It’s been a while since we had a look at some of the fantastic titles available on the Nintendo E-Shop. We had these two sent over in the past month and life has some what gotten in the way of publishing this in a timely manner. I hope you enjoy this look at some of the cream of the E-Shop crop!.
Assault Gunners HD.
Assault Gunner HD reminds me of a cheap and cheerful Ps2 gem, much like Earth Defence Force. It’s not much to look at but it’s more than capable of stealing your hours with it’s customization and addictive arcade Mech gameplay.
The game features a basic plot which sees you donning your Mech and clearing out the surface of Mars which has been taken over by rampant Mechs called ANTs. This is all present in text before each of the missions and is entirely skippable for those who just want to make stuff explode!.
Graphically it’s quite barren, the scenery being on Mars means you spend nearly all your time in large open desert like spaces. The enemies all fit the genre criteria but unfortunately just kind of disappear once you’ve hit them with enough missiles.
The controls are very pick up and play, you’ll be adjusted to them by the end of the tutorial and isn’t quite the depths of Armoured Core which works in this titles favour.
The game consists 30+ missions which won’t take you more than around 5 minutes to tackle, later missions require additional steps to unlock and there are even some more in the form of DLC. The game also has quite an addictive horde mode called Inferno which will tempt you to survive longer each time you play.
The general flow of each mission is mostly the same, you and your A.I team will be capturing points, defeating the enemy and holding the fort while a timer runs down. Nothing out there but honestly it doesn’t need it.
Assault Gunners HD has plenty of parts and weapons for you to unlock as you spread war along Mars too, this means you can tweak your Mech to your own standards and show the ANTs who’s boss!.
Assault Gunners HD is a fantastic title to take out and about with your Switch, it has a nice price point and the bite sized nature of the missions means you won’t be missing any bus stops. It’s a fun arcade title that doesn’t demand too much from you to have fun, addictive in nature and has the content to back it up.
Cosmic Star Heroine.
Do you like classic Phantasy Star, Chrono Trigger and other classic JRPGs of the 16bit Era?, if you do Cosmic Star Heroine is a direct love letter to you!.
Visually Cosmic looks just like the golden era of the JRPG with some fantastic sprite work and brilliant settings. The character portraits look just like something from Phantasy Star 4 and the in game sprites are animated just well enough to help carry any scene.
The game is quite short compared to most RPG titles nowadays clocking in at around 15 hours, fortunately every minute of the game is pure killer, it has a tight narrative and leaves you satisfied but also with a hunger for another title in the future.
The combat is turn based but one you can influence with buffs and debuffs. It takes a little while to truly understand the little nuances of the system such as the style meter but when it all clicks into place you’ve got a mighty fine combat system. As the battles go on you build up a style meter which means your attacks/abilities actually get stronger, it’s clever use of this and the ability restore mechanic which will see you victorious. I really enjoyed the combat, it’s easily one of the many highlights of this title and once again hearkens back to a time where the JRPG was golden in my eyes.
Another little quirk of the game is it’s lack of grind required. It’s very easy to play the whole game without having to grind at all if you become adept at the combat. The enemies are all shown on the map and if you defeat them they stay gone, if you do want to grind you can select an option in the menu that’ll spawn some baddies for you to wack.
The cast of characters are varied and interesting though one of the draw backs of the run time is there isn’t as much character development as other titles. The worlds you visit in the story are all varied and really help the pacing of the game move forward at a continuous pace, there isn’t any issues with the pacing of this RPG, it’s constantly moving and all the better for it.
I originally played Cosmic Star Heroine on the PlayStation 4 and on launch it was a little messy, too sensitive when talking to NPCs and even save deleting really put a dampener on the title for me. I am happy to report I had no such issues through my first playthrough, I’m currently on my second and still haven’t come across any issue yet, the extra time in the oven really helped this title here.
Cosmic Star Heroine is proof that bigger isn’t always better. This smaller RPG packs a bigger punch than some of the big boys of the genre, it’s a must buy for new fans and old as there is so much to love about this title. It’s rare I’ll play any RPG twice back to back but with Cosmic Star Heroine it just happened naturally, coming off the back of Octopath Traveller which at times seemed like a grind to really get to the good stuff, Cosmic Star Heroine gives it you off the bat and continues to provide the goods until it’s credits roll. Simply put this title is a must buy.
Freedom Planet is the kind of game I would of seen in Gamesmaster or CVG in the early 90’s and drooled over, poured over every screenshot and bit of info, read the walkthrough and studied the levels over and over again much like titles such as Alien Soldier and Sparkster. Everything about this game screams Mega Drive(Genesis)/SNES era action platformer and it’s managed to hit all the right notes to firmly squeeze into the genre decades later.
Freedom Planet stars Lilac the Dragon, Carol the Wildcat & Mila the Basset hound as they attempt to overthrow the evil plans of Lord Brevon in the most Sonic style around matching even that of a certain Mania game released recently. You’ll run, bike, shoot, jump, collect power ups and even loop-de-loop through 14 well designed stages in this glorious ode to the 16bit mascot platformer.
Lilac is the speed demon of the group with an ability to jet across the screen to get to hard to reach platforms or really propel yourself through the level, Carol has a bit more movement control making her ideal for item collection and Mila once unlocked plays at a much slower pace than the other two and feels like the games hard mode, whoever you play as, each character has their own scenes with in the games Adventure Mode so it’s worth it to at least play this one three times over.
Talking of Adventure Mode, Freedom Planet has quite the considerable and voice acted plot which is worth your time, the characters are all endearing and it’s fantastic to see this much effort put into the story of a platformer like this. If that isn’t your cup of tea you can always hit up Classic Mode which strips out the story and just gets you down to brass tacks straight away.
The levels in this game are fantastic and one of the best aspects of them are the set pieces, be it running away from a bombing fleet, shooting section or even just standard puzzles the set pieces help to keep the pace and give you a better all round experience. You can tell how this game started life, any screenshot or trailer will tell you that much but you can’t deny how good the levels are to play and it’ll require a good few runthroughs before you’ve seen everything each level has to offer.
Boss fights are also fantastic, each requiring reflexes and pattern reading to best your foe, the selection of attacks you have on offer will help you but it’s down to some old school fundamentals which will see you victorious at the end of the game. The game in general is frantic and is a fantastic mix between Sonic and classic Treasure titles, old fans of Sega will firmly get stuck into this title and not put it down for a good long while!.
The only real issue is the game has issues with control and momentum which is something alot of games has struggled with, more than a few times while speeding through a level i’d hit a ramp and come to a stop as I had instinctively held forward rather than the corresponding button,.
The game oozes charm and it wears it’s inspiration firmly on it’s sleeve, it’s not a new release by any means but it’s the first time you can take Freedom Planet out with you and get a quick level done before you reach your bus stop. I missed the game the first time around and couldn’t be happier at this chance to finally play the title, it takes alot to out Sonic games like Sonic Mania but Freedom Planet manages to do this while adding a little bit of the action salt to really crank it up to ten. Freedom Planet 2 is on the horizon and if you missed this title the first time around now is the best chance to discover this hidden gem and see how games really did it with BLAST PROCESSING