Ah, retro-styled arcade shooters. It’s a joy to have such an embarrassment of riches on the Switch, but it no doubt makes the task of cracking into the upper echelon of them on the system a challenge. Horgihugh, for me, is a bit of a mystery wrapped in a conundrum. Visually it’s very bright and cute, but in terms of play it’s decidedly more in the hard core direction. I don’t mind tough shooters, but it’s the feeling of how it gets there that I have some qualms with, a few of which seem unnecessarily cheap. The first is that your “free” power-ups are dropped off to you in what feels like an enormously inconsistent way. It feels like the positioning of your courier is meant to somehow be relative to your position but in execution it can be maddening watching them get flung into spots that you either can’t get to or that are covered in a flurry of enemy fire. Add to that how you’re incredibly fragile, exploding on any hit and losing whatever you have, and it feels a bit too stacked against you, but in a more aggravating manner. That leaves me a bit uncertain what to make of it, finding it hard but not in a high-concept (see Ikaruga) or high-intensity (see most any crazy bullet hell title) way, so conquering it doesn’t carry as much of a sense of accomplishment. It’s by no means terrible, and it certainly has appeal on a few levels, but some key design and balancing choices just leave me feeling cold on it.
Justin Nation, Score: