Video Game: The Red Star


The Red Star is a video game released in 2007 for PlayStation2, originally slated for XBox. It's loosely based on a Graphic Novel by Christian Gossett and takes place in an alternative future Soviet Union where there's magic.

There's three playable characters:

Makita, a Nokgorkan rebel who emphasizes speed and fast melee combos.

Kyuzo, bodyguard who is slow but does a lot of damage.

Maya, warkaster (fancy name for war sorcerer) who gets more powerful when the protocol meter is filled. Unlocked after the game has been beaten once.

The game at first appears to be a 3D Contra-ish game (that doesn't actually suck), but then you reach the first mini-boss. The camera changes to an overhead view, and you suddenly get bullet patterns fired at you. This happens for about nine out of ten bosses in the game, with up to five bosses per stage for 19 stages.

A PSP port was released in March 2010 through Playstation Network. While largely a faithful port, it lacks the multiplayer. An iPhone version has also been announced.

This game provides examples of:

  • More Dakka: Most mini-bosses and bosses. Because, duh, Bullet Hell. Kyuzo's machine gun is going for it too.
  • New Game+: When you beat the game and save, you get to start at Chapter 01 again with all purchased upgrades carried over. You're not going to get everything maxed in the first playthrough, so...
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Crawling Plague? It's an RPG launcher, not a bioweapon.
  • Sequential Boss: Sentry, Kontrawall II through IV, Pietrov Rotorkannon F2 through F4, Ikarius.
  • Shout-Out:
    • By the boatload. The whole game is a love letter to old arcade action. The most obvious are Kontrawall and Ikarius.
    • A surprising Shout-Out to Zoolander of all things: the third mission has a pair of tanks called "Blue Steel" and "Magnum."
  • Stationary Boss: Most just sit there and fire at you.
  • The Grim Reaper: Skeletal, ghostly enemies with capes and scythes appear in the penultimate and final stages, and Troika himself seems to be going for the look.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Yes, actually. Chapter 08 is a sidescolling shmup battle against the Hydra SuperKrawl. It's one of the less enjoyable levels, though.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Kyuzo's protocol attack is essentially a handheld one.
  • Weapon of Choice: Makita does close combat with a hammer and sickle.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: multikilometer-long Magitek airships called "Sky-furnaces"