This is the kind of game that, would it receive proper financial support, marketing and translation back in the day - could now compete on the market with such titles as Grand Theft Auto and Sims. Or, at the very least - with X-com, for the top TBS. The reason is that the game is purely unique - not only in it's gameplay that has no analogue, but also in the mixture of genres that together present a picture of indescribable detail. Sure, the game is pretty much old 2006 version(which was old even by that time), because that's the best fans and SNK can do with their resources, but it's value is not in the shiny graphics. Well, what can it offer?
1. TBS Space combat. Advanced character development system, both focusing on polishing your ship and skills, many ways to customize and affect your gameplay with acryn items. Various settings to customize space environment, from total sandbox to hardcore survival. The only probable downside(which is also a "trademark" of the game) - is the reverse difficulty. Most RPG\Strategies give you an easy headstart. Enemies are easy, you just walk over them. Even if not all RPGs get difficult in the end, the case of Space Rangers is that the enemies and survivability is hardest in the beginning, and is gradually made easier as you advance. There are ways to balance it, either with custom settings or cheats, but for those who had troubles beginning or look for endgame diversity... you might be a little disappointed.
2. Magnificent text quests. Yes, this is something of the Stone Age of PC\console gaming - the process of READING to entertain. And what's worse - with all due respect to translator team, they could only do so much. There is a a big gap between feeling the linguistic marvel of text quests in russian and english versions, and it is something that should've been worked on by translators from Blizzard. But nevertheless, translation is understandable, humor is interpreted - and for a person that doesn't get off on constant graphical action - adventuring through certain quests and solving quest puzzles will provide hours of relaxing and thrilling entertainment. Even if you take a break and return, it never gets old to drop laughing at something that got you unprepared some time in the past.
3. Real-time robot strategy battles. Although there are many guides and even basic strategies that allow to pretty much faceroll most battles, for a beginner that doesn't want his game spoiled, deciding how to outfit your robots and how to control their stupid-a** AI to win the *very rewarding* mission - will be something to put your nerve into. Graphics aren't catchy, but it's as much as needed for detailed gameplay, all the while keeping the game low-standard.
4. Arcade hyperspace battles. Now that's something even more "oldschool" than even text quests. If you are a battered veteran of console games of 80ies or like the idea of arcade battles - this little game mode will be met at least as a pleasant surprise. For anyone else - it's totally optional and changeable in settings to make it easy as a cake if you so desire. However, for more hardcore blokes, especially previously mentioned veterans, there are many bonuses that can make or break the game as well as ways to utilize your weapon to survive even a certain death scenario. A properly adjusted arcade battle isn't one easy bite.
5. Record Table and hardcore replayability. There used to be a tremendously big russian forum dedicated to the game, with so much community, brainstorming and theorycrafting that could rival even those of Blizzard. Why do I say it? Well, because some people could never stop making strategies, finding shortcuts and exploits, glitches and tech. details of the system and code - and they needed a place to post it all. With system revamps and time, both many of such "glitches" and forum are gone, but the idea of hardcore replayability, as well as Record Table are still up. While it is still purely single player, if you can devote hundreds or thousands of hours of grinding in any other game - perhaps you will be interested in researching this game's nature to it's fullest.
What can be the downsides? Well, if you are a more casual PvE gamer, like me, who enjoys mostly boss-encounters and casual gameplay - you won't find that much endgame or replayability here. However, I've played this game for over more than a decade, from the very Space Rangers 1(which was fatefully introduced to me by a classmate) to this HD. And even if the game remained similar, this is the game that you will always remember and keep getting back to just submerge into this universe... a universe that could be as big as modern standards allow... but that is forced to remain Indie. Oh, and of course, if you don't prefer to pay for singleplayer games or just have too many friends to spend your time alone - this also isn't a game for you.
One thing I can say for sure: this game totally fulfils it's modest price of 25$, if you meet at least half of above-listed quotas. With all the beta accesses and indie game market, this isn't triple A. This is an old legend that has been released in HD for modern systems. It's a historical game that you are allowed to explore.