Flat-Heroes-Switch-review Flat Heroes Switch review

   30/08/2018 at 12:03       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - Nintendo Switch, Reaction, Arcade

Review by Alex Vaughn.

 

Have you played N? You’re a black, sprinting, jumping, wall jumping, nameless ninja who has a taste for gold and is, for some reason, trapped in an endless cycle of death. Each level providing the chance for more gold but attempts more and more aggressively to murder you instead. 

It is Awesome. It has been iterated on for decades, including the ridiculously fully featured Switch release of N++. Buy N++. It’s a platforming, somersaulting dream. It’s huge. You can fill a minute worth of spare time and achieve something. It never, ever, kills you unfairly. It’s always your fault for just not being good enough. There is no trial and error, you are immediately aware of your surroundings,  what is attempting to obliterate you and where the exit is. 

Flat Heroes takes this idea…and…well. It tries hard, which counts, right? It really does try though. The levels are bright, vibrant and colourful opposed to N’s grey, black and gold. The music pumps. You get a shield of sorts to fight back against the murder bots. The murder bots have interesting and innovative patterns and styles which really get you thinking, the holy grail of games I might add, “holy shit that’s cool”. But. The problem is. You’re not cool. You’re not a super cool ninja-person. You’re a cube. A rectangle really. Who is just not as manoeuvrable or fun or as invigorating as N’s nameless hero. N relies on your imagination in writing the story. “Who are you?” “Why are you here?” “What am I going to spend this shit-tonne of gold on?”. The developers give you this insightful tidbit: “You are a ninja with a lifespan of 1.5 minutes, obsessed with gold” and other insane garbage which does nothing but give you *some* sense of life in an otherwise senseless world. And unlike Thomas, there’s little personality or motivation you can begin to put on it. It’s a lump of game mechanics. It’s not as manoeuvrable or fun or as invigorating as N’s nameless hero. It’s…flat.

Despite all this I would rate Flat Heroes fairly highly if it didn’t commit that cardinal sin which N handles effortlessly. Because the camera is zoomed in so tightly, you can often not see the entire level in one go. In one flash of inspiration. The developer uses this to trap and trick the player. It ensures that, on some levels, trial and error is a must. Which results in a game which becomes annoying. You can’t plan ahead and ride through on skill alone. You have to bump into the developers tricks and head butt them until all you are doing is learning a pattern. It’s fine. It’s good even. It’s just no N.

N++ is a 5/5. Go buy it. 

Flat Heroes is scraping 3/5. It’s fine. Buy it to support a fledging dev. If you have scraped the N barrel and want something fresh but not as good and a bit irritating. It’s your cash. Do what you want. 

I’ll be over here, leaping over that missile, sliding under that mine, wall jumping past the spikes and flinging myself through the air grabbing gold and doing it in style. I’m a ninja. And I’m fuckin’ cool.

Stars
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