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Scintillatron 4096 review for PS Vita, PS4


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4
Publisher: kFunction Ltd
Developer: kFunction Ltd
Medium: Digital
Players: 1 (PS4: 1-2)
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E

Having played Atari Flashback Classics not too long ago, I feel confident in saying this: Scintillatron 4096 could have been included in that collection and nobody would have batted an eye.

I mean, the vividly-coloured enemies coming after you might have seemed a bit out of place — but only a bit. Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between this game and something like Robotron 2084 or its many imitators from decades ago. Scintillatron 4096 owes a huge debt of gratitude to arcade shooters from the early days of gaming, with simple gameplay (arguably too simple — more on that in a moment) that’s all about shooting down enemies and racking up the points.

And when I say “all about shooting down enemies and racking up the points”, I mean that quite literally: unlike the PS4 version, which includes a local 2-player competitive high score mode, the Vita version includes the base game mode and nothing else. I get that the games from which Scintillatron 4096 draws inspiration didn’t exactly have a plethora of content, but it still feels a little light.

However, if we’re talking about what Scintillatron 4096 does, rather than what it doesn’t include, it does its one thing very well. Interestingly, it’s not a twin-stick shooter in the modern sense: you can’t fly around the screen, blasting enemies from every which way. Rather, it’s a multi-directional shooter, in which your blasts can only go in eight directions. Consequently, your shots tend to be a little more controlled — and, as a consequence of that, the game places a premium on streaks, which you get by destroying all the enemies of one colour before moving onto the next. It makes the game much more methodical than its more modern-looking brethren, which isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, but it does seem like something.

Again, if you’re looking for a game that offers tonnes of content, Scintillatron 4096 isn’t it, especially if you’re playing it on Vita. But if you played that Atari Flashback Classics collection and want to recreate the feeling with something newer, this game should do the trick.

kFunction Ltd. provided us with a Scintillatron 4096 PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C+