Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity – Preview
Follow Genre: Puzzle-Platformer
Developer: 3S Design
Publisher: 3S Design
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity – Preview

Good: Challenging and somewhat innovative with a retro feel to it
Bad: Some deaths and fighting enemies can feel really unfair
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Ladies and gentlemen, it seems we hit somewhat of a dead point in gaming. With VR being the latest technology but lacking the finesse and technology to be comfortable for everybody, genres of gaming are being repeated again and again. Everybody and their mother can be an indie developer (not to be demeaning, it still takes a whole lot of work and skill), and people use the influences of their childhood or successful modern recipes to create their own work. This creates an oversaturation on the mobile market where there is money to be made with microtransactions, and games that often feel like a copy from the past. That being said, sometimes there are developers who know how to take classic recipes and put in enough effort to make a game their own product. Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity feels like one of those games.

The Wira & Taksa characters and the world surrounding them have something adorable. The introductory cutscene feels a bit like a children’s TV program, but with a faster pace. Wira & Taksa are inhabitants of the very first planet of the universe, which was created by the explosion (like the Big Bang though it’s not named that in the game) that created all life. Something is wrong though, and they find their master flipping gravity by jumping to the ceiling and back. On top of that, he’s acting all ominous out of nowhere with a suspicious glow around him. In short, something weird is happening and Wira & Taksa are tasked with saving the world.

Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity has been in Early Access for a while now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not pretty much finished. The cute environments are pretty and detailed and don’t feel like they need a lot of polish before the game could fully release. Most of the animations are done well and barely feel stiff, though maybe some smoothing here and there could be useful. Especially combined with the gameplay (more on that later), certain animations feel just a tad off in i.e. the timing, but again, the overall game feels pretty much finished with its aesthetics.

Like the gameplay, music in Wira & Taksa makes the game also feel retro. The title screen alone gives some happy vibes that remind us of Nintendo titles such as Donkey Kong Country, or Activision’s Crash Bandicoot. The first world we came across was all about jungle and this was well noticeable in the background music with drums and typical platformer jungle level music. While the voice acting isn’t bad, it’s clearly done without studio-quality recordings and the main characters sound a bit like somebody trying to do different characters when reading a bedtime story. This has some allure, but especially in-game when jumping with the smallest protagonist, Taksa, the jumping sound could quickly become annoying because of this voice. This is something to look at before fully releasing the game.

Wira & Taksa plays well though. For the biggest part at least. The game is like a classic platformer but littered with traps. When not platforming, you are doing a puzzle that’s integrated into the platforming gameplay. More than often these puzzles require you to backtrack a little bit, but so far we haven’t found this fact to be annoying. Also, gravity can go four ways. This means that while standing straight up and pressing jump, instead of doing a Mario-like jump up, you will simply flip gravity to the opposite side which makes you float up. A game that compares to these mechanics is VVVVVV (This is not a misspelling, it’s the actual name). Wira & Taksa also has certain objects that, when touched, make gravity and jumps go the other two directions. This way, you use all four walls when playing to overcome traps and puzzles.

This is a game that likes to overwhelm you occasionally with big rooms that seem insurmountable. It’s up to you to find a start and a logical path in these, and it’s nice to see a game with some originality that provides you with a challenge. To help you with challenges, the game also tells you to look up and down while standing still to possibly see upcoming traps and ways to survive. The worst thing about the game is that it doesn’t really use this well. Plenty of deaths seem to be impossible to avoid for the first time. Not only is this frustrating because you have to start at a checkpoint and go through the same (wait and run) traps that you already passed, but the game also gives you a certain amount of lives. When you run out, you have to start a level over again with the same amount that you had as you entered. You might say Well, at least now I know where the traps are, but you are wrong. Most of these deathly traps are moving traps which means you never know which would be the right time to drop in blindly.

The same goes for fighting enemies. While fighting is not a major component of the game, it’s important to do as it will allow you to progress past traps. Enemies are basically like traps that can be destroyed. To do the platforming, you use small Taksa. To fight and do a few puzzles, you switch to Wira. Wira can then smash moving enemies with his hammer, but doing so makes him immobile and the hammer smash is delayed a bit. If you miss, the enemy might run into you again and again which makes you feel helpless until you die. Small things like these need to be changed for sure by i.e. adding a small moment of invulnerability when struck by an enemy.

Conclusion

Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity has everything to be a fun platformer with a cool twist and loveable characters and environments. For the most part, it already is and it feels pretty much ready to release. The game could use some polish though. The voice acting can be done or recorded better, and there’s something to be done about deaths that feel unfair. Other than that, Wira & Taksa is promising and original, and most importantly, a product that feels like it truly comes from the developer instead of being another copy.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Wira & Taksa: Against the Master of Gravity - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Pimp Without The Pee


Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.