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A cute space exploration game for the patient passionist

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    Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    A cute space exploration game for the patient passionist

    Introduction- "What is Kerbal Space Program?"

    Kerbal Space Program is the pinnacle of cartoony space games, rivaling the likes of Starbound and Elite Dangerous (not saying I don’t like ED). KSP places you and your fellow kind known simply as Kerbins, on the planet Kerbin. This challenging game tasks you with furthering your kind’s space exploration and technology, by building bigger and better rocketships to fly through the several planets in the fictional solar system called Kerbol. Kerbal Space Program has challenged the minds and patience of many, and only few have been able to reach beyond the stars, known for it’s brutal difficulty that is often referred to as the "Dark Souls of space games." For reference, I will be reviewing version 1.00 of the Enhanced Edition, as it is the best and most buggy, yet fun mess you can expect. Oh, and you can cheat in the Platinum trophy, hehe!

    Gameplay- a brief overview of important game mechanic and their uses. (4/5, could use more in-depth tutorials)

    With the enhanced edition, Kerbal Space Program is now almost completely bug ridden, having all of (or most of) the game-breaking bugs out of your rocket building experience. When the game first begins, or you start a new Save Game, you are given ample resources (depending on the difficulty and play mode you choose) to build your first crafts, and recruit your first crew.

    Ships contain of many parts depending on what it is exactly you are building; the main pieces being Fuel Tanks, Control Pods, Wings/Fins, Satellites, and Propellers. For a ship to function as a remote controlled vehicle, those will be the mandatory pieces. Fuel Tanks hold the types of fuel your craft will make use of on it’s journey from your launch pad to the many planets. Control Pods are fairly self explanatory: they hold your pilots, engineers, and scientists. Propellers are the driving force behind (or underneath) your ship’s speed. They range from tiny little fans to excessively large turbines that can blast your ship on for light years!

    With great power, comes even greater reputation! As you make successful (or not) trips to and/or from the black abyss from above, the government and other associations will catch wind of your large-scale operation, and they will also want a piece of the pie for themselves. As a reputable rocketship development team, you have the choice of undergoing missions for money, and Science Points that help your Research and Development team create better equipment and structures for home base. These missions can send you all across the Kerbol System, pulling meteors out of orbit, rescuing lost Kerbins, or repairing lost ships and space stations.

    The Kerbol Solar System has 17 outer-space locations to explore on and around, with 8 full-sized planets, 2 dwarf planets, and several moons. Earth in Kerbal Space Program is known as Kerbin, and the KSP equivalent of our moon being named simply "Mun". The Sun is known as "Kerbol" too, so try not to get too confused, as I know I did!

    The game also supports connectable computer mice and keyboards to add to your gaming experience, which can be quite useful in many situations. The use of a mouse allows for quick, clean, and precise movements when lining up trajectory, throwing objects with the Object Thrower, or redirecting asteroids. Having a keyboard can also be handy, as being able to type X/Y/Z coordinates on the fly using the Advanced Developer menu is key to survival in the barren planes of space.

    The Advanced Developer menu, more simply known as the Cheat menu, is accessed by performing the Konami Code (which you should know by now) on the in-game pause menu. It allows for teleporting to coordinates, attuning your money and reputation, adding in infinite fuel and invincibility, along side a few other gimmicks such as changing your Kerbin’s name to whatever your little heart desires! Many people use this tool to create videos, projects, or test and share creative ideas that would either be near impossible to pull off normally or literally impossible to do. Some people, though, have taken it upon themselves to use this menu to obtain the Rare and Ultra Rare Trophies/Achievements, nullifying the whole idea of creating ships and bettering your imagination to reach a better end product.

    Graphics and Audio- a look at how the game looks, performs, and sounds. (3/5 Graphics, 5/5 Audio)

    When you purchase a console game, you are expecting a product that is well-tested and runs smoothly. The original Kerbal Space Program was a poor port of the PC version, which still retains it’s PC controls and layout with minimal to no changes done. KSP: Enhanced Edition is what looks like a complete remake to the naked eye, but instead a very well optimized bug fix! The graphics are suitable for a next generation title, with very advanced bump mapping and Field of View, which is changeable in the setting. The game runs at a very shaky 60 frames per second while idle, but can stoop as low as 15 FPS when complex objects are on screen, or complicated and long processes take place. Large spacecrafts may suffer from object tessellation bugs, and occasionally stretch out and implode. Simply running turbines may cause your game’s FPS to be lowered! The best way to fix this is to take an occasional 15 minute break, as many doctors recommend. This will clear the system’s game data caches and allow you to travel along without the un-jolly lag. Never minding the occasional lag, the visuals of a black sky and planets shifting is an amazing sight to see, as your craft and the planets will move relative to time, making a nice timelapse-like effect. Stars may also come to mind when you think of space, and of course, Kerbal Space Program has ‘em. I cannot confirm, but I believe constellations may appear from time to time, only making the excessive attention to detail more worth playing.

    Accompanied by the amazing graphics, the official soundtrack for the game very much fits the concepts and contextual events that appear in gameplay. With many excellent tracks from the original score, your space dream adventure is met with epic blasting trumpets for the liftoff and atmosphere break, and smooth up-beat jazz for building and other chores. The placement of these types of music makes the game feel natural when you accomplish an immeasurably impressive feature, whether it’s finding materials that were an enigmatic to you, landing your first masterpiece on the Mun, or even discovering something new for the community of other Kerbins on the internet!

    Play Time and Replayability- the most biased part of this review. (3/5)

    As I stated before, and according to the title of this review, Kerbal Space Program is a fairly challenging game that requires much preparation ahead of time, making use of materials that may take hours to obtain. Depending on your experience with game similar to KSP, you may have a long, frustrating experience that will take many hours, days, even months of practice, for it truly is up to you how you would like to play this game. Once you spend months, even years, perfecting and mastering your craft of spacecrafts, you may end up putting this game down, uninstalling it for another day. I find much replay value in this magnificent title, many occasions where I can launch this game and start building hovercrafts or just messing around. It is very much worth going for all of the Trophies, as they are very, very, hard to accomplish. Or just use the Cheat Menu.

    Final Thoughts- is it worth buying? Playing?

    Kerbal Space Program is very much a good game. I suggest purchasing this game if, and only if, you are up to a challenge that may or may not last many months. The game is 40$ USD on both Steam and PS4, which is the only reason why I wouldn’t suggest picking this up if you will never play it for more than a day, and it’s only physical! Even if you are not experienced with the difficulty of these game mechanics, or don’t have the time or patience to develop the crafts, you may still find enjoyment in this amazing title. For that, I rate Kerbal Space Program 7.5/10, as though it is a great pastime to dedicate time to, there are flaws and issues still not covered in the latest version. And with that, I bid you farewell, fellow Elon Musk-eteer!

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