Also available on PlayStation 3
Some people may argue with my saying that I "beat" Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype because the way that they have the levels structured, people are going to have different definitions of what they call "beaten." For me, "beaten" is when you finish the core storyline or all levels that don't require "secret" or collectible items to unlock. Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype has, I think 10 or 12 levels, but only 4 or 5 can be accessed without collecting a certain number of "secret keys" in certain levels. I didn't unlock any of those, getting the "The End?" ending before being reminded that I can get the "true" ending by unlocking the other levels and beating them. That's what I would call "completed." Make sense? Anyway, onward to the review (while I pretend to pay attention during this meeting about Google Classroom)!
Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype is a horizontally scrolling shmup not unlike R-Type. It has two difficulty settings available at the beginning - Easy and Normal. I'm NOT good at horizontally scrolling shooters, so I played on easy, and that was a pretty perfect level of challenge for a player of my skill (perhaps a little too easy but pretty good). I had to get my shit together by the time I got to the boss, but I did manage to beat all of the levels I finished without dying. When you start, you pick from three ships to use (two of which are available at the start), and each ship has three weapons - a standard pew pew laser, a PHWOOOSH narrow but powerful beam, and a (in my opinion) useless more defensive laser that has a pseudo-auto targetting feature in a short range.
The game is (mercifully) not a one-hit-kill type of shmup. You have a life bar, and you can take a decent number of hits before you die. Destroyed enemy ships occasionally droop health regeneration items. You can also pick up items like score multipliers, bonus points, and power boosts. Your enemies' endurance vary, too, from little nothing enemies that die with a single shot from any weapon all the way to bigger enemies that take a good 10 seconds of concentrated fire with your PHWOOOSH laser to destroy.
One of the things that a lot of shmups forego (or at least don't spend much time establishing) that I really appreciated about Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype is the storyline. Yeah, at the end of the day, you're just going to be blowing shit up in space, but it's nice to have a backstory to along with your shit in space destroying. All in all, Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype doesn't revolutionize the genre or anything, but horizontally scrolling shooters aren't as common as vertically scrolling shooters (because they're not as good), and it's a very competent game. It just won't really stand out from the crowd after you finish it, and - for me, personally, at least - it's not special enough to make it worthwhile to go through and get the bonus keys to unlock the rest of the levels.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.