Giga Wrecker Alt – Review
Follow Genre: 2D puzzle platformer
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Giga Wrecker Alt – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Beatiful key art; hard puzzles; old school platformer
Bad: Finicky physics engine;
User Score
8.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Giga Wrecker Alt is a game developed by Japanese developer Game Freak. Originally developed for the PC, it is now remastered for the PlayStation 4 and the Switch. Game Freak is mostly known for their Pokémon games. However, this game is far from their usual fare, both gameplay-wise as in its presentation. Question is, did they hit the (Poke)ball out of the park, or did they fail to catch all marks.

Story

The story takes place in the near future, where robots have invaded Earth and wiped out most of humanity. Whatever’s left of humanity has to fend for their life and try to survive.

You play as Reika Rekejji, a young girl trying to survive in this harsh world. After being captured, you are almost killed. Luckily, professor Kozuki manages to save you on time. However, to save your life, he turns you into a cyborg, ready to take on the world and the world’s robot rulers.

The story’s cutscenes are presented in beautifully painted images, which makes it almost look like a Japanese light novel. During gameplay, further story elements are presented in script, via short conversations. Anime style portraits show you who’s talking, or what someone is thinking.

Graphics

Levels seem to be built like the usual 2D puzzle platformers but, as mentioned before, the real eye catcher of the story being told are the painstakingly drawn or painted images. These images not only show in the cutscenes, but are also seemingly incorporated in the background of the levels.

Both the main characters, as well as the bad guys, all look distinct, and have their own identity. Their looks are reminiscent of an anime, and kind of seem inspired by the anime Kill la Kill.

Sound

The game has a sweet, melancholic music playing in the background of the level, and just feels like it fits into the levels. Most of the times, this means there is a beautiful theme playing while generally playing a level. However, during boss fights, there is an equally fitting, upbeat, song playing.

The sound effects are fitting for whatever is needed for the level. Sometimes this means that during running you hear Reika’s footsteps going along, during jumping you hear her pushing off and during fighting (say, swinging your arm or sword), a gentle swoosh is accompanied by a cry of said character.

There is limited voice acting, mostly heard when running or jumping, yet whenever cutscenes are playing, it has captions running underneath, with the same sound effects as one may expect from these.

Gameplay

Giga Wrecker Alt is a 2D puzzle platformer, and as such its gameplay can be divided into two parts.

To save Reika’s life, professor Kozuki has implanted her with various robot parts, turning her into a cyborg. Most importantly, he has outfitted her with a new arm. This robot arm is heavily involved in both the solving of puzzles, and the combat.

Let’s start with the first part. As Reika you traverse through what seems a vast world. Take the map, and one can see that one level is divided in several rooms. Each room has you solve a puzzle, which usually ends in flicking a switch of sorts. This will either help you learn new upgrades, handy in combat later on, or will help you open the final door, which will lead to a boss fight.

These puzzles start of easy, but soon it will turn out that most of the puzzles are physics based, turning harder with each room you visit. With your arm, you can break blocks of concrete which, when timed right, or aimed at just the right spot, will lead to a cascade of other blocks. This in turn will either help take care of the enemies, or make a path to continue onwards.

Early on, you are befriended by a cute little robot, one of the updates from the game’s earlier PC version, called Dölma. It will help you at times with the puzzle solving, giving hints on where to strike or just a little clue to the physics in effect. These hints are at times really helpful, but can also make the puzzles even more frustrating, as the physics can be downright finicky at times.

Should Reika fail at a puzzle, she has the option to reverse time. Her new arm allows her to manipulate tachyon particles, creating a so-called tachyon burst. These tachyon particles can only be manipulated at several way ports, lighting up near these puzzles.

Then the combat. Reika’s arm allows her to destroy robots and absorb the debris. This debris can then be thrown at enemies. The bigger the ball of debris, the bigger the enemies she can take down. This debris can also be manipulated in weapons. One of the first weapons she learns to form is a big sword, and later on a throwable javelin.

Not only are these weapons handy to take down enemies, they also allow her to traverse the world. The sword, for instance, can be used to cut through ropes, cutting down blocks of concrete, while the javelin can be used to create new platforms.

Most enemies are fairly easy to take down, and you are given a short introduction to each on your first encounter, and how to easily handle them. Boss fights are quite tough, where each has their own attack routine to figure out. However, after a few fails, professor Kozuki pages you and tells you how to counter the boss.

Conclusion

With this game, Game Freak presents an old school platformer, with some ingenious puzzles. Though the physics engine is finicky at times, when you succeed in solving the puzzle there a sense of satisfaction, in being able to continue your journey. The art design is top notch, and the key art during the cutscenes steal the show. It might not bring anything new to the genre, but with Giga Wrecker Alt, Game Freak proves they are able to make more memorable games than Pokémon alone.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Giga Wrecker Alt - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Dutch Direwolf
Dutch Direwolf


No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.