With plenty of great roguelike twin-stick shooters out there, this mess of ideas doesn’t hold up very well
While I love it when games deviate from the norm to combine elements from different genres or find new ways to spice up well-known play styles, new absolutely doesn’t instantly mean good. Whether you’re trying to combine too many elements to the point things get confusing, or you’re simply trying to bolt together two concepts that don’t play nicely together, some creators just come up short in finding the special ingredient that can bind things together in a way that’s compelling. That’s where things land for me with Fusion Paradox, a game that obviously has some different ideas on how to spice up the typical twin-stick roguelike shooter, but that just doesn’t come together to make for a fun time. The biggest deviation from the norm is a color swapping system where certain enemies, elements like health, and even certain weapons will only work when you’re using a specific color. In classics like Ikaruga this change added another layer of challenge to an already tough base game, but here it feels a bit half-assed and doesn’t clearly pay off with better play… for the most part it can just feel sloppy. Layer on puzzles that don’t really add much to the experience aside from giving you a break from the action and aren’t always intuitive, and shooting action that fails to make nearly enough of an impression to stand out in a field crowded with more satisfying competition and it really falls on its face for the most part.
Justin Nation, Score: