Affordable Space Adventures – Ureview Travel Guide

Back in April, the company Uexplore released an affordable way to travel through space on the Wii U eShop. Seems hard to believe, but after an interview with Uexplore it turns out to be the real deal. There’s an alien world called Spectaculon and it’s only 23 light years away from Earth. They are offering the chance to explore this mostly uncharted world, with the promise that we can claim any land we discover. I’ve taken them up on the offer, and how could you not? This spacecraft is SWEET, man! Sure it has a few problems, but it’s passed every safety test, and recorded accidents are very low. I don’t know the specifics, but they sounded very convincing and official. I’m currently docked at a Uexplore station and it’s been one hell of a ride so far. I have a lot of time to kill in this spacecraft because I traveled quite far, so I’m faxing this review of my experience back to Earth. I trust it will reach the Uexplore company office and they’ll distribute it to Pietriots and friends. I’ll call it the “Ureview Travel Guide”. Hehe, they’ll like that.

asafalling

Falling falling FALLING!! Whoa, better activate the thrusters. Stability around the middle, so we don’t bounce into walls. Lights ON so we can see them. Ah there we go, slowly coasting down. I’m using the left stick to move around, and its responsiveness depends on the ship’s settings. High stability and max thruster gives you the fastest possible controls, but if you keep everything at MAX for too long the ship will start to overload. Let’s just keep it steady and enjoy the sights. It might seem a bit cheap, but it’s all in the pilot’s hands and it’s really nice of Uexplore to provide so many control options. The right stick is used to rotate the light, which helps to sight-see and also can scan mechanical objects. It’s obviously a bit hostile out here as Spectaculon is still a big mystery. Certain machines are trying to kill me, but I knew the risks when I signed on. I think Uexplore has a few rival companies scared of going out of business, with their affordable space adventure package being so damn good. I don’t blame them.

Scanning these mysterious objects reveals what they are sensitive to, which is very important information for slipping by threats unnoticed. Sounds complicated but if my engine is below a certain heat, and the electricity and sound are produced at appropriate levels, I’ll be fine. Absolutely nothing to worry about. It’s quite a balancing act, but this GamePad they gave me works brilliantly. I’ve gotta say, if this were a videogame it’d be pretty fun. I’d be able to die a lot and experiment. Never seen a console with this kind of controller before though. You can even tilt it to control the ship’s angle, and slip through gaps. Bumped my head quite a few times but it was worth it.

asapad

The sounds in here are phenomenal and an essential part of the experience. Turning the engine on reminds me of that piece-of-shit car I used to have back on Earth, and it’s a really cool feeling to be exploring the universe with something out of my garage. A little scary though, as every time I start the engine I’m conscious of the fragility of machines. All those times my car stopped on the highway. If that happens out here I can’t hitch a ride, I just have to wait here and die. I try not to think about that though, because the beauty of space is the reason I’m here. Spectaculon so far lives up to its name with spectacular visuals, and it’s not just machines and structures. Colourful nature, eerie caves and bad weather have made this one hell of a journey.

I didn’t bring any music with me but Uexplore have their own tunes, not really necessary most of the time. Normally I love having music to compliment environments like these while I’m traveling, but this just feels right. It’s so peaceful, just basking in the ambience, and I think it encourages creative thinking. Sometimes I’ll put the Uexplore safety documentary on if I get lonely. After several months out here I do get lonely and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a basic human need. I’ve heard the company line and safety procedures a thousand times, but I’ll never get tired of her voice. Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend she’s in the spacecraft with me. As safe as can be.

asanotfriendly

Helloooooo!? Anybody in there!? These machines really make me wonder. What if they are on an adventure too? They just sort of hover there and watch me. If nobody’s there, is somebody looking through them from Earth? Is this a Spectaculon native? There’s so much mystery in space, with nothing but my own tools to explain them. To even approach this thing without being killed, I had to close the heat shutters so it wouldn’t see me as a threat. I’ve got two engines you see, Uexplore have thought of everything. The electrical engine is quieter but generates electricity that sets off some machines. The standard fuel engine is a bit more unstable and makes more sound, but also has benefits of slipping through electricity and manipulating temperature. Firing up any engine makes a pretty loud sound, and this also has effects on the environment. It just means you have to get creative with where you switch things up, and there’s a further “backup” boost you can charge up for an extra short jolt. This spacecraft might be cheap, but it’s hi-technical and functional. There’s also a horn for when I’m feeling a bit wild.

Uexplore also offer this package with 3 people, and it’s the same price. Isn’t that crazy? They are just so great. I took the journey alone because I have no friends who care about this stuff. Oh well, Spectaculon is my friend now. I have to admit I got frustrated at times trying to navigate, and with friends along it probably would have made the problem solving approach a lot more fun. Instead, I would just pretend I was 3 people and make up their voices. Gotta do what you can to stay sane out here. I felt like a complete idiot in a few places, but then realised I was a genius after figuring out what to do. It takes a lot of patience and measured execution, almost like a puzzle. If you’re a true explorer at heart, you won’t give up so easily. You have to take everything seriously out here because your life depends on it.

asapuzzle

Things keep getting more ominous the deeper I explore Spectaculon, like it’s trying to warn me about something. Sometimes I just like to sit here and think, while the lasers go by and I figure out a plan. Jumping in blind could provide a learning experience, but I really like to play with the knobs and have just the right speed and weight when I need it. I can fire a flare to hit far away switches, and it’s pretty easy to control with the right stick. The environment around me almost feels alive, with places to rebound off, traps to avoid, moving obstacles to circulate around and objects to move. I can grab on to things, or slide the ship by deploying wheels. Combining different settings starts to become necessary to get through certain areas. It’s an amazing feeling diving into danger, and shutting the engine off just in time to avoid detection. Uexplore have really made me feel like a professional space explorer.

While I sit in this spacecraft and wait for someone to arrive, I’ll offer up some final thoughts. It’s called a Small Craft, by the way. That’s the official name but I just thought I’d make it easier to understand to you folks on Earth. This trip was affordable to an average guy like me, but only because I saved up and saw the value in it. My mate Damo said it was still too expensive, but what do you expect for space travel? This is better than a lot of big budget journeys I’ve seen, where people just sit there and have everything done for them. I’m glad to have had a real hands-on experience with the Uexplore Small Craft, and anybody who takes their exploration seriously would have it no other way. It’s been a really impressive ride and one of the most unique travel experiences I’ve ever had. Now, I’ve gotta think of another way to pass the time while I wait for someone to come get me. Might fire up that safety video one more time.

3 thoughts on “Affordable Space Adventures – Ureview Travel Guide”

  1. I played part of this with a friend earlier in the year. It’s a nice concept, but it isn’t worth anything near the asking price of $20. Lengthy and frequent loading screens really hurt the experience for us.

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    1. They aren’t really that frequent when you get far into the game and the levels get difficult. I spent most of my time just sitting there anyway figuring things out.

      Like

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