Collateral Thinking (Wii U) Second Opinion Review

By Brandon Howard 30.10.2016

Review for Collateral Thinking on Wii U

When Cubed3 last took a look at Collateral Thinking, it was plagued by some problems that made the experience a little frustrating. With frequent stutter issues and somewhat haphazard design, it made for a largely aggravating experience. With the latest update, Astrosaurus Games adds some new features and fixes, including optimisation, bug fixes, and multiplayer.

While Collateral Thinking hasn't changed much since its initial release, it's definitely made some changes for the better. The stutter and frame rate issues seem to be completely absent this time around, and there's much needed clarity added to the level design, with objectives being much clearer early on.

Despite this, and despite the more frequent progress checks, it's still hard to want to keep playing time after time. There's a clear indication for unlocks, things like character selection options, lives, hearts, etc., but unlocking them feels like a chore. There's a clear path to success in each stage, but it requires a level of practicing few would want to undertake.

Screenshot for Collateral Thinking on Wii U

As previously mentioned, each stage has its own unique goal, either surviving for a set time, defeating all enemies, or collecting all the plans on a specific stage. The stages all run through in a set order, and there's a pause every ten levels to regroup, allowing items to be purchased with the cash so far collected on that playthrough.

The biggest problem is that it doesn't feel rewarding. There's not really a good sense of progression between stages, and the experience doesn't really feel meaningful. Mastery over Collateral Thinking is always going to require multiple playthroughs of each stage, and it's hard to picture that being a fun diversion. The environments are about as stock as stock gets, the music stops just short of being annoying, and the characters aren't particularly compelling.

While it's a functional platformer, it isn't a great fit for the Wii U. This is definitely the type of game that's well suited to a mobile experience; with quick run-throughs being possible, it feels like it would have a bit more success on a mobile platform. With some kind of ability to pause the game and return to it, it's possible to see Collateral Thinking being a hit amongst hardcore platforming fans, but the bulky nature and short battery life of the Wii U GamePad make it a strange fit.

Screenshot for Collateral Thinking on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Collateral Thinking had been rescued from being unplayable, with numerous bug fixes and general quality of life changes. Despite the overall improvements, it still doesn't make for a compelling experience. The set stage rotation promotes a very trial-and-error style approach, but the actual gameplay isn't really worthy of repeating over and over. It's a solid retro platformer, but overall, there's better options out there.

Developer

Astrosaurus Games

Publisher

Astrosaurus Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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