Son of Scoregasm review for PS Vita, PC

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PC
Publisher: Charlie’s Games
Developer: Charlie’s Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards

For the most part, Son of Scoregasm isn’t what you’d call complex. It’s a retro-inspired twin-stick shooter where you’re fending off wave after wave of alien spaceships. If it weren’t for the pretty graphics and sheer number of enemies, it’d be easy to mistake this game for one that came out a few decades ago.

Pretty much everything here is as simple and straightforward as it gets. The controls are basic: move with the left stick, shoot with the right, and fire pulses with the Vita’s right shoulder button. The plot — something about a king’s stolen sweets — is inconsequential. The levels are relatively short (albeit incredibly difficult). In nearly every respect, it’s a case of what you see being what you get.

The one exception to this is in the scoring. It’s not just a case of shoot enemies, get points. Rather, you get point boosts every time you use your pulse bombs. Use them early and often, and you get more points; don’t, and you could theoretically get 0 points on a level. Things are further complicated by the fact that Son of Scoregasm is brutally hard, with enemies coming at you in unpredictable patterns, which means that you’ll want to preserve those pulses for times when you find yourself cornered. It’s a delicate balancing act, and it’s emblematic of how punishing this game can be.

Mind you, I think even if the scoring was straightforward, Son of Scoregasm would still be super-hard. As you’d expect from any twin-stick shooter worth its salt, the enemies here are constantly coming at you from every direction, and they seem to move at random. On top of that, you only get one life per level, which ups the difficulty level even further. This is a demanding game, and even the so-called “easy” mode is still ridiculously tough.

Obviously, Son of Scoregasm isn’t the kind of game you should pick up if you’re looking for something new. But if you want a challenge — and a pretty nice-looking one at that — it’s well worth checking out.

Charlie’s Games provided us with a Son of Scoregasm PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B