Enter the Gungeons Gun Puns Are A Blast on Nintendo Switch

first_imgStay on target It seems fitting that one of the last games I write about in this otherwise great year is a roguelike. Despite my distaste for the genre’s obsession with permadeath and randomized levels, the fact that so many interesting indie games use this formula means I still have to put up with it to keep a pulse on the scene. This has become even more true as more and more roguelike indie hits land on Nintendo Switch.Today’s roguelike indie hit? The fracas of firearms that is Enter the Gungeon. Once again, this isn’t the game to make me enjoy roguelikes. But its infectious style and nimble bullet ballet shine regardless.If you thought Enter the Gungeon’s name (and kick ass theme song) alone is a great pun, boy are you going to enjoy soaking in all the lore this (fictional) gun-worshipping world has to offer. Players enter deeper chambers of the titular keep to find a legendary gun that can kill the past. You do battle with bullet-based bosses like heavily armed bird Gatling Gull or the Lead Lord. New guns you find get added to the Ammonimicon tome. The combination of hellish religious fervor and breakneck brutal gunplay gives the game an almost Doom vibe, and I am here for it.The charming retro graphics also do a lot to sell this literal bullet hell. UI elements like your health and the reset clock are made out of bullets. Low-level “Gundead” enemies are cute walking shell casings. Your tutorial gun in an actual pea shooter. Different character classes are pixelated parodies of classic shooter heroes archetypes like space marines or treasure hunters. The parody aspect of the presentation does a lot to keep the game funny and ridiculous and entertaining, not some kind of gross NRA masturbatory Second Amendment fantasy.Naturally, all that gun garnish is in service of gameplay entirely about shooting. There are some surface level similarities between Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac seeing as they both roguelikes that play like top-down shooters. But Gungeon’s sophisticated mechanics make it feel more like a shrunken down version of a modern console shooter instead of yet another homage to Smash TV.Players weave between big and visible yet fast and relentless projectiles while returning fire. You always have a basic gun with unlimited ammo but to make real progress you’ll have to manage limited but better random guns you find along the way like shotguns and crossbows and laser cannons and light guns. You can aim in all directions but always need to eventually reload, so your shooting needs to be fast but purposefully timed. The game even lets you prioritize speed and performance over graphical quality in video settings, which is a strange inclusion for what doesn’t seem to be a technically demanding retro-looking game.The defensive options also manage to add to the aggressive, action movie nature of the combat. Players can pull off a slick little diving dodge roll move (the name of the developer is Dodge Roll) to leap past walls of bullets unscathed. It’s the only solution when you’re backed in a corner and need to deal with a giant whose sword slashes bullets. Or when you’re really desperate you can use finite blanks to briefly wipe all bullets from the screen.The game takes advantage of its randomized nature as well by letting players adapt to their specific environments in cool ways. Beyond just learning the overall level layout and teleporter shortcut network, players can turn a room itself into a weapon. Blow up barrels for splash damage. Shoot down chandeliers like it’s The Phantom of the Opera. Kick over a table to use as quick cover. Strategies can get even crazier in two-player co-op, although I wasn’t a fan of the tilt controls for single Joy-Con play.That all sounds awesome, and I found Enter the Gungeon’s moment to moment gameplay to be intensely satisfying. Unfortunately, I also found it to be another set of promising mechanics needlessly saddled with a roguelike formula. I just don’t think the game gains anything of value by being this difficult, this willing to wipe your progress on a whim, and this uninterested in crafting cool specific levels to tackle. I just can’t care enough to buy the best loot at the shop, learn boss patterns, or even give it my all during any particularly run when it’s inevitably all for naught. At best, roguelikes should be cool endless bonus modes, not the entire experience.Enter the Gungeon is an awesome little shooter with a heaping hilarious helping of great gun mysticism. And if you like roguelikes obviously you’ll get more from it than I did. But here’s hoping that next year’s promising Nintendo Switch indie games keep the cool controls and intriguing ideas but ditch the pointless permadeath.Buy it now!Super Mario OdysseyThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Enter the Gungeon is a hit indie roguelike top-down shooter now on Nintendo Switch.2. The game’s mystic lore is obsessed with firearms, from Gundead enemies to your Ammonomicon encyclopedia.3. The shooting itself also feels great, with free aim and defensive options like rolling or kicking down cover.4. I’m just not a huge fan of its roguelike elements like permadeath and randomized levels.5. Still, Enter the Gungeon is an awesome and intense little shooter.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball FormSNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo Switch last_img

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