Wednesday, August 4

Mini Reviews: August 4th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Trigger Witch [Rainbite] (Nindie Choice!) -
OK, so I’ll admit it, games that do something weird to combine elements I know and love tend to catch me by surprise and can make me inflate my scoring to go with that feeling. While I suspect that’s the case for Trigger Witch, a game I’ll readily admit is by no means perfect, I’m still on board for the idea and the majority of its execution. Imagine a Zelda-esque top-down adventure but rather than using your sword, or perhaps sensibly magic since your character is a witch, you’ll instead be packing some heat and shooting things up twin-stick style. Since this is the first title I’ve played in this vein the novelty really works for me, though I think the next one I would tackle I’d have some higher expectations for in terms of refinement. The characters and dialogue are quirky, the shooting action may not be as intense and tough as I prefer but I found it to be fun, and I think Trigger Witch makes an excellent case for more developers to get ambitious and take on making this style of play an official thing… because I’m definitely down for more.

Blaster Master Zero 3 [Inti Creates] (Nindie Choice!) - One of the surprise redux hits in this generation has been the return of the Blaster Master series with the Zero titles, which have managed to carefully respect the essence of the original game while fleshing elements that were less notable out further. Considering the very reasonable price point, this is a pretty great retro action adventure with varied challenges… though also maybe feeling a little redundant in terms of play at this point. However, this title completes a sort of trilogy story arc in a satisfying fashion if you’ve been following the previous two titles, and continues to ramp up the relative level of difficulty from the other two titles as well. But for people new to the series it may be more ideal to go back to the first, see how it goes, and then work from there rather than jumping in on this last chapter since otherwise you may be a little lost in terms of the story and mechanics that are a bit taken for granted as understood at this point. 

10 Second Ninja X [Thalamus Digital Publishing Ltd] - This minimalist, and quite challenging, platformer will absolutely make you a bit crazy if your goal isn’t just to complete tough levels but also do so in an insanely limited amount of time. Sure, within a few attempts you’ll likely be able to tackle some of these tough precision stages but in order to truly conquer each level with the best time you’ll have to throw out any and all hesitation and execute every move to perfection. To its credit the controls are crisp and precise, and when you die or realize you’ve been going too slow each reset is pretty well instantaneous so you won’t waste any time waiting for your next run. Just with its simplicity and budget price don’t expect anything more than the challenges themselves, and if you like the personality the likes of titles like Super Meat Boy or the heart of Celeste you’ll find them non-existent here… so it’s take it or leave it.

Bustafellows [eXtend] - Right out of the gate I’ll admit I’m a bit lost in trying to summarize the Bustafellows experience, but regardless I won’t deny it has style and attitude to burn. Mixing together a somewhat motley (but I’m sure intended to be quite cute) crew of criminals with your main character who is a female journalist in search of a big story (but who has an ability move back time just a bit and inhabit others), it opens the door to fleshing out the game’s characters and motivations in unexpected and unique ways. With your choices feeling like they have greater consequence than the average visual novel the level of engagement is pretty impressive, but ultimately whether it’s a game for you really rests on how much you like the unusual premise and whether it sounds like an experience you can just enjoy the ride with or whether it may be a bit too odd for your tastes.

OS Omega [RockGame] - With the world of OS Omega being within the computer realm, somewhat reminding me of one of my all-time favorite movies, TRON, OS Omega had my interest on a core level. Your goal, as Binary Boy, is to save your home from a nasty virus set to wreck your digital existence. Boasting a wide array of weapons, on paper this twin-stick RPG adventure can seem to have promise, but in execution it really falls apart pretty quickly. Sluggish and muddy controls are a central problem that immediately hits you and the somewhat wonky state of things just continues to hit you here and there on a consistent basis, sapping energy and excitement from what could be by the rough state of what is instead. Feeling quite desperately in need of patching I currently would currently consider it a pass.

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