Söldner-X2: Final Prototype for the Vita is a perfect throwback to the classic arcade shooters of old – with all the charm and drawbacks that that comes with.
The shoot ’em up is one of the oldest videogame genres, and its core formula has remained unchanged for decades. What started with games like Space Invades and turned into side scrolling shooters like Gradius or R-Type in the 80s hasn’t seen any major changes in the last 20 years or so. Sure – some games add new twists on the familiar themes (like being able to manipulate time), but the core concept has stood the test of time.
Söldner-X2: Final Prototype stays true to that formula and delights fans of the genre with everything they’re grown to love over the years. A good selection of weapons, a few different spaceships to choose from and challenging boss fights during and at the end of each level. The game also mixes up its visual themes, enemy patterns and boss types very well, alleviating the lurking danger of monotony that plagues too many budget shooters out there.
Everything is presented at a blistering and smooth 60 frames per second as well – squeezing the full console experience (this was a PS3 game first) into a tiny Vita package. The game is colorful, detailed, features pseudo-3d backgrounds and excellent enemy ship designs. In every sense, it’s a stunning recreation of that classic arcade shooter experience.
If we had to fault the game, it’s perhaps on account of it being such a faithful representation of the old quarter-eating machines that the entire game is over just as quickly as those games were back in the game. Don’t expect a six hour long campaign here – this is a game best played when you’re looking for a 90 minute shooter fix.
Since we’re extremely fond of experiences like that on our handheld consoles, Söldner-X2: Final Prototype is right up our alley. If you share our tastes in this regard, then this is a well-polished version of Söldner that you’re certain to enjoy in short bursts. If you want to extend the experience a little, be sure to pick up The Last Chapter, the DLC addon that was also brought to Vita gamers through the PSN.