Dezatopia (Nintendo Switch)

Dezatopia is one of the newer titles aiming to take a slice of the ever growing in popularity, Bullet Hell/Shmup pie. Does it have enough going on to make it worth a look? Read on to find out. 

Dezatopia is a bullet hell with a twist, developed by HEY (famous for this and Mecha Ritz) and published by Hanaji Games. Naturally when you think shmup, you think narrativeā€¦.am I right?. Either way Dezatopia has a tale to tell, not only in the intro but also in boss intros and the games ending. It’s a tale of 2 schoolgirls accidentally discover a race of monsters below the ground, they then decide to combine worlds by building a tower. Naturally this goes wrong with the monsters planning to take over so the girls don a rather impressive space ship and do what shmup games do best, fight through hundreds of enemies while dodging bullets.

There is plenty of lore to unlock and sift through should that be your bag, personally I just wanted to shoot and dodge, the story didn’t impact on that at all so it’s a nice bonus!.

On the Audio/visual side of things Dezatopia is loud, chaotic and excellent on both aspects. The soundtrack is relentless but fits with both the theme and the genre of the game. Visuals Dezatopia fits comfortably in between high end 16bit shooter and Cartoon Network fever dream with its unique and eye grabbing art direction!. 

Dezatopia will happily bombard your screen with all kinds of enemies, bullets and environmental hazards for you to navigate and I’m pleased to say outside of 1 or 2 areas where ALOT was going on, I felt no slowdown or performance issues, this is no SNES Gradius!. 

Dezatopia offers players a fantastic tutorial upon load up, this allows you to get used to the shooting system in this game. Rather than just firing in front of you, Dezatopia has a 4 way shot system, front, back, up and down. 

Triggering an attack releases a strong attack followed by a standard auto fire doing less damage, your ship also decreases in speed when one is active, you can have them all active should you require but you’ll move like a crippled brick!. 

Kill enemies at a close range and you can save animals, save enough of these and you spawn a shop, not only does this produce a few frames of invincibility but also allows you to upgrade your weapons, buy bombs or replenish your health!.

There are several routes you can take throughout Dezatopia, when you reach the end of them you get the Tower levels, usually these require something to activate, get there within X amount of time, Score X much, you get the idea. The game has 24 stages divided by 21 routes and 21 bosses, as with the genre the bosses are a highlight and Dezatopia manages to tread a line between bullet sponge and puzzle.

There are difficulty options to help out newcomers but can also be cranked up to insane levels of difficulty for the hardcore 1cc lot. 

All in all the beautiful stylistic chaos of Dezatopia is hard to not appreciate. The only duff issues with the game is that the tutorial dragged on a little too much and the water hazards just play havoc with your controls which isn’t ideal for the genre. Those are the two issues that stuck out and that should speak to you about the quality of the game. 

Dezatopia does everything it needs to in regards to cementing itself into the genre, it’s fun, addictive, vivid and robust enough to suggest to any shmup fan. If you’re not familiar with the genre it may bit a slightly harder sale but if you are looking to dip your toes, Dezatopia is a fine pool of shmup to dive headfirst into. 

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Nameless Andi

Pride of utopia & greatest thing ever, I found the One Piece, Collected the Dragon Balls & won the Mortal Kombat Tournament in one night, it was quiet for me that night!

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