Review: Big Sky Infinity fails to live up to its wide open potential
The PlayStation Vita already has its fair share of commendable shooters to choose from, including the old classic Super Stardust HD and the enjoyable (if tough as nails) Sine Mora, which just came out a few weeks back. Now we have Big Sky Infinity, the latest from VooFoo Studios, which tries to take the context of a twin-stick shooter and mix it up with diverse settings that change each time you play through the game. It's a startling effect, but not entirely one that will be a hit with everyone.
In the game, you control a ship using the left analog stick, while the right one directs where your bullets fly. At first, you have a pithy little pea-shooter of a cannon, but as you pick up Starbits from enemies that you scatter to ashes across the game, you'll begin to open up options for increasing your firepower. It just takes a little bit of patience, but you'll soon be gunning like a pro.
New to Big Sky Infinity is the ability to drill through objects, by pressing down the right shoulder buttons. Although it's useful for wiping out enemies, should you become overwhelmed, you'll want to use it sparingly. With some larger objects, like planets and boss cores, it becomes a necessity, but it should be noted that its use will wear it down.
The random surroundings you'll face each time you blast through Big Sky Infinity are refreshing at first, but doldrums soon set in when you realize the gameplay doesn't change. It's running through boss phases, then enemies at top speed (which can be annoying when you can't destroy bigger ones at a lightning pace), and then repeat. The lag issues don't help either. The screen, at times will slow, hindering your experience. This is especially true for the PS Vita version, which is in definite need of a patch.
There are a number of modes to choose from at the start. As you progress, you'll move into Nightmare and Hell (for the "bullet hell" fans), Countdown (where you score as much as possible in a minimal time frame), Boss Mode, and Marathon, along with the strange Naked and Remix modes. Better yet, they're all supported by online leaderboards.
However, the promise of a "buy one get another version free" that was made earlier? Sadly, that wasn't the case when the game launched, as we had to pay $9.99 apiece for each version. It's a decent price, but still a let down considering what was promised.
Big Sky Infinity's visuals aren't nearly as impressive as Sine Mora. Backgrounds tend to repeat themselves, and sometimes even blend in with the color of your ship. However, the boss designs are impeccable, and the random challenges thrown your way are pretty entertaining.
Let's not forget the music, which hits the spot throughout the game. Unfortunately, it's often drowned out by an incredibly annoying announcer who constantly shouts out stuff that doesn't even make a lick of sense. You can't shut him up either.
Big Sky Infinity had a lot of potential with its random levels and its challenging gameplay, but it's almost squandered completely by the loudmouth constantly shouting at you, the laggy screen problems and the failure of the "YOPO" (you only pay once) option. Still, if it's a new challenge you're after, there are certainly worse shooters out there. Check the demo out first.
[Reviewed on PS Vita]