This is one of those titles that screams being up my alley, featuring some relatively arcade-style shooting action and excitement. Taking inspiration and even some visual flair from a variety of sources the oddity of Max right off the bat is that it doesn’t make a firm commitment to being a platform shooter (where you’re running and gunning sideways), a variant of the likes of Buster Brothers / Pang (where you exclusively shoot up), or perhaps what would have made the most sense as a twin-stick shooter. Instead it chooses its own hodge podge mix of it all and doesn’t work well because of that. Due to this fact the result really irked me honestly as the controls feel like they’re holding you back and so much of the time you’re being hurt or killed by what feel like cheap attacks paired with poor mechanics. In particular, enemies that will fall and unleash an attack that goes the length of the screen get tiresome, especially with the regularity with which they show up as you progress and how quickly lone ones will appear and fall. Throw in power-ups whose availability is too inconsistent and it makes the mistake of thinking that just making itself really hard is sufficient, failing to differentiate between gameplay that is challenging fun and just being joyless by merely being difficult for its own sake. With so many varied shooters on the Switch (including tough ones) that do a far better job this is definitely a miss.
Justin Nation, Score: