Avatar Star: third-person shooters go chibi and cute
When we talk about third person shooter (TPS) games, the usual picture that comes to people’s minds are scenes of soldiers or mercenaries shooting at each other with graphics so realistic you’re dodging bullets in your seat. But forget that for a while because as it turns out, TPS can be chibi and cute, but still be action-packed.
Avatar Star is a multiplayer online TPS game developed by Shanghai-based Pearl Digital Entertainment and published by Cherry Credits. It features the basic TPS core features with cute game design and chibi characters in an action-packed shooting environment.
Gameplay: If they chibified Counter Strike
If you’ve previously played Counter Strike (CS) then you will have no problem with Avatar Star, as the controls are basically the same except you can’t crouch. In Avatar Star, players can choose among three different character classes — Guardian, Gunner, and Assassin. Each of these characters has specialties unique to them such as the Guardian’s healing and mobility, the Gunner’s burst damage and heavy defense, and the Assassin’s stealth and sniping. The equipment, abilities, skills, and characteristics mainly rely on the character class. You may also learn and upgrade different skills as your characters level up. This way, you can customize your character according to how you would like to play.
I like how the classes give players certain roles in the team. It also lets you play in the style you feel like playing. Like for example, no one can tell you it’s “unfair” that you just keep on sniping people if you’re an Assassin to begin with. And you won’t wonder if you should consider sniping on the next round because no one is realizing how your team is losing since everyone else decided to mindlessly go Rambo on the opposing team.
There are also different game modes in Avatar Star. You have Team Death Match, King of the Hill and Domination. Each game mode has three levels goals with various difficulties that your team may achieve in order to get better rewards. Game modes like King of the Hill and Domination are cool in case you’re not in the mood for just setting out into the map in all your gun-trotting glory to score kills for the win.
What I’m not fond of, however, is how premium equipment can give some players a certain level of advantage against the lower leveled players. Unless you’re really skilled, you will experience dying and not knowing what hit you only to realize you have been killed by a player with superior equipment. I was hoping there was a map or room where I could play against players of the same level or perhaps where all players have access to the same kind of weapon. It’s quite hard to move up in levels when you’re a beginner, but it gets easier as you gain more experience and learn more skills.
Audio and Visuals: It’s cute, but it will kill you
The chibi design of Avatar Star looks good, but it doesn’t stop the game from being full of action. You won’t be seeing any blood or decapitated limbs, but getting knifed to death by a smiling girl in pigtails or shot by what looks like a long-haired man with a red clown nose is something you will have to experience in-game to understand. Don’t let the cuteness fool you; this game has some intense shooting.
The environments are also not done shabbily. Pearl Digital was able to design the game so that you are able to distinguish characters from structures or objects without having to totally make the character stand out. The colored life bars above the head also help you determine friend from foe even if everyone looks different. I like how they didn’t go overboard with the gunshot and skills animations so you can still tell what’s going on amidst the explosions. What I didn’t like is how the maps felt so small. Although there are various obstacles and structures in the maps, I still can’t help feel like the map should be made a bit bigger with the number of available snipers in one team. I also hate how I end up bumping into my teammates or getting their heads in my line of fire, which usually ended with me dying or missing a shot.
The audio is great. Although everything is cute, vibrant, and chibi, the gunshots sound like gunshots and there was no attempt to make it sound like an adorable shooting star trying to hurt you. It gives you the feeling of being in a battle minus the blood, gore, and heavy violence.
So in the end, is Avatar Star for you? If you’re a fan of third person shooters and cute things then you probably should give it a try. However, if you believe shooters should be realistic and violent then this is probably not the game for you. If you’re looking for some Call of Duty or Battlefield action, Avatar Star does not have any of that. But if you’re after a fun TPS game that you will enjoy playing especially with friends then Avatar Star is definitely for you. I also recommend this game for parents who have older kids who’d like to play shooter games, but are worried about too much violence. In the same way, I recommend this to gamers who’d like to present to their parents and guardians a shooting game that doesn’t have blood, carcasses or decapitated limbs.
Avatar Star is free to download from the official Cherry Credits website.