Cosmophony (Wii U) Review

By Lex Firth 08.11.2014

Review for Cosmophony on Wii U

Cosmophony is hard. Make no mistake - this could possibly be one of the hardest games available on Wii U. This rhythm-based shooter shows absolutely no mercy and requires pixel-perfect timing and superhuman reflexes, and it's unlikely that most players will reach the end. That's perhaps the main take-home message of this review: players can expect to want to throw the controller across the room on a regular basis - and pain has never felt so good.

Released on iOS devices in August this year, Cosmophony is, at its core, a 3D tunnel runner with a fiendishly difficult streak. However, developer Bento Studio has injected a musical twist, forming the action around the game's drum and bass soundtrack. Every movement must be done in time to the music or else it's a quick death and a return to the start of the stage - Cosmophony has no interest in second chances.

Punishing it may be, but the game does at least offer a practice mode, providing infinite chances to retry difficult sections of the level in order to get the rhythms down to a tee. However, the only way to make progress through the game's story is to play through the main mode, which is brutal and operates on a one-life basis. There's nothing more infuriating than reaching the end of a level (the HUD provides a handy percentage to show how far through the stage the player is) and getting surprised by an obstacle out of nowhere.

Screenshot for Cosmophony on Wii U

To start with, the main mode appears to be criminally short, with only five levels on offer. Factor in that the later levels, though, could potentially take hours to get through, and Cosmophony actually becomes a fairly lengthy game. The story does leave a lot to be desired, sadly, with a confusing introduction and brief cut-scenes providing the bare minimum of narrative, yet it's clear that story isn't the game's main target - it wants to see people sweat, without any unnecessary padding.

Completionists can expect to perspire even more, as each level has four stars to earn. Two of these are garnered by getting through both the practice and main runs, but gaining the others requires defeating every enemy (of which there are usually over a hundred per stage) in both varieties. This can be even more frustrating as a near-perfect run means nothing if just one enemy is left undefeated, meaning potentially hours of practice is required to master it.

Design-wise, Cosmophony exemplifies simplicity. The entire screen is made entirely of black shapes in a way that's reminiscent of the Bit.Trip series and the only extra detail is the presence of visualiser-esque backgrounds. Despite its minimalism, though, it is still gorgeous and Moving Players' port runs at a solid 60fps. The real star of the show, admittedly, is the soundtrack - while the drum and bass sounds may alienate some players, it fits the action brilliantly and each track is designed specially for the game. Those who really enjoy this can also enjoy a special "jukebox" mode, which is essentially a video of the stages being completed by an AI.

Cosmophony is without a doubt one of the hardest games on Nintendo's digital service. Those up for the challenge shouldn't be turned away by its punishing nature - there's a lot of fun to be had in its brutal tunnels.

Screenshot for Cosmophony on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Bento Studio and Moving Players have come together to make the most infuriating experience on Wii U eShop, and a certain type of player will absolutely adore its challenge. Its difficulty and lack of content may turn away some, but Cosmophony remains a stylish, addictive game that is sure to satisfy the resilient.

Developer

Moving Player

Publisher

Moving Player

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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