A Game Review by Greg Dabkey
Game – VVVVVV
Version – Nintendo 3DS
ESRB Rating: ‘E10+’ – Everyone 10 and up
Obtained – Received review copy from Nintendo of America
Do you need another recommendation for a virtual title? Here is very solid action/adventure game that looks and plays like a classic NES game. This one probably wins the hardest virtual game of the year (on a Nintendo platform), as it is an incredibly fun and challenging game. VVVVVV is another one of many virtual gems in the eShop. The game came out on December 29thand game is currently available for $7.99 in the eShop.
Gameplay & Controls
The gameplay is quite basic. You explore a dimension in which your space ship crashed. Your crew of 6 went looking for you, when a disruption in the teleporter took the captain (the player) outside of the ship. You must find and rescue your crew and get the spaceship functional again. There are all sorts of random enemies which include, text, spikes, simple graphics for the player to dodge, and platforms for the player to travel across. This is a true platform game that keeps the controls simple, and allows the player to explore wherever they wish without a definitive path to follow. Throughout the dimensions are computer consoles which are check points. If a player dies, they return to the last flagged checkout within a matter of seconds. The player has infinite lives, but the game still tracks the number of lives lost. There are some trinkets where the player needs to avoid some checkpoints so that when they die, they return to a specific check point. Platforms come in all varieties in this game, which includes moving, disappearing surfaces. There are also gravity lines which switch the gravity automatically for the player, and there are areas where the player will bounce between 2 lines while dodging hazards.
The controls are also quite simple, the player moves around the dimension by switching the gravity to adventure through the different areas. Any button will switch the gravity and the player will switch from the floor to the ceiling or from the ceiling to the floor. There is a limitation where the player can only switch the gravity while they are touching a surface (meaning they cannot switch while the switching is in progress). When a player finds a teleporter, they can simply hit X to teleport to any of the discovered teleporters. There are terminals throughout the dimension where the player can interact with that gives more information on the story or is a log of events for the area the player is in.
There are numerous different modes of play. There is the basic mode which defaults the main the quest with 20 trinkets, and once you rescue the crew and find numerous trinkets, you unlock other modes. Easy mode is also available along with time trials, and even bonus dimensions with additional trinkets become available. The player can switch between the different modes without losing progress within other modes.
Visuals & Sound
The visuals are pretty basic. This game is styled like an 8-bit game so the graphics match that era. The characters are very basic outlines with simple animations. The backgrounds match the character styles, containing simple shapes or shifting shapes. In terms of the 3D graphics, they are certainly not required and mostly non-existent. When 3D is turned on, the text boxes pop out, along with some of the graphics (for example, the teleporters). This game was not designed with the best/HD graphics. Graphics like these gave me that nostalgic feel like this game belonged on the NES.
The music and sounds are basic. It follows the visuals and being simple tones that would be found in NES games. They are still well made and there are a variety of different areas with different compositions. The music and sounds give off that nostalgic feeling towards games made for the NES and easy to get hooked. For a comparison, it the music is close to that of Mega Man, where it doesn’t seem to get old, but it somehow remains to be a little catchy.
10 out of 10
Overall, the game is very fun. Some areas can get frustrating, but with the immediate re-spawning at check points, the player can retry the area until they get it right. I am nearly finished with the main part of the game since I’m enjoying it so much. I would recommend this to anyone that is a fan of challenging or difficult plat-forming action. With several different modes of ranging difficulties, and trinkets to find within each, the player will spend many hours attempting to explore and complete each one.