We are Five volumes deep with this feature and it’s shaping up to be one of our favourite and most popular!. This time we have quite the mix of games on show, something here for everyone. We are always on the lookout for quirky and interesting titles on the Nintendo E-Shop so if you want one covering please do get in contact, even if you’re a developer and want your title looked into we will gladly find you a space to show us your Nindies!.
Pizza Titan Ultra
Pizza Titan Ultra is brought to the Nintendo Switch courtesy of the team at TeamBreakfall who want to combine the wonderful world of Mechs with the perfect world of Pizza. The game naturally is over the top four cheese featuring a somewhat 80’s future aesthetic and a crazy supporting cast to see you through your deliveries and quest to stop the evil Cheezeborg.
Pizza Titan Ultra is described as an action platformer but the easiest way to boil down what kind of beast this is would be to say it’s the happy accident if Blast Corps, Gundam and Crazy Taxi had a wicked weekend. You’ll run, jump, smash and blast your way through 8 different areas delivering the finest slices around.
Each area has several important deliveries to make and these form the missions of the area and there is also a mission where you are given free reign over the area and have to build time by making successful deliveries, finding the clock icons and performing walk in’s and generally having a right old blast!.
Pizza Titan Ultra is very much an arcade game at heart, everything is colourful and cel shaded, every mission is timed, there is money to collect and high scores to smash, secret ingredients to find and some fine pick up and play controls. You see the action from an Isometric style angle and pilot your mech around the city following a Pizza icon to where you need to deliver your pie. You can stomp through buildings and cause chaos while you do it, infact some missions insist on this!. While you’re doing this the evil Cheezeborg troops will appear and you can fight them off with punches, stomping, slide kicking or using special abilities to make sure no foe stands between your customer and the delicious package you have coming!
Missions don’t take too long and the whole campaign will see you around 5 hours, much longer if you strive to earn the gold on each mission.
The mech in the game can be customized to make it the ultimate war/pizza machine which gives you incentive to hit the high scores and bring in the dough. Pizza Titan Ultra just oozes “One more go” and fully embraces it’s arcade nature, it’s easy to pick up for a few minutes and miss the bus while making just one more delivery, the Walk In pizza mini game is fun and it’s always good trying to further your score and wreck an area while you do it. There isn’t much wrong with Pizza Titan Ultra, occasional framerate stutters are about the most I can come up with, the game is just a pure slice of real good time, I dig everything from it’s aesthetic to it’s soundtrack and everything in between, feeling peckish for a Switch title? You know who to call!.
SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is not only an ideal name for a Nu Metal album but it’s also the title for the latest “Soulslike” title but with it’s own little twist on the subgenre. SINNER decides to forego with the formalities such as levels and just has it as a straight up boss rush title, no more losing all your souls at the end of a level with this one!.
You are thrust into the metal boots of a knight tasked with taking down beasts based around the Seven Deadly Sins, see where the name is coming from now?. The game is incredibly thin in terms of lore and on going story but there is a little there which is expanded throughout the boss fights.
When getting ready to take on one of the bosses you have to offer up a sacrifice in order to do so, be it have less health, fewer items, all that jazz making sure you’re not going into the battle at 100%. When you beat the boss you are gifted your sacrifice back and more, this gives you an incentive to plan out your run so you know you won’t be totally handicapping yourself on the bosses you struggle with most.
Visually SINNER is quite the marvel to look at on the Nintendo Switch and could easily be passed off as something more than “Indie”, it does feature a less than inspired art design which extends to most of the game but fortuantely stops at the bosses. Each boss looks terrifying and fits with their theme quite well, you’ll be seeing alot of them so it’s a good thing they are pleasing to look at it, even if they are quite grotesque……
If you are familar with this “Sub Genre” then you’ll feel right at home with the controls, even down to the combat roll SINNER does a mighty fine tribute act here. Customization isn’t huge here and you won’t be doing loot runs as you only get the Sword and Shield, Giant Sword and ranged attacks, outside of them you’re outta luck.
Overall SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption is a mighty fine first attempt that is rough around the edges, pretty to look at but over all quite generic and forgettable. The game came at a time where it had no competition but since then it’s inspiration has launched on the Switch so this will unfortunately feel more like a snack and less like the steak it had the potential to be. It’s Souls, without levels or RPG elements and without the charm.
Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle
Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle is a first person dungeon crawler, this time set in the Edo period of Japanese history which means Yokai!. Yokai or demons are infecting Hyakki Castle and it’s up to your brave band of warriors to tackle the Castle and expel the demons.
Haunted Dungeons gives you the ability to create your own party of 4 in which to tackle the citizens of the underworld with, each “type” is based on Japanese mythology, Samurai and Ninjas are included here!. You’ll explore a massive labyrinth, fighting monsters, solving the occasional puzzle and hunting for stairs and loot on your way to solving the mystery of the Castle.
Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle does have one other ace up it’s sleeve if the setting doesn’t quite entice you, you’re able to split your party in two, this means you can use tactics to take down bigger enemies, explore the dungeons much quicker but with bigger risk and solve pesky floor panel puzzles!.
I’ll be the first to admit I always find titles in this genre very hit or miss and this title is no exception, beyond the sadly underused party splitting gimmick and it’s setting this title didn’t really offer me a whole lot. The game felt very sluggish and had some painful loading times, the narrative was paper thin and the visuals left alot to be desired, using 3D models instead of 2D sprites really didn’t do this title any favours at all.
The dungeons looked samey and uninspired and I didn’t really feel like I had a real grasp on the system of the game throughout playing. One aspect that really annoyed me was that there is a tutorial which I completed separately only to find out you play through it anyway at the start of the game which already started me off with a sour taste in my mouth.
If you are a fan of the first person dungeon crawler genre you may be able to get more than I did from this one but ultimately it just felt like a lot of wasted potential and something I wasn’t itching to get back to and solve it’s mysteries!.