I’m going to start off by saying that Habroxia 2 is a solid game. We live in a world where the gaming market is saturated with 100-hour open worlds and battle royales. So, it’s a nice change of pace to play a game that respects my time and just focuses on its strengths. Whether it be the catchy music or constant carnage on the screen, Habroxia 2 garnered all my attention. I have to say, my time “flew” by with this game.
If you’ve played the first Habroxia, you know what you are getting into. The screen moves forward while you control your pilot within that window to avoid projectiles and shoot enemies. Your character can pick up health, boost, or one-time use weapons. It’s a very basic game at its core, but the shooting changed considerably from the first game. Your ship can now aim with the analog stick and shoot behind it. It adds a much more diverse way to play over the first game. The gameplay loop is extremely fun, and I can easily lose track of time playing this game.
Habroxia 2 also includes upgrades, much like the first game. There is an in-game currency that lets you buy much needed upgrades to things like shot power, shot speed, and health. The list of things you can upgrade is substantial, so I won’t list them here, but it’s your choice how you want to upgrade them. You can obtain more of the currency by enemy drops or increasing your rank on a level. I would say the currency is a little less giving than I wanted, but you definitely get enough to upgrade the important things without much farming.
There is also a small level of customization outside of the upgrades. You get to choose between different types of weapons on the front and rear weapons. I loved playing around with the different types of weapons and trying to figure out what fit best for my playstyle. I encourage you to try out the different ones as you get them, because it might surprise you on what combination you like best.
The level design has similar aspects to its predecessor, but the minor tweaks go a long way. I don’t completely remember all of my time with the first Habroxia, but I feel like they threw more enemies at you in this game than the last. I felt like I was bobbing and weaving a heck of a lot more than last time. It felt more challenging, but it never felt impossible. The pacing just felt better, and there’s rarely a dull moment. I’m glad they still had bosses at the end of each level, and it just gives each level a more unique feel to it.
Another addition from the first game that I liked is that there are branching paths. They don’t require much detective work, but some of them are a little trickier to find. When you do find an alternate path it’ll have a different boss at the end of the level and it’ll unlock a new set of levels that are otherwise inaccessible. These new levels create a different path in the mission select screen that has a different “end” boss to it. I put end in quotations, because if you beat all of the bosses at the end of each story path, you’ll unlock the actual end boss to the game.
I felt like one of the Habroxia 2’s weakest points were the boss only levels. It’s not that the bosses themselves weren’t fun, but I expected them to be longer battles which required a little more strategy. The final boss was a bit different, and more of what I was looking for from the other end path bosses. Also, I did notice similarities in bosses for the two games in the series. For example, there is an octopus looking boss that is covered by an asteroid in the first game that is pretty much reskinned in this game. That was a little bit of a disappointment, but there is still enough variety between other bosses that you’ll have a ton of fun facing each one.
I also wanted to touch on the story. Touch is probably the best word for it too because there is hardly any story in this game. I don’t personally care about a deep story in this game, but I did expect a little more from Colin Moriarty than what we got. It’s pretty much a little paragraph story in the beginning and the end. There’s not much depth to it, and I expected more. After the main character, Sabrina, finds out her father is missing from a space mission, and she goes to rescue him. That’s all the story you get until the end. Twin Breaker’s lore was fantastic and I loved reading the collectibles, but this was bare bones and less imaginative.
When the game is over, there are a couple of other modes to play. You get boss rush and another mode that is all about avoiding obstacles called boost rush. Let me tell you, boost rush is equal parts fun and frustrating. One wrong twitch of the joystick and your ship is toast. I’m not super great at games, but I think I can hold my own. Boost rush was by far the most difficult part of the platinum run and it took me many attempts to complete it. Boss rush was a challenge as well, but I was able to beat it on my first run after I completed new game+. You can watch my compilation of my many failed attempts at boost rush mode below.
The trophies in this game are perfect in my opinion. It doesn’t ask too much of you, there’s not much of a grind, and there is some challenge to it. I don’t think Lillymo Games will understand how much I respect that they don’t make you grind for all the upgrades. If you are looking for a short (it took me less than 4 hours) and fun platinum, this is your game.
All in all, Habroxia 2 succeeds at what it wants to do. You’ll have a ton of fun upgrading your ship, collecting lost astronauts, and plowing through each mission. It was a small evolution from the first, but the small changes gave it a unique feel from the first game. The bosses in the normal levels were great and felt fitting for the levels, but I didn’t feel the same way for the boss specific levels. It could have used a little more ingenuity to beat them. I felt that the rear fire was underutilized, and it could have brought more depth to the fights. I also wouldn’t recommend this game for the story. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it’s minimalistic. The extra modes are fun and is more skill dependent than the base game. I beat Habroxia 2 in slightly less than four hours, which was a little shorter than I expected. These problems aren’t deal breakers by any means, and I loved my time with this game and strongly recommend this to anyone that likes old-school space shooters.