Show Us Your Nindies – Don’t call it a throwback

This article was originally due to go live in June 2019!. While sorting through other files I came across and it decided to give it a little tidy and publish it. While not ideal unfortunately some games do slip through the cracks being a small team with limited time! I hope you enjoy this article and the games discussed – Andy

Mechstermination Force

Mechstermination Force is the latest title from the developers of the fantastic Gunman Clive series, once again they are tackling the 2D platformer shooter genre but who better to do so than this team?.

Mechstermination Force puts you in the milliatry boots of one of four characters before it thrust you into the war on Mechs. There is little bits of narrative in the hub area of the game and honestly more dialogue than I expected from this title but don’t expect War & Peace, it’s simple, it’s to the point and it certainly isn’t a title you are playing for deep lore!.

Visually Mechstermination Force is a fantastic looking game with a rather uninspired art style which is the main downfall of this title. It isn’t a terrible looking game and kind of hits it’s mark in a 90s Sci-Fi, action flick style. The backgrounds are throw away and the playable characters are as you’d expect from a game called Mechstermination Force, even the Mechs themselves are varied enough and the sheer size of them is enough to make them stand out. The only issue lies within the art style not really having it’s own identity, unlike the teams previous titles or other Boss Rush games available.

The gameplay is where this title truly hooks you if you weren’t already sold on the idea of 90s platform shooting against Giant Mechs, to put it simply the team behind this title has fused the old classic Contra with the scale and puzzle elements of Shadow Of The Collosus to create an insanely addictive boss rush game with tight controls, brilliant multiplayer and enough insentive to replay the bosses over and over again.

Yes this game has no “Levels” in a traditional sense, it skips you straight to the challenge of the boss from the get go. The bosses are all incredibly varied, large and hit like the giant trucks they are. Throughout the boss battle you’ll have to figure out how to expose the cores of the mech, then how to get close enough to give them a hefty melee whack, this is usually with comically oversized items such as guitars and other items you wouldn’t expect.

As you progess through the battles you earn coins which you can spend in the shop to gain access to new weaponry, extra health and other items in which to help you through the games 14 boss battles.

I know 14 boss battles doesn’t sound alot but you will be restarting them time and time again just to learn the patterns and solve the puzzles of just how to bring these Mechs down, every battle is unique and aims to keep you on your toes and fully engaged until the score screen drops on your victory.

There is also a simulation mode in the game which allows you to return to any boss fight previous, earn more coins and try and get all the gold starts for the fight by completing them in the most efficient time, with no damage taken. It’s a hefty task and one you’ll enjoy trying to finish with this games tight controls and addictive gameplay.

I can’t recommend this title enough, it’s got such a SNES vibe to it with more current graphics, it scratches any boss rush itch, very fairly priced and is an incredible time sink, be it just spending 10 minutes or so to try and figure out a boss or losing hours trying to get all those gold stars. Mechstermination Force is an asset to the genre, to the Nintendo Switch and to the developers ever-expanding legacy, you shouldn’t sleep on this title, especially if you are a fan of the genre or just fancy trying something new.

Giga Wrecker Alt

Giga Wrecker Alt is a new title from a little known team called Game Freak (yes the Pokemon people!), originally released on Steam a few years ago, Alt is an expanded version with several additions for the Nintendo Switch.

Giga Wrecker Alt is a physics based “Metroidvania” which combines platforming, puzzles, exploration and debris management.

Giga Wrecker Alt has an interesting anime based art style with a smattering of style usually seen in Vanillaware titles, on the surface it looks quite nice but the in game character models are quite stiff and unlike the comparison it doesn’t quite pull the effect off in a satisfactory way.

The market as of the last few years has an abundance of “Metroidvania” titles and Giga Wrecker Alt is another, it’s main hook is you use debris around the world to fight and solve puzzles. The combat is satisfying, you have to have a certain size of debris to destroy an enemy and you can add them to your ever growing ball of death. Alongside the combat the debris are also used for many physic based puzzles, if you struggle with these then this version of Giga Wrecker includes hints to help you get to where you are going.

The world is a confusing mess of similar looking areas with no distinct character to them, it’s this which really knocks the game for me, it feels like you’re exploring the same area for the entire game, I lost my compulsion to explore a few hours in because I didn’t feel really rewarded for doing so. The map also isn’t the most intuitive thing ever, especially when compared to its kin within the genre.

My final gripe with this game came from playing in Handheld mode. In order to show the whole area the game zooms out and it makes it very hard to see the character and any of the detailing, the bigger the area, the bigger the problem.

Giga Wreckers Alt is an interesting title if not flawed in several key areas. The story starts off interesting but dries out long before you get to where you are going, much like the gameplay experience. It’s not a bad game by any stretch it’s just difficult to recommend in the current market of the genre.

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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