When you think about scavenging for treasure, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Pirates? Gold? The sea? All of these are very good and smart answers. But what if it was taken a step further and your mission was to collect, not by sea, but by air and not only that but being able to control your ship in one of the most natural feeling ways? Sounds good right? But does Developer Agharta Studio show us a new way of battles and collecting the prize? Let’s find out with Stardust Odyssey for the PlayStation VR.
In Stardust Odyssey, it is your mission to explore the most powerful convoys around and find the nine Relics where not only will have to be able to shoot, but also use magic against the evil that is the Guardians in hopes to restore the balance of the world. But before you go all Flash Gordon or Lone Starr trying to save the world that you know, you may want to get used to a few things. First, please make sure your Move controllers are fully charged as you will be using them to pilot your ship as well as shooting and using magic all while trying to defeat the evil, unlock new abilities and upgrades.
So of course, the first thing one does in an Ethercraft is want to learn how to control it and I will say that controlling your ship has never felt more natural than it does here. By picking up the blue sphere aka your rudder, you are able to move your Ethercraft. With the blue sphere in use, you use the Move controller like a flight stick, so move forward for speed, backward to slow down, go left and right, up and down, the movement is dead on here and if you add a fan in the mix, it really does add to the experience. When you see a ship that has treasure, you will want to fly right near it as close as possible, use your rudder to collect all the treasure which then turns into gold that you can use in the shop to purchase new upgrades.
As I mentioned you will have your work cut out for you as it’s not all going to be smooth sailing and collecting the gold you need. You will also have enemies to deal with that you will need to be cautious about. Part of Stardust Odyssey is maneuvering your ship, using stealth as a weapon so you don’t get caught as well as fighting enemies, maneuvering out of the way while fighting them and to add to all of that, fighting bosses. But you only have a certain amount of energy shots which once fired, you will need to wait for them to regain energy and that is where your hand-eye coordination really comes into play. You see, while you are using the blue sphere to control the rudder to steer, but you also have what is called spell orbs where you have spells, such as a shield, to help protect you and your ship. But it’s when you really need to do all three that can make it really can be challenging to go at it all alone.
But one of the things I really appreciate about Stardust Odyssey is the ability to jump in and jump out whenever you want to. So at various parts of the levels, you will need to be able to collect Ether so you can move on. Unfortunately, sometimes what you want to happen and what will happen, does not always work out. Sometimes you may miss them altogether or not having the skill level to collect it. So this means that you may have to replay certain checkpoints (which here they are called lighthouses) in order to collect them once you have been upgraded. But luckily, once you reach the lighthouses, you are able to go back to that point to try again. Once you elect to jump out, you are back in the area that will have the shop so that the gold you have collected can be used to purchase upgrades that you can use in hopes that you have chosen wisely with your upgrades and skills to collect that Ether and get further than you did before and collect those relics and to help bring balance to this place.
Earlier I mentioned that Stardust Odyssey can be challenging to go at alone. Thankfully, you don’t have to. From the beginning of the game to even in your ship, look next to you and you will see an empty seat. The game does support co-op where each of you would have control of the ship. So if you have someone with awesome maneuvering skills and you have the better aim or vice versa, that could be one way to go about it. But since either one of you has the ability to control the ship, you both can fire and you both can use spells to fight the enemies. I did not get the opportunity to try this part out and I tried numerous times at different times and could not find anyone to join and I really wanted to try this option out because it would be a blast to play with a friend.
Looking at the graphics there is something that just made me have this smile on my face. Sitting there in my own ship and passing by with the other ships and seeing at times what looked like little houses to even these whale-like creatures pass by while just collecting treasure and shooting at enemies while avoiding their fire and adding to the natural way of just moving around brought me into the world of Stardust Odyssey that made me happy to be there. Listening to this sci-fi occidental music that has these oriental instruments was relaxing and just helped draw me into this world that everyone should experience.
Stardust Odyssey shows that when life may become too challenging, sometimes it is great to just escape and pilot our own Ethercraft and just take time to enjoy the view.
Stardust Odyssey is out now for PlayStation VR. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go and see if there is anyone who may need a helping hand.