Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: PowerUp Forever

9:00 PM on 12.27.2008 // Brad Nicholson

Blitz Arcade’s PowerUp Forever is an arcade shooter that requires decent reflexes and a healthy desire to decimate foes. The most important feature of the game (as Blitz would have you believe) is collecting power-ups after defeating a special foe. From the title alone, I gathered that the amount of special upgrades or abilities was unlimited.

I couldn’t be more wrong. Power-ups are not forever.

For many days now I have been walking the halls of my home, inebriated. I haven’t showered, ate, or slept. I obsessively think about how the name of a game could be so blatantly deceiving. Then I remembered something.

Your ship grows in size each time you receive a power-up, even if that weapon is maxed out. Size is a power-up, right? I think I can go to sleep now. Wait ... no I can’t.

Hit the break for the full review.

PowerUp Forever (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developed by Blitz Arcade
Published by
Namco-Bandai
Released on December 11, 2008

PowerUp Forever is a mosaic title, characterized the most by its Geometry Wars gameplay concepts wrapped around a visual style reminiscent of fl0w. Like Geometry Wars, it relies on you wanting to kill an endless horde of enemies for points. Like fl0w, PowerUp insists that you want to navigate a perpetually shifting visual environment endlessly in search of something to damage. As a dual-stick shooter the game operates smoothly and a perfected control scheme won’t have anyone up in arms. Despite its perfected mechanisms, uninspired and dull enemies clutter the forefront of an ultimately ugly backdrop. PowerUp Forever is definitely a clever mix of two highly touted games, but the execution should have wielded something special – not insipid.

The game puts you in the driver seat of a gun-laden spaceship in search of enemies called Guardians. Guardians are essentially larger versions of your spaceships, outfitted with better gear and driven by retarded AI. Finding a Guardian isn’t exactly thirsty work – they come to you if you kill enough of a specific enemy.

The enemies in PowerUp Forever aren’t numerous and can be described as nothing more than obstructions. The enemy that blots the majority of the landscape is spherical and does nothing more than float endlessly towards your vehicle. The more interesting variety is a centipede. Its segmented body throws random bullets from hidden guns as it scampers randomly throughout the map with no objective or real purpose. They rarely respond to your actions and never attempt to escape from your hail of bullets.

There are only two enemies in the game that threaten to be engaging. One is a special spherical enemy that only appears if the game believes you have been searching for slaves too long. In a sense, it’s a punishment. They automatically avoid your bullets and hound your ship. The Guardian is the only real enemy, simply because it targets you and forces you to out maneuver it.

Guardians are the catalysts of change. Once dead the visuals fade to different color, your ship grows in size, and you are granted an upgrade or a special ability to use on the next guardian. These power-ups are limited in usage and range from lasers, explosives, to shielding. The upgrades earned run out of gas quite quickly, forcing you to stop between Guardians to kill the many defenseless and dumb-witted enemies.

Unfortunately, the power-ups from Guardians aren’t forever. There are a finite amount of power-ups and the game will tell you that with a “maxed out” prompt after 20 minutes of continual play. This threw me when I played for the first time. It’s felt like someone told me that Santa wasn’t real or something equally as crazy.

Progress in the game is nothing more than a circular effort. Search the level, find slaves, and kill the Guardian. Its monotony is never broken and it is quite easy to survive for longer-than-expected durations. The game’s HUD delightfully spells out everything you need to know (shielding, kills until a Guardian appears, points, etc.) and while very informative, serves to only dull the impact of a Guardian’s appearance. A small part of the game that should have been pronounced is scale. After killing a Guardian, your ship grows but it is almost imperceptible. The only cue is a funny little animation. As the ship grows, the monolithic fossil-structures that once held slaves come alive and turn into the same dumb (but bigger) centipede enemies that you have been fighting for minutes on end. It is an interesting dynamic, left wholly unexplored.

The visual flair is certainly interesting, but I never felt any special admiration of it. The rippling, ever changing background has a dirty, watercolor quality unpleasing to the eye. Enemies swap colors akin to the background, but their unchanging physical appearance is definitely noted. Weapon and particle effects have an unnatural, fiery quality within the context of the visuals at the moment. I would have liked to see a bit more vibrant color or sharper contrasts between the background and foreground objects.

There isn’t a multiplayer component to speak of – despite how the game seems to scream cooperative play. It also lacks bonus modes with any real substance. The other modes in the game are simple time attack or versus challenges that you have to unlock by playing the campaign portion of the game. They’re just little slices of what you have already been doing.

PowerUp Forever
is a medicore game that occasionally engages. The interesting fl0w-inspired visual style isn’t remarkable as a result of the bland and dirty color choices. The core mechanics of the game operate perfectly, but don’t translate to a fun or challenging experience. Aside from the boss creatures, the enemies are dull and seemingly serve to only occupy space on the screen. The gameplay is hampered by its circular nature that can quickly become all-too-familiar within minutes of play. PowerUp certainly isn’t the worst XBLA arcade shooter, but it is hard to recommend.

Score: 5 -- Mediocre (5s are an exercise in apathy, neither Solid nor Liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.)



Brad Nicholson,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
I swear, it makes sense in context..... Kinda. Hmmm. Okay, not so much. [img]http://i.imgur.com/YhIzmYN.png[/img]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Almost done with my Waifu wars blog. pretty happy with how it turned out.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Time to scream and shout. It's Nanako cosplaying as her big bro! <3
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump is like Gandalf the White vs. Handsome Jack.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Skellige is so cool! It's like the land of Valhalla Rising.
Torchman avatarTorchman
http://gonintendo.com/stories/251840-fire-emblem-fates-petting-mini-game-is-in-game-but-only-availa I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONE. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS PEOPLE
Shinta avatarShinta
God damn, Bernie Sanders is just killing it with this speech. Hitting basically every point. He even used the word "oligarchy." Probably the first time I've ever heard that word uttered on CNN. I think a lot of people in power are shitting their pants
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Is there any real difference between the PS3 and the PS4 versions of Valkyria Chronicles?
Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url]http://amzn.to/20JSMCd[/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -