You could be forgiven for never knowing about this week’s addition to the PlayStation 2 Classic Library. The Red Star never became a household name due to it being launched well past the Xbox 360’s release date, but it has the backbone to be called one of the great games from the PlayStation 2’s twilight years.
Retro-gaming fans will eat this game up with no problems. The Red Star succeeds on not just one level, but two levels, successfully combining the core elements of classic shoot ’em ups and beat ’em ups. Yes, this game is a perfect blend of two of the most time honored genres from the classic days of video gaming.
Taking place in a futuristic mechanized Soviet Union, the three playable characters must charge the ranks of the robotic Red Army, positioning themselves through tough “bullet-hell” situations and mashing their way through complex combos. The Red Star also plays by modern rules by adding the necessary RPG management that all beat ’em ups require these days.
It seems a little unfair to be getting another shot at fame, being released alongside Atlus’ highly anticipated Dragon’s Crown. Both games borrow from similar conventions and throwback to the classic days of the arcade gaming. If you can only choose one, by all means go with Dragon’s Crown. It is the bigger game of the week and needs to look impressive to keep the genre moving forward.
However, if Dragon’s Crown leaves you craving for more old-school action, then you will not have to look very far for a supplement. The Red Star is just a few clicks away in the PlayStation 2 Classics section of the PlayStation Store, and it is worth every penny.