Thursday, April 5

Review: Super Rocket Shootout [Nintendo Switch eShop]


In the battle for the multiplayer crown on the Switch we’re to the point where we have a little bit of everything. While there are contenders in the forms classics like Bomberman and quasi-sports titles most of various shapes and sizes there sometimes what you’ll really want to do is shoot some of your friends in the face… perhaps with bullets but sometimes a rocket or a sticky grenade can be a little more fun. That’s where Super Rocket Shootout comes in, offering its own take on things.


You’ll probably want to start things out by playing through the single-player story mode, which shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to complete if you pick things up reasonably quickly and can learn how to cheese the AI that can be tricky as you reach the final 2 chapters. Doing this will unlock all characters, weapons, and stages and it will also give you a fair understanding of the variety of tactics to use and supers each character possesses. Overall each character is pretty well-balanced, with some working well at range and others needing to get close up, but for me I found I usually based my decision around which character’s super suited me the best. If you want to further hone your skills there’s also a single-player Arcade Mode where you’ll work through the other characters one at a time in one-on-one battles.

For as fast and frantic as the action can get there’s a surprising amount of potential for nuance. While you can certainly go in with your shotgun blazing, try to get right on top of someone to hit them with your melee attack, or try to pick up items to loft at your enemies from afar there’s also a system where if you time your block correctly you can not only save yourself but also build up your super bar. If you collect all 4 bars you can trigger your character’s super, each of which is pretty unique and can be a game-changer if put to good use. You have other options as well at different levels to soup up your attack or your defense.


The issue with the nuance is that while it may be practical when you get down to a 1 on 1 with someone it’s a bit tough to concentrate on when 3 people are flying around on their jetpacks lobbing things at you. To add to the complications, depending on the stage, in order to keep everyone on the screen everything can get a bit zoomed out, making subtlety a real challenge. The good news is that even if it normally gets to be a free-for-all the stages each have their own feel, and many additionally have hazards you need to look out for and possibly use to your advantage to turn the tide. If you really want to take command once you’ve beaten the Story Mode you’ll have the option to play a Custom Battle where you can tune power-ups and some of the craziness up or down to suit your liking.

Overall, if you’re looking for something fast and fun to play with your friends Super Rocket Shootout can be a lot of fun. While it has a few quirks, and perhaps has nuance most people will likely throw away in the heat of battle, the variety in stages and options to tune the battle settings are a value add that’s appreciated. Pick your character, grab some items, and commence the shooting of faces and other body parts!


Score: 8

Pros:
  • For a multiplayer-focused game it has a reasonable number of options for single-player fun
  • The characters have variable stats and super abilities that make them more than just cosmetically different
  • Variety in stages and their hazards help to ensure the action doesn’t get stale
  • Custom Matches will allow you to better tune the settings to your preferences

Cons:
  • For all of the technique and nuance that is possible most people are likely to stick to simpler tactics
  • Scaling can be a problem on some stages as it tries to keep everyone on-screen at once, making it tougher to keep track of what’s happening