Gigantic Army is a throwback to 16 bit side scrolling mech games such as Metal Warriors & Cybernator. Is it more than just a homage or is it not big enough to fill those metal boots?.
Developed by PixelHeart and ASTRO PORT who are famous for producing new Dreamcast games and recently released Shmup Collection which we reviewed here. This time they want to tackle the side scrolling mech genre. While not a massive genre, chances are you’ll see a screenshot and you’ll think back to titles from the past you may have played such as the ones mentioned above.
Gigantic Army features a rather slick looking 16 bit art style, we are talking SNES/Mega Drive style. If you have played any of the titles in the Shmup collection, you’ll be right at home with the visual style, it looks nice but a little bit too “Smooth”. This may sound like an odd complaint but it was prevalent in all the titles within Shmup Collection including the most similar in Armed Seven DX.
Enemy designs are the usual force of “mini mechs”, tanks, aerial units, you get the general idea here, it fits the theme but isn’t the most diverse. As with most games of this style the focal points are the bosses and Gigantic Army does not disappoint. The bosses are huge and often require a little pattern watching and figuring out just where the weak spot is. Well designed and a joy to fight, stressful but a joy, just how they should be!.
Gigantic Army features six levels of side scrolling, tank wrecking, gun shooting and beautifully loud explosions. Before you start you get to pick your arsenal, this will dramatically change how you play if you choose to focus on melee rather than ranged. You’re then dropped into the game & given the task of making it across the level, blocking stuff with your shield and leaving a mess until you get to the boss.
Now i’ve mentioned Gigantic Army is a homage to the 16 bit titles of ye olde and this not only applies to how the game plays but also the length of the game. As mentioned this has 6 stages and will last about half an hour, the key here is replaying it to get better high scores, less deaths, different loadouts, rather than following a 40 hour plus sprawling campaign. While not for everyone, the developers specialize in these kind of arcade experiences in which console gaming was born. If you’re a fan of the “Simpler” times this shouldn’t be a problem.
I love the games these developers produce, they were the style I grew up with. While it may be a little more “arcade” than titles mentioned it’s great to see another title in the genre and have another arcade experience on the Nintendo Switch at such a reasonable price point.
While not quite as Gigantic as the name implies, addictive gameplay and arcade save the day here.
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