Super Killer Hornet: Resurrection feels like the sort of game that would come to a developer out of a bizarre fever dream. Imagine a hyperactive shmup, involving a homicidal insect (which may actually be a spaceship), fighting a barrage of alien demon creatures across planets. Now picture it set to a soundtrack by British hip-hop rock artist “The Sixty Fours”, in which you create combos and get upgrades by solving basic math problems, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what Killer Hornet is.
For as ludicrous as the premise sounds, as a fan of shmups I was still open to giving it a chance and hoping to be if not impressed, then at least entertained. The problem though is two fold: firstly the outlandish components fit poorly together, and on top of being really weird seem gimmicky, like the developers pulled random nouns and adjectives out of a hat and based the game around them.
Second, taken by themselves the different parts that make up Killer Hornet are of a very low quality, almost to the point of embarrassment. The shooting is bland and the enemies the very definition of “cannon fodder”, flinging themselves into the path of my gun and being incredibly boring to fight. Few new enemies get added over the games 6 levels (which take about 30 minutes to complete, but this is countered by bosses being reused repetitively to inflate the length of the levels without actually adding anything new. Neither of the two soundtracks are noteworthy, with The Sixty Four’s being particularly jarring as it is essentially the same as playing an MP3 over the sound effects and doesn’t effect or connect with the action on screen. Most glaring though is the art direction, an area I historically give a lot of slack for the sake of “artistic expression”, but in this case cannot dismiss how truly awful it looks (made even worse by running at a locked 640×480 resolution).
It’s been awhile since a game has inspired the roller coaster of momentary surprise and excitement so quickly followed by disappointment and disgust that Super Killer Hornet did. It’s a shallow, poorly made game with an absurd price tag that I honestly don’t believe belongs on Steam. It’s crazy setup might have made for a fun 5-minute flash game, but is not something I can get behind as a retail title, and my advice for anyone considering it would be the same as for those confronted by an actual hornet: stay away or expect to get stung!