While it tries to create some extra interest with some cool and somewhat cinematic transitions, the core play experience is a mixed bag
While there are some things I think Hyper-5 does that help it to differentiate itself from some of its more budget-minded shooter competition, as a whole package it’s hard not to find it a bit frustrating. Its best feature is its somewhat unusual quasi-3D style, which gives its backgrounds depth and allows it to do some cool and sweeping cinematic transitions that do catch the eye. Ah, but there’s a downside, and that’s its somewhat inconsistent play that does emulate many elements of classic arcade shooters but comes up short in implementing a number of them. In certain stages, for instance, it can be difficult to differentiate things you can ignore as threats with things you’re going to collide with. I’m also really not a fan of its very grindy nature, slowly allowing you to power up and choose different weapons you can unlock and upgrade, but lacking a roguelike structure in the meantime that could have provided opportunities for “good rolls” as you go to get a little periodic extra power for longer runs. If there weren’t such deep representation in the indie space with quality shooters already, perhaps I’d be more inclined to look for the positives. Unfortunately, the bench in this genre is so deep that the best Hyper-5 could hope is to be a mere waterboy for the varsity squad.
Justin Nation, Score: