By: Uma Smith
It’s interesting that Mark Hamill, who was featured in the classic video game Wing Commander, is making an appearance after being out of the scene for such a long period of time. If you check out the film, Sushi Girl, you’ll see Hamill making his return to his acting career. Meanwhile, a new PlayStation Vita title, Starlight Inception, is being promoted as a “rebellious step-child” of Wing Commander. In this case, will fans of the classic title be as receptive and welcoming for their Vita?
Considering how Starlight Inception will have you primarily maneuvering a spacecraft in a third-person perspective, the controls are quite solid and tight. Attacks are easily executed with the button schemes while flight movement is very responsive — it made flying around in space pleasant and simple due to its reactive and intuitive controls. While there is some incorporation of the touch screen on the Vita, you’ll primarily be making use of the shoulder and face buttons.
The only complaint is when you take control of the human character in the first-person perspective, as moving and executing commands are awkward and clunky. Otherwise, the controls are pretty much tip top for the majority of the gameplay.
Visually, Starlight Inception has a beautiful and stunning presentation for the most part. Even though the textures of the spacecrafts are well designed, however, there are aspects of the game where the appearance is pretty archaic. In fact, there are time Starlight Inception can look quite grainy and primitive. That aside, the background makes up for this downfall. Watching the Earth appear from the horizon within space is simply magnificent.
Where the game shines is the musical score courtesy of David Arkenstone. The soundtrack really helps immerse gamers into the space environment. Not only are the tunes appropriate, but so are the audio effects. Hearing the engines of the spacecraft along with the firing of weapons will get your heart throbbing with excitement and awe.
In Starlight Inception, you take on the role of a space pilot who has been assigned to the U.S.F. Carrier. With the setting taking place during World War IV, you’ll be engaging in a number of battles, mostly in outer space! While the story may seem intriguing from the start, it does get hard to follow as the details become more complicated. This could possibly lead to players’ attention waning.
That aside, the gameplay revolves around completing a variety of objectives, including finding certain items as well as saving your allies. Some tasks will have you traveling to a diverse number of planets as you fly over the cities within. With a bunch of different waypoints to fly to in order to complete your mission, the gameplay can feel tedious and monotonous the longer you play.
As for the enemies you face in Starlight Inception, their AI seem to be quite deficient since they can simply be blasted away without any challenge added to it. Just shoot straight through at them, and they won’t bother to dodge or put up a fight. Considering that this is taking place during World War IV, I’d expect the battles to be both tough and exhilarating. Instead, I get the exact opposite.
Still, Starlight Inception does deliver on its customization, which has a lot of involvement and depth. There are different types of spacecrafts and weapons to equip and play around with. And thankfully, this particular Vita title has some additional content to keep you occupied. One offered game mode will have you protecting a mother ship from waves of enemies. Additionally, there is an online area where you get the opportunity to compete with friends. As a result, the content and customization do compensate a bit for the game’s repetitive nature.
While Starlight Inception does seem to diminish in terms of challenge, it remains as a promising title that aims to rekindle a long lost spirit. Players who are longing for gameplay similar to that of Wing Commander may find this a satisfying Vita title.