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Hands-on

Switch Hands-cons: forma.8, Sparkle 2, Neon Chrome

Switch to: deDeutsch

This time we’re going to do some­thing a litt­le dif­fe­rent: we’re gon­na talk about 3 Nin­ten­do Switch indie tit­les that we could try, all of dif­fe­rent gen­res: the adven­ture game forma.8, the puz­zle game Spark­le 2 and the top-down shoo­ter Neon Chro­me. Sin­ce I’m tal­king about the Switch ver­si­ons, I’ll also say my opi­ni­on about how “swit­chy” the­se games are, mea­ning if they mana­ge to take advan­ta­ge of the fea­tures of the Nin­ten­do con­so­le.

forma.8

Let’s start with forma.8, a game made by the ita­li­an team Mixed­Bag: being an ita­li­an mys­elf, I can only find plea­su­re in adver­ti­sing a game from my coun­try, espe­ci­al­ly if good. forma.8 will see us in con­trol of a litt­le pro­be, lan­ded on a mys­te­rious pla­net becau­se of a mal­func­tion. The­re real­ly aren’t any plot or cuts­ce­nes that exp­lain what’s going on: only quiet and silence, with only the rela­xing sound­track to accom­pa­ny us in our jour­ney. I belie­ve that this game suc­ceeds in being chal­len­ging but, at the same time, incredi­b­ly rela­xing: the 2D gra­phics and level design is real­ly char­ming, and even though the­re might be dan­ger at every cor­ner and you know you have to be care­ful it mana­ges to make it a plea­sant expe­ri­ence as well. Even if this is a Metro­id-vania, you’re not exac­t­ly power­ful: the tools at your dis­po­sal will be very limi­ted, nor you’ll have any explana­ti­on of how they exac­t­ly work.

A game that real­ly sur­pri­sed us, and well worthy of being bought if you have the chan­ce. Regar­ding the Switch fac­tor: I feel like this game works per­fec­t­ly in the por­ta­ble mode becau­se of its rela­xing natu­re, but you’ll still need to use both Joy-Cons to make it work. I feel like the game could have easi­ly worked fine with even a sin­gle Joy-Con, but sin­ce it’s a sin­gle play­er game the­re shouldn’t be any trou­ble.

Sparkle 2

Next up we have 2 games by 10tons, and we’re gon­na start with Spark­le 2! If you ever play­ed Zuma, by Pop­cap, it’s basi­cal­ly the same thing: the­re will be a lot of colou­red sphe­res tra­ve­ling in a “sna­ke” pat­tern, and you’ll have to shoot other sphe­res to make them match up and disap­pe­ar, and you have to do it fast befo­re they reach their desti­na­ti­on, or you’ll fail the level and restart again. The only real dif­fe­rence bet­ween Spark­le and Zuma is that this one has unlock­able upgrades, adding cus­to­mi­za­ti­on and replaya­bi­li­ty to this tit­le: you’ll be able to make the sphe­res move slo­wer, or auto­ma­ti­cal­ly have a spe­ci­fic power-up if you shoot a cer­tain amount of orbs and so on, all unlock­able by play­ing through the cam­pai­gn. There’s also a nice sen­se of pro­gres­si­on: the game starts real­ly easy and beco­mes qui­te chal­len­ging on the final levels, and if that’s not enough you’ll also unlock other game modes in which you can com­pe­te!

Over­all, a nice puz­zle game to pass time and that ever­yo­ne can play with ease. It also uses per­fec­t­ly ever­ything the Switch has to offer: you can play with both Joy-Cons or a sin­gle one, or ditch them ent­i­re­ly and use the touch pad. Play­ing with touch con­trols will cer­tain­ly be fas­ter and easier, but if you choo­se to play with Joy-Cons you’ll be able to hold a but­ton to be sure whe­re exac­t­ly the sphe­re will land, so it still tri­es to pro­vi­de the play­ers with the best expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble.

Neon Chrome

Now for some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent, we have the rogue-like futu­ris­tic twin-stick shoo­ter Neon Chro­me. We’ll have to tra­vel several levels in a row while try­ing to stop the Over­se­er: to do so, we’ll take con­trol of dif­fe­rent slee­ping sol­di­ers, each with uni­que cha­rac­te­ris­tics. The levels are (most­ly) pro­ce­du­ral­ly gene­ra­ted, and the cha­rac­ters and power-ups we can choo­se from will chan­ge at every begin­ning of the run, so that ever­ything will always feel dif­fe­rent. We’ll also have several guns and spe­cial moves (like rocket mis­si­les, laser beams or mine) to unlock and to choo­se from; in each level we may also access, like we men­tio­ned befo­re, to power-ups that will help us in our run, like more bul­lets befo­re we rel­oad or more health, speed and so on. It can also be more for­gi­ving, com­pa­red to other games of the same gen­re: ever­y­ti­me we defeat a boss we’ll unlock a check­point, allo­wing us to restart from the­re, should we choo­se to, ins­tead that from the very begin­ning. The most important thing to do while tra­ve­ling is to try and find the most credits as pos­si­ble, to unlock per­ma­nent upgrades for the next runs; you can gain them by kil­ling enemies, choo­sing them as your power-ups or, the easiest way, by ope­ning the cra­tes wit­hin the level.

