REVIEW – Wings of Bluestar

Have you ever wanted to wage war against the machines? Well, buckle up for this “bullet hell,” select your pilot, and earn those Risk Stars, because, if you’re into shoot-em-ups (shmups), Wings of Bluestar is your destination.

Wings of Bluestar delivers a very engaging story, which is unusual for this genre. The cutscenes in between stages involve dialogue choices that will even affect the ending you receive after conquering eight stages.

Gorgeous cutscenes will have you coming back.

The hand-drawn graphics give a stylish anime feeling to the game. This might cause some disorientation between background and foreground elements, though, leading to some cheap deaths. Nonetheless, the game is short, so it will not take long to learn the stages, preventing further aggravation.

Power-ups are plentiful and come quickly for your pilot. The additional turrets you can get are rotatable. I found this mechanic awkward at first, but it quickly became second-nature. You can also level up your pilot’s special ability: One has a R-Type shield while the other has a chargeable beam attack.

Power ups will save you during boss encounters.

Overall this shmup is fun to play. The heavy story combined with the anime-styled graphics are welcoming. It has a decent risk-reward system and plenty of power-ups. If you want to cut out all the story, then try arcade mode. There is even a co-op mode. Altogether, there are plenty of options for everyone. This is a very solid entry for this genre, and the high replay-value has me coming back for more!

+ heavy story-driven game
+ multiple endings for high replay value
+ beautiful hand-drawn cutscenes

– cheap deaths from the environment
– very fast gameplay might turn off some
– overwhelming mechanics to newcomers of the genre

Game Title: Wings of Bluestar
Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
MSRP: $14.99
Release Date: January 18, 2023
Obtained: Code provided by developer/publisher for press purposes