Friday, May 17, 2019

Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, NSW) Launch Trailer

Team up or go it solo as you race to cross the finish line and get that checkered flag waved at you. Team Sonic Racing is due out May 21st--this Tuesday--and ahead of its release Sega has provided a launch trailer for the game. Will you race with Sonic and friends when the game launches?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit (NSW) Review

If you're like anyone in my family besides me, you probably didn't follow Nintendo Labo too much. Thus, you might have thought (or still do think) that Nintendo Labo has you paying 70 bucks for cardboard. That is fortunately not the case, and not even Nintendo could get away with that. No, Nintendo Labo is software and cardboard for 70 bucks, and my review of the third Toy-Con kit, the Vehicle Kit, explains why Labo surprised me so much.

Time to put the pedal to the metal--I mean--cardboard.

I don't know if it was originally a failure of me to communicate or Nintendo's own miscommunication, because when Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit was a tough sell for my family. Actually, Nintendo Labo ANYTHING was a tough sell. This was until I told everyone that it wasn't just cardboard in a box for $70 MSRP. There's an actual game inside as well, which is half of what makes the Vehicle Kit so exciting. Now, that the confusion was eliminated, the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit was now a member of the Stortzum family's Switch collection. After spending some extensive time building, discovering, and playing, I can say that I'm certainly glad that I finally got my family to dive into the Nintendo Labo ecosystem.

Part of the Nintendo Labo experience is building the cardboard creations you use to control the various activities within the game. Thankfully, this part is heavily intuitive and most importantly, engaging and fun. The interactive instructions allow you to go through them at your own pace, able to rewind and fast forward at your leisure. You can spin the camera around in any direction you like and zoom in so you can get a better look at how each section of cardboard fits together.

You start with multiple clearly marked and labeled sheets of cardboard. Each sheet has a label at its top right corner, denoting what Toy-Con--the objects you create with Nintendo Labo--the sheet's pieces and parts are used for. With the beginning of each set of instructions, the game notes what sheets are used and what perforated pieces need to be pushed out from the sheet. This way you aren't mixing up or losing pieces easily or pulling out parts that aren't necessary.

The step-by-step instructions are incredibly helpful in adequately explaining and showing all of the steps required to piece your parts of cardboard together into working Toy-Cons to play with. Since some of these Toy-Con projects can take upwards of two hours, you can thankfully quit out at any time during the instructions, and when you return to them, the game will remember where you left off--even if you were to start another lesson or enter another part of the Vehicle Kit's games.

The fully interactive instructions, like most of the Vehicle Kit package itself,
are filled to the brim with personality and charm.
The most important Toy-Con with the Vehicle Kit itself is the Toy-Con Key, which you place your Joy-Con into and thus place into your vehicle of choice to get it running. If the Key is the most important, then the runner-up in the category of importance is the Toy-Con Pedal, for which you use to apply the gas to each of the three Toy-Con vehicles in the game.

Of course, it's the activities and games in the Play section of Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03 that makes all of the enjoyable work of putting the actual Toy-Con together worthwhile. While it's a ball of fun to create these cardboard concoctions, it's even more fun to put them to the test and put them through their proverbial paces.

The Toy-Con Car has the most activities available to it, and it's really the star of the show. While you get plenty of mileage of the Submarine and Plane, these are limited to only the Adventure and Rally modes, which I'll talk about both in due time. Whereas the Car is used in almost every activity in some shape or form, save for the Slot-Car Derby, which while you control a car around a slot car course as you try to avoid flying off of curves by driving too fast, you're just using the Toy-Con Pedal to control it.

Get your motor running because you're born to be wild!
Other Toy-Con Car-related activities include the Circuit, which puts you directly in the driver's seat in a first-person view as you speed around the same tracks used in the Derby mode. Like the Derby, you can play with other human players or with the AI. Of course, they'll need their own Toy-Con as well. You can even import your own circuit tracks from the original Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit to race on in the both Derby and Circuit modes, making for an infinite number of tracks--though you'll probably grow bored of the mode first.

The most interesting and longest-lasting of modes within the Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit is Adventure mode. This sandbox-style mode has you exploring an environment consisting of numerous themed zones and asks you to complete various objectives, ten per zone. These objectives range from fulfilling the desires of an NPC character--such as transporting them from one destination to another, finding the flag in a given zone, discovering a secret area within a zone, building a snowman, rolling a giant golf ball into its hole by pushing your vehicle into it, and so forth. The variety here is splendid, and I found myself eager to keep playing and completing the objectives available to me in each zone, one by one.

