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Monday, August 25, 2014

Super Time Force Ultra PC Review - 8/10

So I will admit that I am not the target audience for this game. I am not a person who enjoys puzzles nor timed games in the slightest. I was always that person who never played a game for a specific, weird and somewhat trivial reason. I don't play any of the retro Sonic games because I would never want to go to one of the water levels. When it comes to puzzle games, I'm the first person to go onto a gaming site just to get the solution rather than use my brain to figure things out. While I do enjoy the Professor Layton games, there's always one of those puzzles where I waste all of my coins on a simple thing that I slap myself for not realizing it sooner. In other words, I'm not a patient man. When I heard about this game, the premise wasn't bad. I liked it but then just groaned heavily at the thought of a timed game, and sixty seconds at that to clear an entire level. Though I must say this game isn't terrible. Worth the fourteen bucks?

The Good:
I say this a lot but I love minimalistic graphics. Pixelated, cell shaded. It helps my computer run smoothly and the game's visuals will age well later on. If you've played Risk of Rain, think of that but with a lot more color and closer up.
I'm kind of sorry I skipped through all the dialogue at the beginning because this game is actually pretty funny. Some games are so bland they rival the flavor of stale bread while others just can't contain how little the story matters through a barrage of jokes. Lets just say I'd rather have the second to the first and this game is somewhere in between. Its a ridiculous premise right off the bat and it doesn't care.
Some games have never really mastered firing in all directions, which makes them more of a pain than they should be. Not this game. You can fire in eight different directions which comes in handy with one of the characters who can shoot through objects. This makes the game flow more freely and gives you the ability to get past a pesky enemy who the other heroes can't as easily.
Like in Bro Force, you have a few characters to chose from and unlock them throughout the game, each with their own specialty and strengths. You start off with three: a chain gun hero who's charge attack can fire in three directions like the Spreader Gun from Contra, a woman who's gun can shoot through walls when charged up, and a guy who can bash people with his shield and who's charge attack creates a force field for a time. Each character plays differently in their own way but are all easy to handle.
The time aspect is annoying but what I do like is the approach to it. There is a sixty second timer for you to get through the level with a few time lengthen pick ups on the way. Dying is not much of a problem since once you do, you can rewind time back like in Prince of Persia. Only this time, you leave behind an after effect for the last hero. Should you save that hero from death, you get an extra hit before you die. Not only that, but you also get all the shots the hero fired which comes in handy a lot. I had some trouble with a boss and died a bunch of times because time ran out. The after effect really came in handy for me to at least get a bit more time to keep going since all the past characters were firing and doing damage to the boss. So instead of a boss I couldn't beat, therefore forcing me to go back to the beginning, I stacked up a bunch of heroes and found my own way.

The Meh:
I cannot stress how much I dislike timed activities. Its part of the reason I never used the safari in the Pokemon games because I could never catch what I wanted before time ran out. Nevertheless, this isn't a bad mechanic. Its in a way that I don't like it but I can't exactly fault it either. What it comes down to is a mechanic that can be mastered, like fighting in Dark Souls or even getting better at a FPS. I can't exactly fault it because I know that people can use it to their advantage and find alternative routes. What would have made it bad is if the mechanic for it or the mechanic itself was somewhat broken or unappealing. Basically, it works so I can't fault it for that.

So, all in all, not a bad game. Was it worth the 14 bucks? Maybe. Personally, its not a game I feel I need to play again if only for the somewhat frustrating parts, but in the end I'm not going to Steam's website trying to get a refund (yes I have tried that for another game before and it didn't work). Its one of those titles that I may download again considering the low amount of space it takes up on my computer. If this sounds like your kind of game, then have fun. There's a special deal on Steam right now where its 10% off till September 1st.

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