Review: Dystoria

by Dealon Brounx

The science fiction classic from 1984, The Last Starfighter, is about a video game master who is sent into space to defend the planet from alien invasion. A lot of people were evidently moved by this straightforward tale of wish fulfillment, including the creators of Dystoria who replicated it to the point where they placed the imaginary arcade cabinet in the exact same location.

This title is a little unusual. With Tron and all these games sort of screaming 80s, it brought back bright memories of this time. This kind of Tron-inspired music has that synthesizer and those vivid neon hues. All these features are very organic in Dystoria.

The final product might be quite as corny as the 1980 film. I have a feeling that this vehicle shoot-’em-up will nonetheless leave an impression on viewers. You take on the role of a regular video game addict who is kidnapped by aliens and made to through a series of tests.

The Story of Dystoria

The kidnapper claims to be a kind of gardener. An unidentified being searching the universe for the weakest link in order to judge the value of humanity. The alien forces you to battle through 30 difficult levels that play like a hybrid of sector and descent and are each filled with neon adversaries that are powerfully armed with weapons.

Gameplay Features

Massive levels that whiz through space like a maze exist in Dystoria. The trick here is that our tiny craft can attach to ceilings, walls, and everything in between in addition to hovering above the ground. This gives us a dizzying degree of freedom! We hardly ever see in the type of game, allowing us to navigate the challenging courses from any aspect. The good news, if you can call it that. Aside from a major battle at the very end – the aliens are a predictable bunch.

The majority of the levels have you frantically searching the area for three hidden orbs. There are only two different types of stages to deal with. All you have to do is locate those orbs. Then, without being shot down by the adversary, open a gateway to the following stage. The other kind of level has you flipping the script and being compelled to eliminate every foe before the gateway opens. The same two activities are repeated throughout your adventure, which might make the Dystoria seem a little monotonous at times. Even though the game can get repetitive, I will add that it controls nicely and some of the stages turned out to be rather challenging.

The levels are kind of pre-made, floating kind of in a space area. So, you’re riding along these levels. It’s basically just looks like grid cubes, that’s what this is made out of, as you’re flying your ship. You know you need to go around the edge, well, as you’re going over that edge, you’re going over, but then your whole camera angle shifts.

Frequently, you will have to cross the edge in Dystoria

Although this game doesn’t have as much content as some players might like, it is a great and challenging puzzler. Even though you sometimes discover everything and defeat the opponents by the time you’re done, you still have to spend an additional ten minutes flying around the level looking for that one part. This is because sometimes you’re looking for broken ship pieces and other things of that nature.

The levels require you to collect orbs and destroy enemies, and that’s how you complete the level. To find every piece of orb, you’ll need to blow through glass barriers, break open doors, and rearrange stage pieces. Enemies will be flying in from all directions when you do that. Despite the differences in appearance and maneuverability, all hovercraft are swift and nimble.

Dystoria’s Main Issues

I can’t generalize about all games in this genre like that. The Dystoria is not without its share of issues, regrettably. As I’ve already stated, there isn’t much variety, and you’ll frequently be asked to perform the same two tasks. It can also be disorienting and irritating in some respects, particularly when it comes to the latter, more challenging stages.

  1. Map

Although the 3D map is great, using it is a bit difficult, and it is not as helpful as I would have hoped. 

  1. Annoying enemies

The adversaries are the actual issue since they have a horrible habit of hanging over you just outside of your shooting range. There are a few little men that will start depleting your shield right away. They are giving you little any time to retaliate. No up or down aiming is allowed. This is extremely annoying in some of the missions where you have to defeat all adversaries because the bad guy will frequently attack you from sides that you can’t see or defend against. This results in a lot of tedious, inexpensive tries. That was entirely out of my hands. It suggests that there is a problem with the balance when you can die before the love even begins.

  1. Little problems with narrative

The narrative of this game is good at making me question the Alien’s motives. Occasionally I will receive messages from the outside world that seem to indicate that there may be more going on than you may be aware of. Although I adored the entry, I was a little let down by how everything turned out. I was expecting a twist, but it never materialized. Some interesting concepts and stories are never completely explored.

  1. Graphics

I also wish the devs had improved the graphics further. Apart from the tiles occasionally changing colors and a new planet appearing in the horizon, the game maintains a distinct aesthetic that is initially impressive but doesn’t alter much during the voyage.

Last words about Dystoria

The 30 stages feature numerous instances of the same designs. The antagonists aren’t as engaging or entertaining as the game’s other characters. Thankfully, the level designs are excellent, however I wish the graphics were more impressive. The Dystoria has a strong concept that is aided by excellent game play and an engaging science fiction plot. Yes, it lacks variation in the missions, and the cheap desk will annoy even the most skilled player.

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