In Adventure mode, you can find and help out all sorts of strange characters!
My favorite objectives were the more involved ones, which required me to switch between vehicles on the fly. One had me driving through the base of a building before coming across a channel of water that required me to enter into my Submarine to dive down the into depths. Eventually, I would return back to dry ground, having me change back to Car form, then arrive in front of a vertical passage, requiring the Plane.

Now, there are no objectives that require you to be quick to switch between the Car, Submarine, or Plane, which is great, as that would be a real pain in the rear. This is because you switch between vehicles by pulling out the Toy-Con Key containing the Switch Joy-Con inside and then physically placing it in another Toy-Con, specifically of the vehicle you wish to hop into. So, unless you have quick access to each Toy-Con and can pull out the Key and slam it into your desired Toy-Con vehicle of choice, it's probably a good thing no mission results in timing-based switching.

Target and fire at balloons and other objects as you soar through the skies in the Toy-Con Plane.
After you complete all ten objectives in a zone, you unlock two things: one is a present that modifies the behavior of your Toy-Con Car, while the other is a collection of five stars that are hidden around the completed zone. There are some really cool and worthwhile rewards for completing each zone and finding every star in Adventure mode, making for some nice motivation to play through it entirely. That said, the need to stop and refuel at the various gas stations sprinkled across the game world--one in each zone (and these reveal a map of the area and the list objectives to complete upon your first visit to a zone's gas station)--can be a bit annoying, especially when you're in the middle of taking on an objective only to realize you're almost out of fuel. Still, one of the 100% rewards in the game remedies this, but by the time you've unlocked it, you've already done the hard part of completing every objective while worrying about your fuel level in the process.

The final activity within the Play section of the Vehicle Kit is Rally mode. As you name suggests, it's a rally race, but instead of a closed course, you traverse around the Adventure mode map, driving through gates in order. This is all the while time ticks down. Each gate you successfully pass through gives you extra time to work with, and part of the fun of Rally mode is tracking down where the next gate is to pass through. Thankfully, arrows point the way on the map, but many times I saw myself having to memorize the path needed of me, as the arrows just pointed in the general direction of the gates instead of their exact locations. At the same token, it's a bit like orienteering with Rally mode, and it's a pleasure to play for the most part. There are ten courses to tackle, and some require multiple Toy-Con vehicles to switch between mid-course to complete. After finishing the initial ten, a hard mode unlocks with stricter limits imposed on you.

When you're not making and playing with the Toy-Cons in the Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit, you might be curious as to how the Toy-Con actually work and all of the ins and outs of the pieces involved. This is where the Discover section of the Vehicle Kit comes in, offering whimsical and entertaining explanations of what makes the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con tick, as well as explaining the various modes within the game--in addition to some lesser known secrets of these modes. I was amazed and astonished at how clever the inner workings of the Toy-Cons were, and how the Switch Joy-Cons used the IR cameras are used to make everything run smoothly.

Actually using each Toy-Con in the Vehicle Kit is an absolutely pleasure and feels like tactile and responsive. Whether I was turning the cardboard wheel to drive around my Car, flipping the levers to wipe away mud and water from my windshield, pulling the jump-cord to perform a boost-filled wheelie, turning the gears on the side of my Submarine Toy-Con's controls and hearing that satisfying click sound with each turn, or moving the surprisingly flexible, limber, and sturdy Toy-Con Plane flight stick to fly through the skies, everything controlled and felt great. It's amazing how fun these Toy-Con simply are to play with. Even the silly, little, cardboard Toy-Con Spray Can that you can use to customize the look of your vehicle that has you put a wooden gear inside the cardboard "can" to simulate the sound made when you shake it up just like a real spray can is so authentically done. Nintendo Labo really shines in this regard as well, despite everything being made of cardboard. (...Get it? Because cardboard doesn't shine?)

Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit is a brilliant kit and as of the time of this review, my favorite yet. For those of you who are a touch impatient and just want to dive right into the numerous activities the Vehicle Kit has to offer, you might find having to build everything to be pretty agonizing.. Still, the joy of starting with a sheet or two of cardboard and ending up with a working, functional, playable Toy-Con contraption is immense and tremendously rewarding. I saw myself having feelings of wonder that I hadn't really felt since I was a much younger gamer. If you're hesitant to buy this game because you feel you're paying for cardboard, just realize that you're getting a full fledged game as well. Though, some activities are simply greater than others, but at the same time, there's a limit to how much mileage these activities have to keep you entertained. If you are aware of that fact, then by all means, get in the driver's seat and get ready to ride--Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit-style!

[SPC Says: B+]

Friday, May 10, 2019

Katamari Damacy Reroll (NSW, PC) Review

What better way to spend one's time reviewing Katamari Damacy Reroll, an HD remaster of the original PlayStation 2 cult classic, than while listening to the sensational and superb Katamari Damacy soundtrack? That's rhetorical, because there is nothing! Let's roll together with the SuperPhillip Central review of Katamari Damacy Reroll on the Switch and on Steam!

I feel it! I feel the cosmos!

The original Katamari Damacy was such a breath of fresh air--if you'll pardon the immensely cliche line there--as it was unlike anything ever before seen in gaming. We're talking about a generation of consoles that bloomed with fresh, new gaming ideas and weird, eccentric titles every which way you looked!

Despite this, Katamari Damacy was a title many never expected to exit Japan because it was so... weird! However, the PS2 exclusive did just that, and it became a cult classic in the PS2's extensive library of games. Of course, with any success in the entertainment business, when one strikes gold with a property, they wish to milk as much of they can before they bleed it dry. Alas, that's what happened with Katamari Damacy.

Against the original creator's desires, Katamari Damacy saw sequel after sequel release, seldom shaking up the formula before fans of the franchise felt fatigue. Now, it's a new generation with new consoles, and finally, the Katamari Damacy series has reached a Nintendo console at long last with the original game in remastered glory with Katamari Damacy Reroll. It's like reuniting with an old friend after so long--if you'll pardon that immensely cliche line as well! The point is--it's a wonderful feeling to replay Katamari Damacy after oh, so long!

Mm... I guess The Prince's Katamari has a bit of a sweet tooth!
The King of All Cosmos seems to have gone on a bit of a bender, and in his enthusiasm, he utterly destroyed every star and constellation in the galaxy. Using the power of the Katamari, the King tasks The Prince with rolling up anything and everything he possibly can to restore the beauty and majesty of the galaxy. Much like the premise of Katamari Damacy, the story is pure ridiculous fun and doesn't bother at all to take itself seriously. And much like crossing the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat, the story is quite the trip. As fans of the original PlayStation 2 game like myself can tell you: we wouldn't have it any other way.

Complementing the absolute absurdity of Katamari Damacy's story is the craziness that comes from its gameplay. In the opening level of the game, our princely protagonist is assigned to one room to roll things up in, and while this might sound unimpressive, he's the size of a thumbtack, only able to roll up objects of that size. By the final levels of Katamari Damacy Reroll, you're helping The Prince roll up entire houses, neighborhoods, cities, and landmasses. Heck, even the poignant majesty of a gigantic rainbow is no match for The Prince's Katamari! Just seeing the scope from the beginning of Reroll compared to what you can at the game's conclusion is astounding.

Yes, that'll teach you to go swimming without waiting 30 minutes after eating!
Of course, before you can roll up mountains and massive skyscrapers, you start off rolling up the aforementioned thumbtacks and doodads of similar size. Each level sees The Prince's Katamari ball growing in size as more and more objects are rolled up. The catch here is that you can't just roll up things all willy-nilly. No, your Katamari can only roll up things it's bigger or as big as. As your Katamari grows from picking up smaller items, you get access to new items available to roll up, and in later levels, new sections and areas to explore that were once blocked off.

Katamari Damacy Reroll also doesn't give you free reign to roll whatever you please, wherever you please, for as long as you please--well, unless you're playing in one of the unlockable Eternal levels, but let's not muddy the waters here! All levels have a time limit to them, with the goal of achieving the level's objective before time runs out. It's not that stressful, though, as the time limits are quite lenient.

