This is a multiformat twin-stick shooter now making its debut on the Nintendo Switch.
OK first some basics – I’m using the Nintendo Switch in hand held mode and despite the Switch having a new Copilot mode it will be played solo.
So after installing the game data and the appropriate button presses its game on. After a very brief spacey bit it was platform shooter time and the first thing that came to mind was the NES Sunsoft game Master Blaster. However unlike the almost sedate nature of that title this 6-legged vehicle is faced with apocalyptic levels of incoming foes and their ordinance.
The usual rules apply; one stick for movement the other for firing and the other buttons for jump, scanning, secondary weapon selection and firing.
Downed enemies bring forth bits of scrap which act as a form of currency for upgrades. These upgrades either grant permanent enhancements or limited secondary weapon availability.
So its shoot stuff, collect the spoils, trade and repeat. A novel addition is the scan which turns the weapon into a means of examining the surroundings and triggering doors or hacking equipment for your own use.
So what’s it like…
Visually everything is nicely done and the game has an entertaining self-aware narrative taking place. Progress is marked with checkpoints which prove really useful since this is a challenging game despite what it says on the start screen (you can initially select between normal and hard - no easy mode here). I had opted for normal – but this isn’t the normal for feint hearted.
This game pulls no punches and you learn to progress the hard way. Certain areas despite their intensity provide a challenge but periodically you’ll be presented with additional trials. These can be in the form of direct danger from an advanced adversary or an environmental obstacle to overcome, but quite often it’s usually both.
Thankfully the checkpoint positions are usually fairly placed so plunging you back into the action close to where you met your waterloo.
As you progress additional game modes are unlocked (Missions, Challenges and Battle Arenas) so providing a diversion from the main game.
I’ve yet to try it in docked mode but I’m hopeful a larger screen could present a slight edge when the attack waves become intense.
This is a nice solid title featuring robust gameplay and professional music and visuals. It is hard at times due to the intensity of the gameplay but it can be overcome with practise.
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