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March 22, 2011 / marvinhawkins

Analysis of Game: Astro Avengers 2

Part of being successful in game design is being able to analyze the work of yourself, and others. Astro Avengers 2 is a casual 2D space shooter that is currently available on portals such as Yahoo! Games. Since this game is similar to the one that I hope to make, I played it with an analytical purpose. What follows are my observations of what made this fun to play, I also examine strengths and weaknesses. This is, what I hope will be the first of many analytical posts. Be sure to tell me what you think in the comments.

Game Play Style: 2D (With 3D graphics shooter) 

Viewpoint: 2D Top Down with shades of 3D, Some Dimensionaility

Overview: A top down arcade style vertical scrolling shooter. Features a view point that is considered a throwback to the classic arcade games but featurtes modern graphics.

GamePlay:

  • Lots of enemies with varying attack patterns
  • Upgradeable weapons
  • Short field of combat
  • Screen filled up with enemies at certain spot
  • Felt a sense of being attacked for all sides
  • Enemies attacked with a variety of weapons- Some fired missles that shot straight toward the player’s ship others were arc or beam weapons
  • Hit points and other features were presistent and didn’t regenerate
  • Bosses appear at every 10th level
  • The missions take place over 10 levels in a repetitive world
  • Difficulty rachets up = more enemies

Aesthetics

  • 3D Graphics with the camera made to look like it’s 2D
  • Enviornments are slightly repetitive
  • The levels are mostly space stations and feature some props intermitently
  • GUI elements have tool tips which explains what each element does (Could use this for some of the ships/weapons)
  • Tool Tips above enemies give the player an idea of how much damage he’s doing

What I liked

  • Look and feel are similar to the style I want for my own game
  • Each enemy has a different pattern
  • Power ups eventually drain away
  • Context sensitive powerups, (if you were low on health a health power up appeared)
  • Sense of Scale: Enemies appeared large and swarmed you. Capital ships looked huge and imposing
  • Difficulty of the game felt well balanced. Each swarm of enemies featured different patterns/weapon attacks
  • UI is straightforward and works, a bit hard to look at though when being attacked


Opportunities for Improvement

  • More Artwork to break up the repetitive environments, It could be more exciting with different props
  • I liked the tight nature of the enviornments but with all the enemies on screen it sometimes got too chaotic
  • Instead of upgrades, the player will have access to different ships
  • distribution of Powerups made the game feel easy
  • Some levels felt shorter/ less difificult
  • Boss distribution could have been better. The pacing is great and challenging in some spots, but dull and repetitive in others
  • Music is repetitive early, but gets better as time goes on.
  • No real indication that a boss is coming up soon ( Think the Warning and Music change in Japanese 2D shooters)
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