I can tell the game might be good, but the story in the beginning just completely turned me off. I played a small chunk of the first level, and with the dumb storyline buggin me and the insanely predictable nature of what the game would become, I just said "nope" and didn't go on. I've played too many games like this, but the storyline really just put me off.
I didn't have any major complaints about this game until I played it on hard. First of all, in games of skill, randomness shouldn't affect anything major, for instance, powerup spawning. I can't help but wonder if I made it to the boss because I was finally getting good at the game or because I survived the second half of hard difficulty due to the five energy shields laying around. Second thing: Stop spawning enemies directly on top of me. There is no time to react on the last difficulty, so either you memorize the spawns through several attempts or get lucky and avoid taking some cheap damage.
Could also mention the upgrade system - Seems kinda unnecessary the way it is now, save for a way to hook new players in. One way or another you end up as the same bullet hose as everyone else. Finally, there's the difficulty system in general - Closing off a difficulty level until the player beats the preceding one is completely pointless. Skilled players will be bored forced to play the lower ones and unskilled players are probably gonna go through the same progression of easy, medium, then hard anyway. Don't see why you called it Story, Story+, or Story++ when they seemed to only be difficulty settings, either. No changed dialog, no new ships, no new boss, just difficulty.
I'm still rating it 4 stars because it was fun enough to keep me playing despite the fact that I don't generally like nor am I good at bullet hell games. Clearing out screen-fulls of drones with a few sweeps of the mouse is pretty satisfying, and when you carefully and quickly weave your way through five waves of oncoming bullets over the course of about two seconds, you feel like a badass.
Last thing - regarding the ending, don't try to make me feel guilty when you encouraged me to do it in the first place. Finding out their identity was a decent twist, but when their way of saying hello is to try to crash several ships into you then shoot at you, you've kinda missed the mark in making me care about them.
THIS was made in 48 hours?! it's better then a lot of the games ive played on newgrounds!
Nice little time killer. Haven't gotten far into it but made a good enough first impression for a review. The upgrade system is neat, well thought out and seems balanced enough. Love the 16-bit music, takes me back. Impressed it was done within 48 hours. Keep up the good work.