Monday, September 24, 2018

Review: Retimed [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Local multiplayer only titles, especially ones that lack an ability to play against bots as a single player, have a somewhat tough road to hoe. That said, if there’s something unique that the gameplay offers that gets people yelling and screaming when you get together to play, there can be cases where it’s all worth it. Just managing to find that balance, where the experience with others justifies the overall lack of versatility, is Retimed, a shooter with just enough well-implemented gimmicks to make it worthwhile.


Unlike most multiplayer shooters of this kind the key revolves around the bullets, how they interact with each other, and how you’re able to interact with them when they get close to you. In Retimed the bullets almost act like their own characters, being big enough and moving just slowly enough to clearly see them. Once they get close to someone, a sort of time bubble appears and things slow down just enough that the potential victim is able to try to evade or possibly even counter the attack. Since bullets can also ricochet off each other (and sometimes off of other surfaces) even more crazy things can happen so you’ll need to be ready for just about anything. Throw in the fact that you can only reload at a limited number of designated spots and there are many opportunities you can have for taking people out.


Layering on to this well-implemented and creative base mechanic are a few other smart design elements. Each of the six included stages has something tricky to offer, whether in the form of portals, lethal icicles you can trigger to fall on someone unsuspecting below, or reflective surfaces that encourage creative ricochet shots. In general each of the 4 selectable characters and all of the stages have a cute and distinctive look, though some more variety in your choices would have been nice. The inclusion of only team and free-for-all modes is also a bit disappointing as even if everyone is having fun more variety helps greatly in keeping the gameplay feeling fresh longer.


As a whole Retimed does a good job of hitting the targets it was aiming for and providing a pretty unique experience, unfortunately it’s impossible to not also note that the whole package is a bit thin. Most critical is that without online or bot support the opportunities to enjoy the game can be a bit limited, relying on the availability of family or friends to play it at all. While I really like the art direction it’s also a bit disappointing that there just aren’t that many stages or even character options to work with. If you regularly have some people available who are down for some multiplayer fun, and you can overlook the somewhat skimpy overall content it provides, Retimed can be an absolute blast and shows off some clever ideas. It’s just hard not to note that it has some real limitations all the same.

Score: 6.5

Pros:
  • The bullet time mechanic is clever and well-implemented
  • Each of the 6 stages in the game have a distinct look but, more importantly, also change up the experience
  • Considering the somewhat limited content it includes, Retimed does a smart job of making the most of it

Cons:
  • Local multiplayer only with no bot support so there are no single-player options at all
  • Though the stages are pretty diverse with there only being 6 you’ll get into repeat territory pretty quickly
  • Only 2 mode options also ultimately limit the variety of ways the game can be played