Shoot ‘em up whirlwind
Game: Sturmwind EX
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Sturmwind EX is a side scrolling shoot-em-up game from Duranik. The game was originally released as an independent game for the Sega Dreamcast in 2013. An impressive show of support for a system that was discontinued by Sega in 2001.
One thing that in 2019 is not an issue now that Sturmwind EX has been ported over to modern platforms.
Sturmwind EX has the feel of old-school arcade-style shoot-em-up games but this game is not a bullet hell style shooter like many games of this type are these days. I found this very refreshing as while bullet hell shooters are interesting in their own ways, I personally prefer this style of shooter.
While the game is not a bullet hell shooter, that does not mean that it isn’t challenging in it’s own ways. Enemies can and will pop up from anywhere, including the background of the level so you must stay very attentive to survive.
Taking damage in Sturmwind EX is not necessarily the end of the road, as you will be able to take several hits before losing a life. Taking damage is not without it’s consequences however, as whatever weapon you have active will be lost if you take a hit.
This adds an additional level of strategy to the game as while it is possible to finish the levels with any of the gun types, some areas or boss levels are much more manageable with all options available. As a result, I found myself preserving certain weapons by swapping to others while navigating risky sections. Doing this in the event that if I took damage, it would minimize the risk of losing a critical weapon I needed to get through a tricky section or tough boss.
Some sections in Sturmwind EX definitely rely on memorization of enemy spawns as some seem unavoidable if you do not know they are coming. This can be frustrating at times, especially if you are on your last life which will require you to replay the entire level again from the start. Not the end of the world of course but I feel it should be noted.
I quite enjoyed my time with Sturmwind EX and I would definitely recommend the game to fans of retro style shoot-em-ups or just pick up and play arcade action.
I played Sturmwind EX on the Nintendo Switch for this review but the game is also available on Xbox One and PC.
The graphics are fairly interesting, utilizing a mixture of 3D rendered graphics and 2D sprites, it holds up surprisingly well on modern hardware.
16 out of 20
Music in the game is the real standout here and is generally very energetic with a very upbeat electronic score, explosions in the game are quite satisfying as well.
15 out of 20
Gameplay is good but controls may take some getting used to. I would recommend looking in the control options to see what everything does before diving in too far.
14 out of 20
Replayability is a strong suit for a game like this since it is essentially an arcade style shooter, replaying for high score or just for fun.
20 out of 20
If you are in the mood for a classic shooter experience with many levels and a decent challenge, Sturmwind EX is definitely worth the $12.99 asking price.
17 out of 20
82 out of 100
Review copy provided by Duranik
The link for the store pages for Sturmwind EX are below if you are interested in checking it out for yourself: