Developer: Distractionware

Publisher: Nicalis

System: Nintendo 3DS eShop Download service

Genre: Platformer

In a long line of old-school looking eShop games comes another attempt in retro gaming for a new generation of gamers to play. VVVVVV stars Captain Viridian as he tries to save his lost spaceship crew members. Each member of the crew has a first name that starts with V, thus the VVVVVV title. Six crew members, six VVVVVV. Strap in, it’s gonna be a fun ride.

VVVVVV seems to pay homage to classic gaming in ways that bring back memories. Such ways are the music and sound effects as well as the level design. As every one knows who reads my reviews, I’m a sucker when it comes to great video game music. VVVVVV is no different. If it isn’t the start theme, it’s the theme when you find a lost crew member. The music is very catchy and gives the game that certain something that can give gamers a reason to overlook other things in the game. That might be the level of difficulty or level design. For me the music helped me overlook the level of difficulty but I will hit on that in a little bit.

Being able to flip your surroundings. That is the main concept of VVVVVV. You can walk on the ground or flip onto the ceiling and get through each part of the map that way. The controls aren’t as tight as I would like a game where each step you take has to be precise and one wrong step has you falling into the spikes and as every NES veteran knows, spikes=instant death. It’s very easy to die over and over again in this game and it seems to be something the designers took into account. They put checkpoints on practically every screen and when the player dies( trust me, it will happen) you will start from the last checkpoint you passed by. At times, your footing isn’t the surest and the Captain slides. Other times the game has you taking blind jumps on and off the screen, which can become a major problem when you jump from flat areas to spiky areas. I would just like the controls to be tighter if an updated version is created in the future.

Difficulty level. This could be one of the things that scares players away from a game that shouldn’t be overlooked.VVVVVV is one of those games. The game is designed to be very difficult at times and it shows by the placement of the checkpoints at practically every turn. In this day and age, games seem to be getting easier and easier. Games like VVVVVV show that creativity isn’t dying but in this example, the game might be just a little too much for players at times. I understand that the game doesn’t punish you for dying and gives you ample chances to try a puzzle again and again. The game has you jump right into the tough situations. Level of difficulty is just another way VVVVVV pays homage to the classic games of the good old days.

Like with every game, there are good points as well as bad points. VVVVVV is no different. The game shines in the music department but it doesn’t shine in control “tightness” as well as some of the level design. Part of one level has you directing one of the crew members around the area but every time the crew member dies, you get sent back to the last checkpoint. The game is tough enough getting one crew member around the area, let alone two. A welcome change would be when you have to direct one of the crew members around, if he dies, he should just come back from off screen to where you are. Combine that with loose controls and you could have major problems on your hands while you try to play a good, tough game. For the reasons I mentioned, I’m giving VVVVVV for the 3DS eShop download service an 8.0/10, a good, tough game that is a little too tough at times, by design.

My Conclusion

VVVVVV for the 3DS eShop service is a good game that pays homage to the good old days of retro gaming. Captain Viridian is on a quest to find his lost crew members by flipping on and off the ceiling. Each jump needs to be spot on but that is easier said than done. It would be easier if the controls were tighter but with great music, it makes it easier to replay a level again and again. VVVVVV is tough by design and that’s good to see, games getting back to being tough,but at times the game is too tough. A good game but a little pricey, eShop points wise.


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