Go from rolling around in neighborhoods...
Levels have different objectives, but the primary one that is seen most throughout Reroll is that of reaching a required size with The Prince's Katamari before time runs out. For score enthusiasts, they'll want to get as big of a Katamari as possible in these levels before time depletes fully. Other levels have you needing to roll up as much a particular item as you can, or levels where you are instructed to roll up one specific item--and only one--and try to roll up the biggest one possible. These levels are by far the most frustrating if you're going for a high score... er, rather... size, because it's all too easy to mistakenly roll up a smaller item and then have to sit through all the menus afterwards just to get another chance to play the level again. rolling UP those neighborhoods... and more! 
Katamari Damacy Reroll is essentially taking Katamari Damacy and sprucing it up in delightful and pleasant-to-the-eyes HD. There's not too much added otherwise, though Nintendo Switch players can opt to use motion controls for moving around their Katamari. Though, this would put them at a handicap, because the motion controls aren't the most accurate or enjoyable to use.

While you get updated visuals with the original Katamari Damcy, everything else is pretty much left untouched. You get the good--the zany story and premise, the excellent and eclectic music, and the simple yet accessible gameplay (players are given a helpful interactive tutorial to start off with to learn how to control the game)--but you also get the bad. This includes the cumbersome and oftentimes clunky camera and some slight physics issues. Mind, these don't make the greatness that is Katamari Damacy Reroll worse than its PS2 original; it just makes it the same game only with touched up visuals, which is a tad disappointing. By no means a deal-breaker, however. You'll just have to roll with the punches, and after you're done doing that, you then use your Katamari to roll UP those punches as well!

[SPC Says: B]

Friday, May 3, 2019

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4) Review

For the past year I've played Dissidia Final Fantasy NT off and on, each time finding myself disgusted enough to stop playing for a long while. Maybe I'm a masochist or something. Well, at least you can't say I didn't give Dissidia Final Fantasy NT a fair shake! Here's my in-depth review.

Dissin' Dissidia

Let's get this out of the way immediately--if you're expecting a similar experience to the PSP Dissidia games--complete with 1-v-1 battles, a comprehensive story mode complete with world map and leveling systems, you'll find yourself greatly disappointed with the Dissidia series's debut on a home console with Square Enix and Team Ninja's Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Even if you're just expecting a competent fighter, you'll still find yourself disappointed with what NT has to offer.

Gone are the one-on-one battles the Dissidia series was known for in the PSP entries, and in their stead are 3-on-3 matches that start to bring forth just how chaotic the battles in the latest Dissidia are. Between dealing with a finicky lock-on system, trying to decipher all of the intrusive UI elements that litter the screen, and learning the complex gameplay mechanics involved in NT, you can quickly feel like you're attempting to pat your head while rubbing your tummy, all the while trying to evade fireballs and sword slashes from every angle while doing so.

Fight as your favorite Final Fantasy heroes...
There's just way too much going on, and such a huge learning curve to overcome. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is not a pick up and play game. It's a pick up and get destroyed game if you're just getting into it, so it's definitely not beginner-friendly. Even still, once you've become accustomed to the messy lock-on system, the sidestepping, the wall running, the aerial acrobatics, and trying to keep your wits about you when you're attempting to make heads or tails of three possible attackers, you're still dealing with a broken camera system and a game that focuses more on flashy special effects and chaos than fun.

...As well as your favorite Final Fantasy villains.
What hasn't changed with Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is the standard mechanic used to deal damage. There are two types of attacks in Dissidia, Bravery attacks and HP attacks. The former are performed with the Circle button while the latter are initiated with the Square button. Bravery attacks boost your own Bravery gauge number as you lower your opponent's Bravery at the same time. If your opponent reaches zero Bravery from one of your attacks, their Bravery enters a Broken state, where you amass even more Bravery. Whatever your Bravery number is at is what HP damage you cause upon a successfully landing HP attack.

Breaking an opponent's Bravery will net you lots of your own Bravery for a potentially powerful HP attack.
Once your land an HP attack on your opponent, their HP decreases, and if you deliver more damage than they have available in their HP gauge, your opponent is temporarily incapacitated. Meanwhile, your Bravery returns to an amount of 1,000 to keep things fair and balanced. Which ever team incapacitates three players on the other team (and they can be the same player or a combination of any three), they're deemed victorious in the battle. As an aside, there is also a second battle mode that sees players trying to destroy the other team's core before their own is decimated.

