Mega Metroid man

Recore

GAX (Malaysia) - - REVIEW - By Ade Pu­tra

Com­cept and Ar­ma­ture Stu­dio whisked up a siz­able fol­low­ing when they de­buted ReCore at E3 2015, only to wind up with mixed re­ac­tions at this year’s con­ven­tion. Those who walked away were sour over how the ac­tual game­play looked, and those sen­ti­ments only wound up proven at launch. It’s quite un­for­tu­nate, re­ally, be­cause un­der­neath it all was a 3D ac­tion-plat­former that had its heart in the right place.

To un­der­stand ReCore’s di­rec­tion, it’s im­por­tant to know that Com­cept is Keiji Ina­fune’s in­die gig and Ar­ma­ture is an out t founded by for­mer Retro Stu­dios sta , in­clud­ing Mark Pacini. What all that boils down to is this: Mega Man and Metroid Prime are huge in­flu­ences.

Nor­mally that’d be great news and ReCore’s open­ing mo­ments do re­flect that. Con­trols are dead-on, with dou­ble jumps and dashes grant­ing me plenty of last-minute ad­just­ments, some­thing that comes in supremely handy later on. There’s a blaster too (hello Sa­mus), ex­cept this time it’s a ri­fle with an over-the-shoul­der view. And who can for­get your ro­bot dog com­pan­ion (hello Rush), who is later joined by more Core­bot friends. Com­bat is seem­ingly easy, and while boss ghts do get a lit­tle more in­ter­est­ing, thanks to the greater amount of pro­jec­tiles you have to dodge from… that’s about it. Far­ther in, there’s a chance to al­ter­nate am­mu­ni­tion types to play o en­emy weak­nesses, though even those bat­tles be­come a mat­ter of quan­tity over qual­ity.

Now, there is this neat move dur­ing com­bat where our hero Joule spears an en­emy’s core to be­gin a tug of war minigame. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of shing, with the line turn­ing red if there’s too much ten­sion, but ease it back and forth a lit­tle and the claw rips the core out, scor­ing up­grades for both your weapon and com­pan­ions. En­e­mies also drop parts to craft new Core­bot frames, but the only way to gather those ef­fi­ciently is by rack­ing up combo kills. While it does add va­ri­ety and an­other layer of de­ci­sion-mak­ing to com­bat, the me­chanic it­self doesn’t evolve over the course of the game. In fact, noth­ing much in ReCore ever does, out­side of your lit­tle ro­bot pets. Be­fore long, the rep­e­ti­tion starts to wear in, in­ten­si­fied by

the push-over com­bat sec­tions, and then things be­gin to fall apart. Most damn­ing of all is the open-world seg­ment. Not only is travers­ing the drab ex­panse a huge pain, but it serves nei­ther the game­play nor what lit­tle story there is. Tech­ni­cally, you’ll need to comb it for op­tional dun­geons and pris­matic cores (gate keys), but the whole ex­pe­di­tion feels forced; I’m not ex­plor­ing out of a sense of ad­ven­ture or be­cause I know some­thing awe­some is wait­ing for me, I’m only do­ing it so I can progress.

The last few gates sud­denly scale up in re­quire­ments for no rea­son what­so­ever, other than mak­ing you back­track out into the open-world and dun­geons to hope­fully nd cores you might have missed.

Then there are the en­vi­ron­men­tal bugs, such as Joule de­cid­ing to phase through a plat­form rather than land­ing on it, or get­ting stuck in an an­i­ma­tion loop. I’m no stranger to bugs on these sort of games, as even this year’s Ratchet & Clank on PlayS­ta­tion 4 had clip­ping is­sues, but I don’t re­mem­ber hav­ing to reload my save this of­ten be­cause of them.

I hon­estly don’t want to eu­th­a­nize the game as the early-game did show prom­ise. I was sin­cerely hop­ing for a fun Metroid Prime-like romp through deserts and se­cret un­der­ground bases, with a myr­iad of Core­bot com­bi­na­tions, weapons and moves at my dis­posal. Even if they skimped on story, the game would have been ne had they fo­cused on ex­pand­ing con­tent and re­fin­ing com­bat. Sadly, it was not to be.

ReCore’s ex­is­tence serves to high­light just how rare good 3D ac­tion-plat­form­ers are these days. Whether it’s worth the cur­rent RM156.00 price tag de­pends on just how much you love the idea of plat­form grind­ing, es­pe­cially in a time when Forza Hori­zon 3 and Gears of War 4 are a thing.

CON­CLU­SION

A solid com­bi­na­tion of ac­tion-plat­former me­chan­ics ul­ti­mately let down by forced rep­e­ti­tion and a lack­lus­ter payo .

Ev­ery­thing in the game, in­clud­ing puz­zles and doors in­volve pulling, push­ing or re­triev­ing cores.

Ac­quir­ing and up­grad­ing your Core­bot com­pan­ions are some of the few in­ter­est­ing parts of the game.

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