Sol Cresta

released on Feb 21, 2022

Pilot three ships and free the solar system from the clutches of evil in this free-form shooting game!

PlatinumGames’ NEO-CLASSIC ARCADE series carries on the spirit and fun of classic gaming using modern technology, and the first project in this endeavor is Sol Cresta. Sol Cresta takes the docking and formation strategies of classic shooting games Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta and elevates them with the “free-form docking” system. The flagship Yamato, composed of the ships Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and Susano can utilize various attacks depending on how the three ships are aligned. Docking, splitting, and reforming the ships as needed is the key to defeating the invading armies of Mandler.

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not too into shoot-em-ups but this was a lotta fun! maybe I need to delve deeper into the genre

It's the best game PlatinumGames has released since The Wonderful 101 in my opinion. It's a damn shame it wasn't in working condition until December the year it released when patch 2.0.0 went live, but it's a mechanical-marvel in the STG-genre. Docking-formations and the game's bullet-time give you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you attack and approach other situations. I set it aside to await all the kinks being worked out, and they have been now, so I fully intend on giving it my full attention in the future.

Platinum Games finally makes a retro shooter after putting levels inspired by the genre in all of their action games. They nailed it obviously. They also put their own spin on it taking inspiration from The Wonderful 101. The game starts me off with one ship. I can dock with up to two other ships. Each ship has it's own standard weapon and special weapon. I can change the docking order the ship to swap these weapons. There is also a formation mechanic where I can separate the ships to put them in a specific formation. The different formations provide a different powerful attack. It's a neat mechanic that took some getting used to. I got pretty good at it as my life started depending on it. This game gets really hard from level 5 to the end. It's the hardest game I've played this year, but I never wanted to stop playing it. I was impressed that I was able to beat it. It was demanding a lot dodging all those projectiles.

A genuinely great and underrated game. I think this game doesn't get near the amount of credit it deserves. The presentation is pretty sub-par, there's a few too many repeat bosses, and the scoring system isn't great. Still, I think those core mechanics are so good that the game really shines in spite of them. The game has a very classic Platinum/Kamiya approach to difficulty, where it incentivizes you to learn the game until you're playing on the highest difficulty, where some core mechanic is changed or removed. Here, the formation system is nerfed significantly on Platinum Hard, but I think it makes the game far more strategic and interesting on that difficulty. I really see something special here, and I hope to see Platinum tackle other smaller projects and bring their knack for really inventive gameplay hooks to other classic genres.

Esta guapo primo pero me he cansau

The “free-form docking” ended up being the Wonderful 101 drawing mechanic adapted to the shoot'em up / bullethell genre, and it works.
Beautiful visuals (this looks as well as it plays) the difficulty options give this a nice classic arcade replayability.
pew pew pew