The UI in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is an unrefined, cluttered mess.
As mentioned earlier, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT does not feature a comprehensive story mode for its main campaign. Instead, you're given a map that contains various nodes that feature either story cutscenes or battles to them. The rub here is that these must be unlocked via special memento currency just to continue through the game's story. Obviously, the developers realized that if they left the story's progression completely open, players would find themselves completing things quite quickly. What better way to artificially lengthen the game and its story than locking players out of content until they play more of the other modes in Dissidia Final Fantasy NT?

The actual cutscenes within Dissidia Final Fantasy NT are beautiful displays of the impressive tech behind the game, but most are simply pointless to the overall story. The actual story is an overall mess of boring dialog with an unintelligible plot. But again, at least it's pretty to look at!

Final Fantasy X's Tidus makes some cunning sword contact with Final Fantasy II's Firion.
When you're not grinding to unlock mementos to make progress in the story mode, you're grinding for currency to purchase shop goods such as character costumes, weapons, and music. When you're not doing that, you can earn loot box-style treasure chests that randomly unlock items that you'd otherwise purchase in the game's shop. Said "loot box" treasures aren't purchased with real-world money, but instead unlocked throughout your gaming sessions with NT. While you might think that the process to unlock treasures comes quickly with all that you receive within the first five or so hours with the game, this is merely a ruse. It becomes a slow, agonizing grind to unlock new treasures soon after your initial few hours with the game.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT features a fully fledged multiplayer mode, though this is only available for online play and nothing local whatsoever. Online pits players together and against one another not by their player level but by their character level, which can result in some lopsided matches. Furthermore, that's even if you're paired with human allies or opponents. You can find yourself sitting idly in the online multiplayer waiting room for up to five minutes only to discover that you're playing an uneven match where you get the privilege of playing against three human opponents while you get two clumsy AI partners. While the addition of the free version of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT has remedied this a little, the community for the game just isn't there. That isn't even talking about the lag that is a feature in many matches for when you do battle against fellow humans.

The visuals like these screen-hogging special effects do nothing more than
make an already confusing battle even more bewildering.
One strong point of this otherwise mediocre fan service fighter is the amount of love and care taken to represent each mainline installment of the Final Fantasy series, as well as Tactics and Type-0. Over 30 fighters, both in the hero and villain categories, are featured fighters in the game, and there is at least one stage representing a famous area in each Final Fantasy game featured. That is whether it's the original Final Fantasy's Corneria, Final Fantasy VII's Midgar, or Final Fantasy Tactics' Orbonne Monastery.

Furthermore, the collection of original and remixed music from the famous scores and soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series is off the charts in how amazing it is. From hearing a rearranged version of FF1's Matoya's Cave up to hearing the modern chorus booming in Final Fantasy XV's Apocalypsis Noctis in either remixed or the original game version form, the music is sensational, and you can even build your own playlist of songs by character.

Still, no matter how much love was put into the fan service for Final Fantasy fans, it doesn't mean a thing when Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is such a poor, confusing, chaotic mess of a fighting game. There's simply too much happening on screen at once, too many characters to keep track of, and too much frustration to be found in this fighter. I tried to keep an open mind with Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, continually coming back to it over the course of a year, but each and every time I ended up aggravated by not just the gameplay systems involved, but at the spoiled potential in this game. Even at its current budget price point, the latest Dissidia is a dud.

[SPC Says: D+]

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Aggelos (NSW, PC) Review

Recently released on the Nintendo Switch, Aggelos is a Metroidvania with a retro feel, but a modern take on the sub-genre. SuperPhillip Central delves into this delightful title with its full review. 

Retro meets modern in one magnificent Metroidvania

Aggelos is one part Wonder Boy and one part Castlevania, creating a satisfying combination and a game worthy of purchase and download. You venture across side-scrolling maps in an interconnected Metroidvania world, hacking and slashing enemies, performing great feats of platforming prowess, and exploring areas like caves, forests, mountains, cliff sides, and even the sunken depths.

The game's story puts you in the role of an unnamed hero, and with only an iron dagger and armor, you're tasked with collected four essences around an in-peril kingdom in order to combat the rise of a nefarious villain. The story is rather basic, but it serves its job well, and ends on a nice twist in its 5-6 hour length.

Aggelos bestows a sense of old school, retro charm to it, from its simple graphics to its chiptune soundtrack. However, Aggelos manages to blend in modern, contemporary sensibilities to it as well, such as an unlockable fast travel system that can quickly get you across the game's expansive map by transporting you to any past save point you've already been to.