Neon Chro­me is a sur­pri­sing and chal­len­ging expe­ri­ence, that we recom­mend play­ing on your tv with a regu­lar con­trol­ler. You can still enjoy it in por­ta­ble mode, but sin­ce ever­ything on screen tends to be small I feel like you need to play it on a lar­ger screen to tru­ly expe­ri­ence the game. You’ll need 2 Joy-Cons to play, under­stand­a­ble sin­ce it’s way more com­plex than the pre­vious games: there’s also the pos­si­bi­li­ty to play in co-op with 3 other play­ers, pro­vi­ded that they too have their con­trol­lers or Joy-Cons. If you enjoy the­se kind of expe­ri­en­ces it is cer­tain­ly recom­men­ded, and the fact that the­re aren’t many games like this on Switch eit­her tru­ly helps this tit­le.

 

So here we are at the end of the­se Switch hands-cons! Sin­ce I’ve bought a Switch only recent­ly, you can expect more game coverage from me as well; if you lik­ed what you’ve read about the­se games, then con­si­der che­cking them out on the eShop and give them a shot! If you’d like to try Neon Chro­me yours­elf, just add a com­ment below and tell us your expe­ri­ence with the Nin­ten­do Switch thus­far. We’ll give away a Switch Code for the game at the end of the wee­kend.

8 comments
  1. Exxoz Zockt

    Woot … Nin­ten­do ind Indy Spie­le °,O Bin grad etwas per­plex… Bei SPrark­le wur­de ich etwas unru­hig… bis ich gese­hen hat­te das es mit Spark­le wie es im Steam Shop gibt rein gar nix zu tun hat. Im grun­de aber Soft­ware die man aber so aus den PC Bereich schon kennt… Bei Neon Chro­me bin ich mir nicht sicher ob die armen Plas­tik Con­trol­ler der Switch das Game­play irgend­wie aus­hal­ten °,O PS (ich nix Switch ich nix gewin­nen mag) 🙂

    1. XTgamerPatrick

      Doch soll­te eigent­lich das glei­che Spark­le 2, das auf Steam erhält­lich ist. 😉 Die Plas­tik-Con­trol­ler haben es wohl dann doch aus­ge­hal­ten.

  2. Firemind7

    Mei­ne Erfah­run­gen mit der Nin­ten­do Switch ist Super. Mein favo­ri­tes: tol­le Steue­rungs­ele­men­te (Touch,Controller,Joycons) und Mein Lieb­ling: Hand­held­mo­dus! Ich stel­le es mir auch bei Neon Chro­me lus­tig vor mit der Switch.

  3. Max

    My expe­ri­ence with the switch has been pret­ty awe­so­me, I love the seam­less switch from hand­held to TV.
    My favo­ri­te tit­les so far are Blas­ter Mas­ter Zero and BotW.
    I’m real­ly inte­rested in try­ing Neon Chro­me, real­ly like the music and atmo­s­phe­re.

  4. Tyler Ohlew

    I’ve been incredi­b­ly hap­py with my Switch, lots of gre­at con­tent, real­ly impro­ves upon that sweet mar­ria­ge of Nin­ten­do and indie games that the com­pa­ny has been fos­te­ring sin­ce the Wii. Func­tio­n­ing as a hand­held has been the big­gest boon for me, becau­se as a father my TV time is fair­ly limi­ted. I hope the Switch con­ti­nues to enjoy this abundance of games well into the future.

  5. Sgt Stangroj

    The Switch for me brid­ges the gap bet­ween my Ps4 and Vita. Per­fect on the big screen and full blown epics on hand­held. Real­ly impres­sed and lots of gre­at games still com­ing this year.

  6. Federico Principe

    I real­ly appre­cia­te my switch, I play most of the time in TV-mode
    I had 100 hours on The Legend of Zel­da BotW and now I’m play­ing Spla­toon 2 and Mario + Rab­bids
    I want to play also forma.8 becau­se they are an ita­li­an team (and I’m ita­li­an!) So pro­bab­ly I’ll buy it in the future!

  7. XTgamerPatrick

    Noti­fy­ing the win­ner right now. Thanks ever­yo­ne for par­ti­ci­pa­ting. There’ll be ano­t­her epi­so­de of “Switch Hands-cons” pret­ty soon with ano­t­her chan­ce if you haven’t won. Also there’s our Novem­ber 1st event.

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