Starlight Inception is the Kickstarter funded game from Escape Hatch Entertainment. It was released on the PS Vita last week, but we are holding off on our review for a few weeks.

While playing the game for the last week, it was pretty clear that the game is a little… unpolished. Text in menus are too small to read. HUD elements are missing in first person view. Plus there are a number of other bugs and technical glitches that really distract from the game.

I contacted Escape Hatch Entertainment concerning the issues I was having, and they quickly got back to me with information about a major new patch they are working on that addresses nearly every issue I was having.

In light of this information, we decided to hold off on our review until after these fixes were in place. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone to present a review filled with complaints only to have all those problems patched out of the game (assuming the patch fixes what is broken). Once the update is out, we will have our full review ready to go.

The update is expected to be released in the next two to four weeks. The full list of improvements currently being worked on in this first patch are:

1) Increase across the board of ship speeds by a factor of 1.5 with regular use, and 3 with afterburners (still testing to find the sweet spot, but this increase really changes the experience of the game). Adjusting cost of the ships to make them more accessible.

2) Adjusting the size and sharpness of the text and elements in the main HUD to increase clarity.

3) Making vital HUD elements readable while in cockpit view.

4) Adding auto pilot between waypoints if all targets are eliminated.

5) Making the between mission traversal optional, AND increasing characters on the ship.

6) Changing the function of the purchase dialog to use something other than circle, and to give a confirm dialog before purchasing equipment and ships in game (btw, this uses Command points – the in-game currency, not real currency).

7) Adding animations on the characters in cinematics to make them less wooden and static.

8) 02 Chicago Level – improvement of draw distance and general graphical presentation.

9) Y-invert taken into account for Midway exploration.

10) Pilot Hand toggle setting in cockpit; run capability in Midway exploration.

11) Fix for two trophy bugs (Training and 09).

12) Messages show longer.

13) Adding a brightness adjustment.

14) Make AI harder.

15) Add run capability to Midway traversal.

16) Add confirm purchase dialogs.

17) Change confirm purchase button to triangle (instead of the back button).

18) Add a Quick Match option to Multiplayer Pick Game Type Screen.

19) Fixes of bugs and framerate issues where possible.

  • aros

    Seems fair. Are you setting a four week deadline though? This is a big site so I hope they don’t stretch out promises so you don’t review and your visitors buy. Maybe you should post this in the review section so people note the situation.

  • Lester Paredes

    Well, it’s very good that they are patching. I did notice a couple problems with the game, though I still find myself enjoying it. I didn’t have too many problems, but mission 2 has issues with draw distance and frame rate drops significantly when a lot of stuff is on screen.
    It is nice to see that you guys are holding off on reviewing the game for the patch. But, would that set a bad precedent with future reviews of other games promising game changing patches?

    • vongruetz .

      It just doesn’t seem like there is much of a point in reviewing a game that is about to change so drastically. That wouldn’t really give a fair assessment of the game to the reader. I could say it’s broken, but then if they fix it the next week, the review is pretty pointless.

      I don’t see this as affecting our reviews from here on out. Sometimes we get games early and are able to post reviews quickly. Sometimes we don’t review games until they’ve been out for weeks (or months or years).

      • Lester Paredes

        True enough. But couldn’t you just update the review and put it back up on the site like a new review?

    • This reply applies to Masterchop too, but the decision to delay the review was made by myself and Brad BEFORE Escape Hatch asked. It’s not that we were making a precedent, more that there is no point in Brad reviewing the game, giving it an awful score and then getting him to play it again and change the score. Rather than waste his time, he reviewed God of War instead, then will get back to this providing the patch is imminent. If it takes more than a couple of weeks, it gets reviewed as it is.
      And yes, releasing it in its current guise is disgraceful, especially as it was not only crowd-sourced, but also delayed to fix following the beta feedback.

      • Lester Paredes

        Okay. It seemed to me as if this was done at Escape Hatch’s request. And I suppose all that you say in regards to playing a game and then replaying it for the patch would be a bit of a waste of time. Thanks for the further explanation, Paul.

  • Masterchop

    In my opinion they deserve the initial review. To launch a game that broken is a joke especially as it was crowd funded. Disgraceful.