BUTCHER (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ofisil 13.10.2017

Review for BUTCHER on Nintendo Switch

One of the joys of the indie side of gaming is the availability of an enormous amount of retro-inspired, and equally challenging, titles. Even better? Independent products are less afraid to offer new and, quite frequently, less politically-correct concepts compared to the mainstream part of the industry. BUTCHER is such a title, as it is exactly what its developer claims it to be: a fast-paced 2D shooter and a blood-soaked love letter to the cult classics of the genre. Become the bane of humanity, then, and reduce the number of Homo sapiens to a big, round, zero!

There have been plenty of opportunities to be a bad guy in videogames, very few, however, have offered you the role of the Terminator. Yes, that Terminator, the one whose mission is the total annihilation of humans. BUTCHER is surely the closest equivalent to that, as the concept revolves exactly around taking no prisoners. Strange idea for a Nintendo console? Wait to see the litres of blood that will be spilled.

This might very well be the goriest game ever - the thing is that most won't really get to see much of it. Apart from the (awesomely) minimalist title screen, where a crimson "waterfall" rains upon the word 'BUTCHER,' the pixel art look used here is similar to the classic Lemmings, in that everything is tiny, yet very detailed, thus all things are nothing more than just a bunch of pixels. Luckily, it all looks great, although it's highly advisable to avoid the handheld mode to enjoy that.

Screenshot for BUTCHER on Nintendo Switch

Gameplay-wise, this is a twin-stick shooter that gives a very strong Doom/Quake vibe, albeit in a 2D world. Run and gun, then, with shotguns, assault rifles, grenade launchers and so on, all with their pros and cons, and with a level design that forces the player to choose the right tool for the right moment. Note that all that's required to lock on an enemy is to just point at his general direction. However, don't think for a moment that the opponents will pull their punches.

There's a reason why the tagline here is "the easier mode is 'hard'." Sure, you are an android whose foes are nothing more than a bunch of meat bags, but, to be honest, it never really feels so, as even the puniest of human must be dispatched as soon as possible as they can do lots of damage. As for those who like their tough games even tougher, just try completing this on Impossible… especially the nerve-breakingly difficult, final - and only - boss.

Screenshot for BUTCHER on Nintendo Switch

The battles are the best thing about BUTCHER. Fast, intense, and relentless, are the perfect adjectives for describing them, especially those segments where the android is locked inside an arena of sorts, with no way to move on before eliminating anyone that dares oppose it. The only problem? The action never really "evolves" beyond… well, shooting small bundles of pixels before they get a chance to splatter your android brain on the wall.

The overall quality of the level design gives away hints of what this title could be, but never really goes the distance. Stages are pleasantly brief, and, along with the gunfights, provide a combination of exploration and platforming. Unfortunately, apart from the shooter aspect, the rest could be done a lot better. In fact, many levels, and especially the later ones, tend to be nothing more than an arena - you enter, you kill, you get out.

Screenshot for BUTCHER on Nintendo Switch

It must be mentioned once more that this is a very enjoyable experience. There isn't a good reason to go back to BUTCHER after completing it, but just the chance of shooting down some baddies (or are they goodies?) will be enough for some to turn the Switch on and let off some steam. Sadly, this won't be enough. Unless the masochist type, and wanting to complete this on Impossible, the replay value is very low.

The only "extra?" Some secret skulls can be found in levels, which are challenging to get, and thus fun, but their only use is the unlocking of the last difficulty mode. Furthermore, stages must be completed without losing a life, because when doing so you also lose the skulls, and, as a result, will have to follow the same steps all over again to get them - something mildly annoying at first, but extremely aggravating mid-campaign. In other words, only completionists will really care.

Screenshot for BUTCHER on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

BUTCHER is one of the better 2D shooters for the Nintendo Switch, and, undoubtedly, the goriest, despite its super-tiny pixel art style. The problem is that it hasn't really exploited its potential. As a result, while definitely a title worthy of your time, it means very few will continue playing after completion due to the low replayability.

Developer

Transhuman Design

Publisher

Crunching Koalas

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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