Saturday, August 26, 2017

Flip Wars (NS) Review

Friday wasn't the end of content on SuperPhillip Central this week. Instead, I have two reviews planned for today before the new week hits. SuperPhillip Central has a Flip Wars review for the Nintendo Switch first, and then I'll be taking a look at Sonic Mania later this evening. For now, let's check out SPC's Flip Wars review!

A game you'll flip for and flip out at.


Outside of the brilliant Snipperclips, we haven't seen many other Nintendo-developed or published games exclusively for the Nintendo Switch eShop. A new entrant has arrived, hoping to bring even more multiplayer fun, but this time in local play as well as online play. However, a lack of content really harms Flip Wars' shelf life, something that might feel like the game's flipping its figurative finger to players everywhere.

Flip Wars' main gameplay mechanic is easily described. You face up to three other color-coded combatants to ground pound tiles, flipping adjacent tiles over in either a cross or in a diagonal fashion when performed. In doing so, you can also knock out other players temporarily from the battlefield if they're in the path of the tiles you're flipping over.

Unlike real war, having the battlefield all red like this in Flip Wars isn't a bad thing.
That's the basic gist of Flip Wars, but lots of strategy is involved to keep things interesting. In flipping over tiles, the ones that are your color allow you to move more quickly across them, while likewise, moving across an enemy's tile slows your movement down. Items can offset this like an upgrade that speeds up your mobility in general, and you can also extend your ground pound tile-flipping reach with a red panel pickup. Items are discovered by flipping panels, and they're take away from any player that is ejected from the battlefield, now strewn about for the other players to nab.

Flip Wars' gameplay premise is as simple as its controls. You can move freely around each stage instead of being stuck to a grid. When jumping while playing smarter opponents, you can be taken out easily because they'll see you jump, and when you land, they'll have a nice ground pound of their own to welcome you back to the ground with. However, you're not a sitting (or in this case, jumping) duck in the air. When above ground, you can move the control stick in a direction to make a last second course direction, dropping you on an adjacent panel. This is perfect for evading opponents' counter attacks, but it's also good to get the drop on unsuspecting combatants, too. In addition to those combat offerings, you can also cancel a jump in midair and initiate a rapid escape before it's too late.

Furthermore, gimmicks on stages are available, such as a giant wave rushing under the battlefield, stunning anyone whose feet are grounded while the stage undulates. There is also a laser on some stages that perpetually and gradually turns clockwise in the center of the stage. Ground pounding next to it will produce a three tile-wide laser beam in your color that will eviscerate opponents in its path.

Both the players and the stage itself are making some serious waves here.
Three main play modes are included in Flip Wars. The first is Panel Battle, which is at center stage of the package. You and your opponents have a timer, and whoever flips the most panels in their color is the overall winner. Of course, the fun and enjoyment comes from last second victories, where one player can go on a tear, rapidly flipping over other players' panels to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Then, there is Knock Out, where party-style Super Smash Bros. rules are in place. The goal here is to eliminate as many opponents as possible within a time limit. This is all performed by flipping over panels while your opponents stand on them. It's more worrying about how many K.O.s you're getting rather than how many times you, yourself, have been knocked out--though the latter determines who wins in case of a K.O. tie.

It's a K.O. fest in the particularly cramped quarters of this stage.
To round out the mode package, we have Life Battle. This is similar to Knock Out, but this time, it's elimination-style, baby! Each player has a set amount of lives, and whoever survives last or has the most lives remaining by the end of the round wins. If there is a tie in the life tally, then panels colored gets factored in to see who wins overall.

The multiplayer in Flip Wars is great entertainment that anyone can pick up a controller and easily enjoy. If you have local buds to play the game with, even if they're hardly skilled at games at all, all of you can have a fantastic and fun evening together (or whatever part of the day you prefer). Online is a different story. While playing one-on-one isn't awful at all in the lag department, when it comes to multiple players, the games require stable connections from all four players to run smoothly. I will tell you--they ordinarily don't run smoothly at all. It was at one point in a round that there was so much lag that a four-player online match became pretty much unplayable.

It was exciting to play online with a full room at first... but then reality and severe lag set in.
That doesn't go into the biggest issue with Flip Wars--the lack of content. With only three stage themes and four different designs in each, no single player mode to enjoy, three modes of play, and little variety in the gameplay, Flip Wars doesn't contain much longevity at all. It's a game where I can see myself coming back to for multiplayer gatherings, but they'll end shortly once everybody has seen all it has to offer content-wise.

Flip Wars didn't have the lasting appeal that I was expecting going into the game. One feature on the main menu is still locked out, simply reading "Coming Soon". Even still, if that begins the deluge of upcoming content for Flip Wars, that's fine. However, more content should have already been placed in the game from the beginning, because now I can only recommend Flip Wars if you have multiple opportunities to bring your Switch out with friends and enjoy rounds routinely. For everyone else, wait for a price drop.

[SPC Says: C+]

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