Aggelos brings with it an experience and currency system that is also contemporary. Grinding might have been something the games Aggelos is clearly inspired by would force upon the player, but Aggelos awards experience for leveling up and currency to purchase new items like weapons and armor (some at gasp-worthy prices) in spades. There were only a few occasions in Aggelos that I felt I needed to kill some extra enemies to earn enough coins to purchase a special item, but even then, I was only spending a few minutes to do so, as enemies sure aren't stingy in handing coins out.

Our hero shows this monster flower some true power, enough to nip it in its bud.
Another contemporary aspect to Aggelos is how every puzzle and secret in the game has zero obtuse qualities to them. That is to say that you won't be needing a guide to find everything in the game nor to solve every puzzle. NPCs gladly deliver the information needed to solve the most cryptic of puzzles--some of which require you to use more common sense than others to solve and/or find.

Despite Aggelos' aforementioned 5-6 hour length (it took me just under six to 100% complete the game), there is so much content and variety to be found. There are hidden treasures housing health and magic upgrades, optional equipment to acquire (that will make this difficult adventure all the more reasonable), minor fetch quests and trading sequences with NPCs, and yes, dungeons housed with keys to unlock doors, puzzles to solve, and bosses to beat down for one of those prized essences I was talking about earlier.

Our hero acquires various rings in these dungeons that earn him new abilities and powers, which these in turn make completing the dungeons and venturing to new locations in Aggelos' world possible. From summoning a bubble shield that not only slows your descent in midair but also serves to decrease damage from received attacks, to an air or ground dash that allows our hero to speed past foes and reach new heights, the abilities in Aggelos serve our hero well and open up lots of possibilities to his move set. Scrolls, too, offer new attacks and abilities, such as a downward sword thrust and a rising sword attack that gives our hero extra height.

The downward thrust is one of four learned moves from scrolls our hero can acquire.
However, while Aggelos brings much modernness to the old school games it's clearly inspired from, there are still some unwanted old school parts here and there that muddy the waters a little bit, hurting the overall experience a tad. For one, dungeons completely lack save points. These have a dual use in of course allowing you to save your game and also to restore your health completely. The dungeons in Aggelos can be lengthy affairs, and I often had to exit these prematurely just to save my data, on the off chance that I might perish mid-dungeon and have to redo tons of progress.

That leads me to the next unwanted old school part--the extreme jump in difficulty in Aggelos. By around the third dungeon, the overall challenge in Aggelos ramps up considerably with enemies taking off massive damage to our hero, and boss encounters featuring near-bullet hell-like conditions. This is compounded by only being able to hold one health-restoring potion and one herb (which partially heals your health upon what would otherwise be a lethal blow) at a time. Enemies themselves are awfully frugal with their desire to drop hearts upon defeating them, though your health does get restored upon hitting new experience levels. The latter, though, isn't routine enough to depend on.

The boss battles are enjoyable, but they're not for the weak of will nor faint of heart!
Aggelos is a fitting game for the Switch, with its more than suitable and cozy feel in handheld play, but I found myself overly enjoying playing the game on my television, able to utilize either the Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller for those sections of Aggelos that require more finger-fu than usual. Plus, it's just a vibrant and colorful game to look at on the big screen, but it's also a looker in handheld form as well--don't get me wrong. I only encountered one sound glitch within the game, and this happened routinely in the sky area of the game. Pausing and then later un-pausing the game would shut off the music completely for the area until I reached a different area, in which the music would return to normal. Other than that, some typos here and there--one notable one in the final part of the story before the credits--lowered my opinion on the presentation. Otherwise, Aggelos delighted.

Overall, Aggelos was a game that once I picked up, I couldn't stop playing until I reached its end. I was enamored so much by its simple gameplay and enchanting world that I beat it within 24 hours of downloading. Part of that's the brevity of the game, but the main factor was just how enjoyable Aggelos was to play. Sure, it can get mighty difficult, perhaps frustratingly so, in its final half, but all in all, Aggelos pours on old school charm and challenge with contemporary gameplay hooks and quality-of-life features. It's an excellent Metroidvania in the purest sense, and more than worthy to add to your digital collection.

[SPC Says: B+]

A review code was provided for this game.