Thursday, May 9

Review: Blazing Beaks [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The Switch really is a haven for all things shooters, and it has something in pretty well every genre and feel. One category it has covered pretty well is in the area of roguelike twin-stick shooters so I’m always intrigued by anything new coming into that space to see how it sizes up. In the case of the latest entry to the pack we have Blazing Beaks, which absolutely has “different” locked up in everything from its very distinctive look to its collection of its beaked heroes and unusual monsters and bosses. How does it fare? I think this is going to be a divisive title as I’ve come to appreciate its style but will admit it’s just a bit on the odd side.

You’ll start by picking which hero you want to use and each choice has its upsides and downsides. If you get some extra health you’re going to have a more limited range or rate of fire, if you’re willing to sacrifice you’ll get perks including starting with a key, which can be useful. There are multiple options and their core styles are quite different. Which one suits you best may take some time though as you come to terms with how everything works and understanding how to make full use of what the game offers.

Unlike a lot of shooters your opportunities to switch up weapons are pretty limited, with you really only getting a shot at upgrades in shops that will pop up periodically. If you’ve got enough gold you can pick your weapon directly but if you find yourself strapped you’ll probably be able to gamble and afford a random gun option. Where more diversity comes into play is with various items that can help or hurt you depending on what you encounter. Some will give you more health or benefits but be sure to read the fine print and not just pick up anything. There are some seriously bad news curses that will prevent you from picking up healing or cost you hard-earned gold. Now, if you’re able to work with these until you get a shop you’ll get a bonus but early on if you’re prone just to picking things up it can be hard to tell why your character seems to be going a bit nuts.

To the game’s credit, the monsters tend to be quite unique and it can be tricky. There’s much more of a learning curve to understanding how best to approach things, learning which weapons and gear suits you best and what you think you can handle. The feel of the game is just about as unique as its look and I’m a bit on the fence on whether that’s ultimately a good or bad thing. Different is always welcome but there’s just something about the overall feel of the game that isn’t as approachable or fun for me, though I’m struggling to put a finger on it. In the end if you’re feeling a bit bored with the ordinary this is a shooter well worth considering, just be aware that it’s not as easy a recommend as several other comparable shooters on the system. I do appreciate the change of pace it offers though, even if it isn’t ultimately what I’d prefer.

Score: 7.5

  • A great unique art style
  • In terms of enemies and overall feel it simply does things its own way

  • Getting used to items and which and when to pick certain ones up involves a bit of a learning curve
  • There’s just something funky with the feel of the game that doesn’t quite click for me