Hello folks, I’m finally back with some good news – we just submitted the updated version of NOVASTRIKE to SCEA, and you should be seeing the update go live sometime in the next few weeks.
For those of you that have been frustrated by the difficulty (and I know it’s a lot of you) – first off, I’m sorry for the wait (as well as the frustration factor you went through). But each submission requires a fair amount of work, so we wanted to add as many features as possible before submitting the update.
There are now four difficulty modes:
RECRUIT, SOLDIER, and VETERAN have all been tamed. As a general rule of thumb I’d recommend if you couldn’t beat RECRUIT in the original release then initially stick to RECRUIT in this release. If you did beat RECRUIT but were having difficulty with SOLDIER then try the new SOLDIER. If you did beat SOLDIER then I’d recommend trying VETERAN. And HARDCORE has no extra lives per stage and is the most challenging (similar to the original VETERAN difficulty).
Now for a bullet list of other items in the update:
- Trophies – you’ll now be able to unlock sixteen trophies (12 bronze and 4 silver)
- Fully Customizable Controls – you can now map weapon selection for the primary and secondary weapons to different buttons and remap other control options. We’ve also added a Type 2 control scheme that is the default for new players. For for those of you that already have the game it will stay on Type 1 until you select Type 2 (or customize the controls) – this was done so that players not reading this post don’t get the update then wonder what the heck happened to the control scheme. And as a final note you’ll also be able to swap the left stick and right stick functionality (Steering and the Omni Cannon)
- XMB Music Playlist support – want to play your own rocking tunes instead of listening to NOVASTRIKE’s music? Now you’ll be able to do just that
- Multiple Saved Games – you can now have as many saved games as you want
- New Weapon Info pane – this is more for new players, but once a weapon is acquired the game pauses and displays an information pane showing the name of the weapon, how to select it, how to fire it, and a brief description of the weapon. While this feature is turned on by default you can also go to the ingame options menu and turn it off if you’re already are familiar with all the weapons and don’t want the interruption
- Replay Stage as well as Quit and Save options have been added to Stage Summary screen – now after you finish a stage you can advance to the next Stage (as you could in the original release), or you can Quit and Save (which will have you starting at the next stage when you later continue), or you can select Replay Stage to play that stage over again (if you failed some objectives and want to try again to get a higher score
- Restart Stage option has been added to ingame options menu – if you’re not liking how you’re playing on a stage you can now open the ingame options menu, select Restart Stage, then start the stage over (versus having to quit out and continue)
- Megapacks and repair packs will replenish the capacitor bar for the afterburner
- Seeking weapons will now target outer components on capital ships. For example, if you drop an electro-mine near a Heralder, it will now lash the outer hangar “wing” (versus the main body as it did in the original release). This makes stripping enemy carriers a bit easier
- Friendly Fire damage has been disabled in RECRUIT and SOLDIER (this is just part of the overall taming of RECRUIT and SOLDIER – we also limited the maximum number of active waves, and when your Scythe explodes it won’t damage friendlies in RECRUIT or SOLDIER, either); VETERAN now gives you two extra lives per stage as well – HARDCORE is, well, hardcore
- The Shredder’s auto-lock on enemy ground structures has been improved – in the original release it sometimes had difficulty locking onto very low ground structures (near sea-level) – this is no longer the case, and the Shredder is much more useful as a result
- Player ship(the Scythe) is a bit larger in size – but don’t worry, we made sure that it didn’t make the game harder (as the collision model is a bit larger as well)
- Brief invulnerability after respawning – this is only a few seconds so don’t try to use it to fight, but it will at least provide brief protection if you respawn over an enemy base
- Leaderboards now show the last completed stage to the right of the score and also show more than 1,000 scores (and HARDCORE has been added to the Leaderboards)
Beyond this we’re working with SCEE to try and get NOVASTRIKE out in Europe as soon as possible. Last, but not least, when the update goes live I’ll go ahead and do another blog post here so I can respond to the initial reactions. I’ll be particularly interested in seeing posts from those of you that stopped playing due to the difficulty – we really hope the update allows you to enjoy and finish the game.
I’ll also be checking this blog post and trying my best to respond to any questions that are brought up. And if you made it through this long post – congrats!