Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: Enter the Gungeon [ Nintendo Switch eShop ]


The roguelike shooter has been absolutely one of the most popular variants in the PC indie space and it has quite a number of excellent games, though most of them haven’t yet come to the Switch. Fortunately, one of those I’d say is on the short list for being the best, Enter the Gungeon, has now arrived for Nintendo fans to enjoy. Sporting fast and fluid action, over-the-top bosses and weapons, and a brutal and yet fair level of difficulty, it is a title genre fans need to check out.


As the title may imply the name of the game here is guns, lots of them. Ranging from typical, to unusual, to possibly a bit insane the number and variety of guns is quite remarkable. There are so many, and they’re so varied, that it typically will take you quite some time before you get comfortable with how they work on a case-by-case basis simply because you’re constantly encountering new ones. Ranging in power, firing speed, reload speed, and range, as well as coming in a number of core types if you make it a fair distance in any given run you’re likely running around with a bit of an arsenal. That’s a good thing, you’re going to likely need it for when you face off against one of the game’s intimidating bosses.

While most boss battles end up being some general form of bullet hell you have some capabilities on your side that can help. Your dive roll is not only useful for moving around quickly, for a brief time in each roll you’ll actually be invulnerable, meaning if you’re able to time it well you can weather some pretty intense bullets flying your way. As if that weren’t enough you’re also equipped with 2 blanks per level (if you’re lucky you may even find an extra every once in awhile) which effectively nullify all bullets on the screen and will knock back any enemies close by. This makes for very intense and engaged battles, with you trying desperately not to get hit while returning fire and trying to wear down the bosses defenses.


In terms of the quality of the conversion over to the Switch I can’t really find anything of note as a concern. Gameplay is fluid, the controls feel as tight as ever, and the intensity is most certainly along for the ride… though I swear they may have toned down the difficulty on the initial level in some way. Playing in handheld is pretty good, though at that scale some details on the mapor in the environment can get lost when they’re in dark spots. It’s nothing crippling but there were times when I couldn’t quite tell what I was jumping on or into.

As a whole Enter the Gungeon is every bit a best-in-class roguelike shooter on the Switch. Not only is the core gameplay wonderfully intense yet tightly controlled but touches like a well-implemented teleportation system in the map prevent your adrenaline levels to have a chance to subside. The bosses all have their own feel and most have quite a personality to go with their toughness. All things considered if you’re a roguelike shooter fan in the least you would be doing yourself a great disservice not giving Gungeon a spin.


Score: 9

Pros:
  • An insanely diverse array of available weapons make for every run having a different feel
  • Absolutely over-the-top boss fights
  • The intense gameplay works well due to it being paired with tight and well-implemented controls

Cons:
  • If you’re not up for being tested and challenged it may be too intense for you
  • Some of the power-ups you find are difficult to understand in terms of what use they have
  • In handheld mode in darker areas it can be challenging to make out important details (like pits)