The silence is broken by loud upbeat music. In the distance I see enemies approaching. I start to fire at them and they fire back. They are taken out quickly by my targeting missiles. Before I know it I’m approaching an asteroid field. I cant react fast enough and an asteroid hits the Star Phoenix.

You travel around the galaxy in the Star Phoenix to hunt down wanted criminals. The Start Phoenix is a DMC DeLorean looking vehicle that can be upgraded, get power-ups and have two weapons at once. The game is set in space with a pixel art design. I think that the design works really well for the retro feel I get from this game and is complimented perfectly by the music.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is the music. The menu music is basic and repetitive which worked really well. It felt like the calm before the storm especially when the battle music kicks in. I loved the contrast between the music and it was enhanced by the silence between as the game is loading.

Your upgrades come in the form of a computer chip. You gather money during the game and for collecting bounties on bosses. They affect the Star Phoenix’s health, speed, attack and firing rate. The main thing that I liked about the upgrades was that each chip had a passive ability with it. One of them had a 2% chance to fire a triple shot. You can also use the chips to suit your play style by either increasing your strengths or weaknesses. I wasn’t good at dodging bullets so for me I was focusing on increasing the Star Phoenix’s health and attack.

While you’re flying through space fighting enemies you have the chance to acquire new weapons. You have two weapon slots that you can fill to suit your play style. I really liked that you can have two weapons because it allowed me to tailor the game to how I play. I also liked that you can change up your strategy mid battle. However, if you lose you loose access to your found weapons and are back to your basic weapon.

Before you are able to fight the boss you face waves of basic enemies that each use different attack styles to give you a real challenge. You also have to fight your way past asteroids and lazers. I thought this was a real selling point for me. I struggled so much to get to the bosses but when I did get to them I felt it was earned and the reward was worth it.

With each boss you get a different amount of bounty reward. The bosses have huge amounts of health and they have different challenges with them that you have to learn to survive. I thoroughly enjoyed fighting against the bosses and it felt incredibly rewarding taking them down.

When I first saw the trailer for Black Paradox I was intrigued and terrified. The gameplay looked incredibly fast and challenging. It was all of the above but for all the right reasons. I loved the retro feel, the music and the challenging side to the game. I really enjoyed finding new weapons and upgrading the Star Phoenix to suit my play style. Overall it was an incredibly fun game.

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