Friday, September 18

Mini Reviews: September 18th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Journey of the Broken Circle [Nindie Choice!] -
Who knew that an incomplete circle (who looks suspiciously like a certain gaming icon) and an oddball mix of plants and normally inanimate objects would have so much to offer in the way of philosophy? Circle, who feels incomplete, is in search of feeling whole and wants to explore the world. Along the way you’ll encounter others who may have different goals but who may be willing to join you, at least for a time, which will conveniently give you that varied abilities you’ll need to progress through what are generally pretty lenient platforming challenges. Though there are times where it gets a little more difficult I’d consider the challenge mild enough on the whole to be accessible to anyone and if you’re able to find enough hidden mushrooms along the way you’ll open further hidden levels to enjoy as well. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the game’s sense of humor, heart, and just enough philosophy to allow for some reflection without it feeling lecturing. It’s an unusual title, and probably too mild for the hard core crowd, but the game has a spirit that makes it notable and I appreciate its presence in the eShop.

Super Punch Patrol - With its hand-drawn art style there’s no doubt that Super Punch Patrol catches the eye and that gives the game a distinctive feel to be sure. Aesthetics aside, make no mistake though, this is a thoroughly classic retro beat-em-up and that isn’t necessarily always a good thing. Aside titles that have pushed the edges of the genre to include different styles of play, incorporate new mechanics, or downright take it to the next level Super Punch Patrol sadly feels a bit primitive with its look being its defining feature and not so much its play. If you’re looking for a new chance to throw down solo or with some friends and beat your way through a series of punks and bosses it will probably do the trick for an appropriately low price, but if you’re looking for something more evolved this isn’t going to make that cut.

Bomber Fox - Have you been thirsting for a neon-lit version of the classic Bomberman series? In principle that’s what you have here, though let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Certainly Bomber Fox has cribbed many gameplay elements from the classic series, though some of its enemies and environmental elements are at least a bit more unique. Where the game struggles for me though is with the pacing. Your default movement speed is positively glacial, and while that can be helpful as you plot out how to get out of dodge and avoid getting “blowed up” it can also be frustrating, especially when you need to restart a level and go through the motions all over again. You can play co-op through levels with a friend or against some as well in versus mode, and there are two pretty different main campaigns to play through, one with more of a puzzle-solving feel and another making you dig down and take out a bunch of enemies… which is at least nice for variety and total content to consume. It’s not going to be coming for the “Bomber” title crown by any means but for the budget price it’s at least something a little different.

Georifters - While Georifters has an unusual look and dialogue between characters who are fixated on candy (it’s a bit weird) in the end this is really a puzzle platforming game, and for the most part a generic one at that. You have the ability to knock out and move blocks, which you’ll need to do in order to collect crystals in each level. As you go new enemies and traps will complicate matters, and there may be some trial and error required to get the hang of what you may need to do in order to get to some of your goals, but for the most part it is a logical and fair challenge all around. That said, there’s not much that strikes me as unique in terms of the gameplay and to go with the game’s somewhat odd overall look there’s some clunkiness in the controls and how you interact with certain elements at times. It’s not a bad experience, it just feels lacking in a degree of polish that some of its competition has tightened up better overall.

Moero Crystal H - OK, so given the pretty uncomfortable nature of just the trailer for this title I hesitated to cover it at all. I understand there’s a market for scantily-clad anime chicks in various forms and have worked through a number of titles that have varied in their ability to justify their gameplay as the focus and not the high perv factor. In the case of this one I think I’ve somewhat reached my limit though, between what just feels like the general younger appearance than normal of many female characters in the game and then some of the language used to describe them as well that feels like it’s from a different time. Throw in that the story as it stands is pretty boilerplate (and really, honestly, dull) and the dungeon crawling offers nothing unique aside from various aesthetic “flourishes” that may catch people’s fancy and I can’t say there’s a lot here beyond the spectacle that you couldn’t get anywhere else, and probably better. If you’re into it, good on you, enjoy, just in this case don’t tell yourself it’s about the stellar gameplay and story.

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