Feeling like you’ve seen every sort of retro side-scrolling shooter possible? Then get a load of this!
Bless the indie developers out there who are determined to make the old feel new again with new takes, willing to take some chances swinging for the fences. I’ve played a ton of retro arcade shooters over the years, and have been a big fan of quite a number of indie efforts in the space, but none of it prepared me for the very unusual style of Dezatopia. Getting started is a bit rough, as it feels like there’s a thick instruction manual to come with the game, going through screens of text trying to explain all of the mechanics for how it works, your weapons, your pick-ups, etc. With all of this going on I can see where even traditional genre fans could possibly not dig it, but I’d argue to give it a few runs and see if it grows on you, because that’s what happened with me. Each direction (left, right, up, and down) having its own weapon behavior, including a difference between pressing the buttons or holding them down, as well as a “charge” if you let off for a moment, does make it tough to quickly get your brain around. Enemies coming from all sides, special pick-ups hidden around the level, and a variety of other distractions piling on doesn’t help either. The thing is, if you break through to the other side and begin to “get it”, there’s really something different here, and I think it’s an essential game to at least check out if you’re a genre fan.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.2]