Tag Archives: switch

Syberia (SWITCH)

syberiacnxgI’ve always been a huge fan of point ‘n’ click adventuregames. There’s just something about solving puzzles, talking to everyone that crosses my path and picking up and pocketing everything that might be useful… It just speaks to me, you know? Needless to say, I was very excited when I learned of 2002’s classic Syberia return on Switch.

In Syberia players get to play as Kate Walker. Kate is a lawyer who is sent on company’s orders to a small village in the French Alps. There, she is to oversee the takeover of a small robotfactory by a big toy company. unfortunately, the elderly owner of the factory recently passed. On her deathbed, she confessed her brother, who everyone thought dead, is still alive, which makes him sole heir to the factory. Kate has to find this mystery brother for the takeover to go as planned.

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I’ll admit, this plot sounds like the plot to one of those cheesy Mexican telenovellas, but keep in mind there’s robots involved here! Every aspect of life in the small village seems to be invaded by robotics in some way. From doorbells to churchbells: there’s robotic touches everywhere! The entire village has a sort of steampunk look and it looks believeable to boot.

Moving Kate around couldn’t be more simple. Walking is done using one of the sticks, running is a mere press of a shoulder button and other actions are also just one button press away. Simple. The Switch and adventure games seem to be a match made in gamer-heaven. Before you know it, you’ll be running around the village, talking off people’s ears and picking up everything that isn’t nailed down. Just like old times!

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Also just like old times: everything else. Syberia isn’t a remake for Switch, it’s a mere port. Meaning graphics haven’t gotten a makeover. Sound didn’t get redone. Everything seen and heard might have been amazing 15 years ago, but nowadays seems a bit clunky. Kate seemingly floats on thin air through all the drawn environments, and some looped music and sounds just seem old…

And even though controls are nice and easy, they could have been smoother. Kate bumps far too often into invisble barriers, making the grand environments seem claustrophobically small. She also switches direction when running from screen to screen, making her go back and forth if I don’t let go of the stick everytime she goes offscreen…
Smooth, it is not.

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Syberia still is a very enjoyable game, with a very enjoyable and well-written story, but I wonder if it didn’t deserve a more thourough cleanup for it Switch debut.

 

Jan

Steamworld Dig 2 (Switch)

swd2covernxgDo you remember Steamworld Dig? The crazy platforming/puzzle game featuring Rusty the robotcowboy as the main character? The game recently got a sequel, placing players in the role of Dorothy, Rusty’s friend. Following the events of the first game, Rusty has disappeared without a trace. Dorothy goes on a quest to find him and encounters several mysterious happenings along the way…

Style-wise, nothing has changed. Steamworld Dig 2 still is a 2D platformer, I’m still digging like crazy, and I’m still mining for ore and valuable minerals. And everything is still looking as nice as ever. It’s like playing a cartoon!

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The emphasis in this second installment is perhaps leaning a bit more towards the platforming element. Dorothy is a nimble little bot, and jumps from one rock to the other without so much as breaking a sweat. I mean oil stain.
Same goes for wallclimbing. Dorothy walljumps as easy as walking on flat ground. It all makes exploring the mine a bit easier. Which is not a bit thing, ’cause there is a ton of mine to explore. There are legions of enemies, and massive amounts of ore and minerals. There are even secret passages and rooms, that contain cogs and artifacts.

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Those cogs can be used in the mining town on the surface. With them, we can upgrade the upgrades of our equipment. You see, each piece of equipment can be leveled up using cash wemade from selling ore. With each level, several extra mods become available, which can be installed using cogs. It all makes for a lot of different combinations of gear, so players can suit up according to their own playing style. It also makes me go back to the mine time and again, digging for ore, artifacts and cogs. Even more than I’m focusing on the main objective…

Transportation tubes also make a welcome return. There strewn throughout the mine, and once wi clear them from rubble, I can  travel between them. It not only makes exploring a bit easier, it also helps in lowering difficulty. Once I’m near death, I can easily make my way back to a tube and ride it up to the surface to recover.

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Steamworld Dig 2 is a game you should play. Not only for fans of the first game, but also perfectly suited for newcomers to the franchise. So get your pickaxe out, dig for someore and go buy Steamworld Dig 2 from those profits!

Jan

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Switch)

skttLast year, I was impressed beyond words by Shovel Knight. I called it a “platforming marvel, a refreshing fountain of nostalgic feelings for the 8bit era”. I called it “required gaming”. I longed for a sequel.

Silently, Shovel Knight kept getting updates. All of those updates are now bundled with the newest campaign in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

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In this new campaign, Spectre of Torment, Spectre Knight takes centre stage. The campaign shares the same retro 8bit styling with the original. Enemy characters and even some levels were recycled. The entire system of treasurehunting was copied. But who effing cares? The pure joy and fun that were so in abundance in the original, are back with a vengeance.

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Sure, the game is hard. And checkpoints tend to be far apart, but that’s just part of the fun. Everytime we fail miserably, we start over cursing like a drunken sailor, but ready for more 8 bit fun.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: two thumbs up. Required gaming. Download that DLC ASAP, and if you happened to have missed the original Shovel Knight: go and download the bundle.  You’ll enjoy it. I promise.

Jan