There is one genre on the PlayStation Store that has your back, and that’s the shoot ’em up. From retro shooters like Moon Cresta and Gradius to the ultra-high tech space combat shooters of Prismatic Solid and Astebreed, PS4 offers many a decent shmup to take a shot at. With a similar premise to each shooter, so many space crafts to pilot, and so many alien species to annihilate, it may baffle some as to the appeal of all these. But as any fan knows, whether it be losing a fist full of coins in the arcades or ramming that PS4 hard drive full with the latest PSN releases, it’s one genre that won’t let you go. With the right ammo and a couple of extra lives, shooters hit the mark.
The latest edition to the PS Store is Kromaia, a free-floating shooter that blasts you high into the unknown. Kromaia takes place in colourful, visually appealing multiversity worlds and tells the story of a stranded soul who awakens in a weird shrine, finding itself sealed inside a mechanical unit. With no memory, you begin a quest in a search for answers, travelling through forgotten devices and meeting hostile creatures. It’s set in the year NaN, so as you might have guessed, the storyline does touch on the bizarre and comes wrapped up in a magical mythical theme.
The first few moments of Kromaia may question what on earth you’ve just gotten yourself into as having to navigate out of a strange cube structure may not be the most appealing start you hoped for. The simple task of finding the way out somehow seems rather tricky. It’s like you have donned ski gloves as the DuelShock controller seems suddenly not your greatest buddy anymore. Don’t worry, it’s a momentary problem, as once you’ve busted out the game opens up into something rather bigger.
It’s a spectacular ride, thrusting your way forward in a bid to reach 20 orbs which act as checkpoints to each level. The onscreen chaos does take a moment to adjust to as the view ahead is alive with heaps to shoot at and wave in and out of. There’s megalithic monument type structures to swoop around, ancient temples that require codes to enter, advance life forms to hunt down and of cause some epic end of level boss battles. Sounds interesting? You bet. On the downside, it’s not exactly top notch PS4 graphics but, hey, you can’t have everything.
Kromaia lets you explore your surroundings with 360 degrees of movement. A pointer around your craft displays clearly the way to the next orb making each journey a precise one. You’ll be performing somersaults in a bid to reach the next checkpoint as asteroid storms and structures lace the screen. Picking off enemies on route and racking up points adds to the adventure, but the real challenge lies in those dastardly boss battles. Slithering giant god like guardians firing off hostile ammo and colourful rays of spiral lasers make for an enduring fight. Learning where to concentrate your energy and bullets is the key to each boss. Action is frantic and intense and damn fun. Kromaia comes with an excellent checkpoint system that saves progression constantly and also before encountering each boss which helps the journey flow.
There are several different Armors each with some unique weapons on offer, one being the giant blue laser/sword that slays through anything that is unlucky enough to stand in its way. With the help of a secondary weapon, encountering swarms of baddies in large numbers brings only a small threat. If this threat does amplify, your craft comes with a shield which in certain sections of the journey will deplete fast. On the whole, however, Kromaia is a fair shooter and a balanced one you’ll be glad to hear.
Extra content includes Pure Mode, Score Attack, Elysium with online leaderboard scores, and even a Platimum trophy to aim for.
Under the bright lights lurks a deep and unique experience that needs to be sampled. Along with an ear tingling soundtrack of atmospheric trance/techno and some eerie voices whispering in your headset, this is a decent shooter worthy to be added to your collection. Fast, fair and with epic boss battles, Kromaia is definitely worth your time.
Lizard rating 7.5/10