet filled battles! You can buy this OST on Steam and I highly recommend doing so, every track here is a pure joy for your ears. The explosions and other sound effects fit the game perfectly adding to the immersion.
While having great graphics and a killer soundtrack will make any Shmup better, the gameplay is the most important part. This game delivers. There are five main stages for you to blast through with up to three of your close friends. As you defeat enemies a vault meter will build at the top. When this is full you can deploy a shield that will last a few seconds. The meter will begin to drain even after your shield is gone, but if there is anything left in it you can hit the vault button again to get a very small emergency shield. This will disable the meter entirely for a few seconds, but players get a score bonus for doing this.
Each player is given two lives per credit and two credits per stage. Players can be revived in this mode after a short amount of time when they are defeated. You will only lose a credit when everyone has been defeated. This really helps on the higher difficulty levels. You will need to complete previous stages on a specific difficulty to proceed to the next one. I didn’t have too much trouble doing this even by myself till the very end, then it got a little too rough. Players can also travel to The Moons and take on a couple of missions there as well.
In addition to story stages the game features a gauntlet mode that lets you play levels back to back and some challenge stages as well. Just like story missions completing these will earn you coins to spend in the in game shop. You can unlock a ton of new ships and weapons to use in your fight again these alien invaders! These include focused shots, spread shots, drone fighters and much more. It will take you a while to figure out which type of ship and firing configuration works best for you, but there is one here to fit almost any play style.
If you are a fan of Shmups buying Jamestown+ is a no brainer. The game looks and plays like a dream. The soundtrack is one of the best you will find and having local multiplayer makes this a joy for folks that like to play games with their friends. I do wish this had online multiplayer since not all of us live close to friends we can easily snag up to play. I played this for around 5 hours and I was able to beat all of the stages the game had to offer, but I could’ve invested a lot more time if I wanted to unlock everything the game had to offer and complete all of the challenges, making it well worth the $17.99 price point. If you’ve been looking for a Shmup to test your skills or just a good game to play with some friends, you really couldn’t go wrong picking this up.
Review copy provided by the publisher for review.