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Four-Player Anime Space Battles: Stardust Vanguards

Space pirates and sliding alliances

Anime space operas are a pretty good subject for a local multiplayer game. Rivalries and uneasy alliances form, the power of friendship is tested but ultimately triumphs, and it's all a reet laugh. Then you probably do some kissing. Stardust Vanguards may not promise that last one, but looks like it'll have a good crack at the rest.

It's a local multiplayer arena shoot 'em up which starts with up to four mecha duelling in space, but escalates over rounds to include floods of allied spaceships and random space pirate attacks players will need to respond to. Come have a gander at a recent trailer.

The mecha sound like what I'd hope for: dash moves, guns with limited ammo, and great energy swords which can deflect bullets. Each kill earns points to spend on reinforcements, and soon swarms of ships are flying about and blasting away and it's all a bit bullet hell. Then space pirates arrive. These and other NPC events will shake up battles, perhaps sparking brief moments of cooperation or at least giving more to shoot. I do enjoy multiplayer games blurring that line.

As well as good old deathmatch, it'll also have team and co-op modes.

Zanrai hope to release Stardust Vanguards in late summer or early autumn. With Cara's purple hair and my blue, I'll just need to round up a redhead and a brunette to form a perfect group for friendships, romances, rivalries, fallings-out, and blowing up spaceships. Stardust Vanguard is, of course, scrapping with the mob to climb the ranks of Steam Greenlight.

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