VVVVVV (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 21.01.2018 7

Review for VVVVVV on Nintendo Switch

Did you know that the reason why VVVVVV is called as it is stems from the title representing the sharp points of death featured in plentiful supply during the puzzle-platformer? It is also tied to the initials of the characters within, but that is not quite as intriguing. Whatever the case, it is an unusual way to name a game, but does certainly give it a charming feel right from the off, just as the rather non-descript visuals that look like they belong on the Atari 2600 or Commodore 64 do. Terry Cavanagh's classic returns - after impressing on 3DS several years back - this time available on Nintendo Switch.

A puzzle-platformer gives off images of slow-paced, methodical, thought-filled antics, with lots of planning required to move on. VVVVVV is more visceral, relying on immense levels of skill, and sometimes a modicum of sheer luck, to traverse the treacherous terrain. The aim is to navigate Viridian through a strange universe and rescue his crew members that have been tied up in tricky situations, whilst also figuring out why there is such unusual interference all around affecting them.

Rather than running and jumping around through retro-themed platform stages, VVVVVV leans on gravity shifting as its core mechanic. Want to leap over a gap? Well, try flipping the main character and watching as he finds himself now falling upwards, through the air, until hitting what was previously the ceiling, or underside of a platform. Run along further, and then flip again to head back in the other direction, passing over whatever previous obstacle was hindering progression.

Screenshot for VVVVVV on Nintendo Switch

This theme is then taken and stretched out in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways, usually with enemies and a multitude of spikes in the way to up the ante. There are also some areas where upon flipping, players must shift gently to the left or right whilst falling, carefully avoiding spiked walls before landing on a small platform and needing to do the same again, but in reverse…all to collect one of the hidden items. It really can be a gruelling affair, but never in a way that is unfair to those in control, instead pushing their skills to the extremes. Mix in some conveyor belts that whisk you away upon landing, tightropes that fling you around, and even walkways that lead off the screen to another place, and more casual gamers will be near to tears as death befalls them far too regularly.

For anyone really struggling to make headway, though, there are various options that can be switched on, with the most powerful being one that removes death from occurring - useful for those that get tired of constantly dying and just wanting to explore the world freely. The thing is that VVVVVV is too short, overall. For all its difficulty, once cracked, there is not much to work through, and given the multitude of checkpoints and infinite lives, those that try, try, and try again will find it all over quicker than expected. For purists, there are mirrored modes and time trials available, at least.

Screenshot for VVVVVV on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Nicalis brings one of the toughest and addictive gaming experiences from almost every other format to Nintendo Switch, and the transition is seamless. With dastardly levels of difficulty, a quirky aesthetic, and an absolutely sublime soundtrack that has definitely stood the test of time, the major drawback comes from how short the experience is. Once accustomed to overcoming the challenges faced, there is not much left to do after rescuing everyone. Hopefully, an expanded successor is on the way.

Developer

Nicalis

Publisher

Nicalis

Genre

2D Platformer

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Our member of the week

Are the fan creations incorporated in the 3DS version still present and unlockable? 

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Great game.

RudyC3 said:
Are the fan creations incorporated in the 3DS version still present and unlockable? 

Seems like it:

"The guest-created levels that have appeared in past versions are here as well, with one from future Switch developer Matt Thorson (of Celeste and TowerFall fame)."

 

I think I clearly need to go back and look into that feature Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Del_Duio (guest) 25.01.2018#4

It's funny how many people forget Metal Storm existed and did the same gravity trick 30 years ago.

I love games that use gravity switching, and some of the DS split-screen action ones where it's a different scene on each screen, and you control yourself and a mirror image.

There's a part of VVVVVV like that, where wherever you go, another character follows when you're on the ground, so if you want them to stay still to avoid harm, you need to flip upside down and position yourself before flipping again to let the other character catch up. Vary hard, but very satisfying!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

There's a part of VVVVVV like that, where wherever you go, another character follows when you're on the ground, so if you want them to stay still to avoid harm, you need to flip upside down and position yourself before flipping again to let the other character catch up. Vary hard, but very satisfying!

Gah that part. I honestly had to step away from the game for a bit because that part was so difficult. Great game, but I think most games have a part where even if you love them, you dread this one section, and that's definitely it for me.

Our member of the week

Del_Duio (guest) said:
It's funny how many people forget Metal Storm existed and did the same gravity trick 30 years ago.

Image for

This one predated Metal Storm by about 2 months and did the gravity shift trick too (though you could not do it at the press of a button, and not everywhere)

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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