Red Colony (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 17.01.2021 3

Review for Red Colony on Nintendo Switch

Fans of low-budget, and pleasantly bad movies, know all too well that horror and sex tend to frequently go hand to hand. Take a look at Red Colony, for instance, the one-man creation of freelance model/game dev (yup, that's definitely a thing) Rune Shimotsuji Storm, the one behind the ultra-bizarre (and then some) metroidvania called KnifeBoy (soon to be covered on Cubed3). In Red Colony, anime ecchi-ness meets Japanese-style survival horror, with the result being… well, sadly, an unpolished mess of an action-adventure, where it's also hard to tell whether the available campiness is deliberate or not. So, the main question is this: is Red Colony a "so bad it's good" kind of experience that, while far from perfect, remains one with a very strong charm, or is this indie piece of software just a subpar title not worth your time or money?

Maria, the heroine of this tale, awakes in a building somewhere in the Colony, alone, and without any idea of the horrors that have been unleashed, and which are hungry for human flesh. Worry not, as she soon gets a call from her best friend Jill (Resi homage?), who slowly, and in a very subtle way, sets the mood by loudly shouting "OF COURSE IT'S ZOMBIES! WHAT ELSE DO YOU THINK IS GOING ON HERE?!" while making sure to sprinkle her delivery with a couple of F-words, which seems to be a thing in this place, as are impressive cleavages, with even some of the undead being top-heavy. Oh, dear! Moments into Red Colony and yours truly is already in love with the b-movie vibe of this ecchi version of Resident Evil.

Screenshot for Red Colony on Nintendo Switch

Busty cast put aside, Capcom's classic was, beyond any doubt, the biggest inspiration for this title, with the whole thing revolving around zombies that have escaped from a super-secret lab where a virus was developed, and yada, yada, yada. Maria will have to explore a 2D game world, find resources like ammo and med-kits, as well as crafting material in order to print her equipment. She'll also have to search for clues in order to open up various safes that hold helpful items, read pieces of lore to learn more about what led to this catastrophe, and, of course, try to avoid getting bitten… which leads to the first problem with this: there's little surviving to be done in this piece of survival horror.

Maria starts her quest with an army knife. The typical last resort-type weapon of the genre? Not really. One can keep the knife, and manage to reach the end with it without a problem, as zombies are too slow to pose any threat. The rest of the arsenal is also surprisingly unbalanced, to the point that using, say, the shotgun, feels like an utter waste of ammo. Wait, though. Something far more lethal must be hiding in the shadows, correct? Err… no. Near the finale this will make you think that there's more than just those shambling morons around, but it's all a big, fat, lie. The "puzzles" are even worse, with combinations to locks practically handed to the player, and usually right next to the corresponding locker.

Screenshot for Red Colony on Nintendo Switch

Red Colony screams 'unpolished.' It makes one think that this wasn't even tested before its release - which is probably true, as there's a variety of bugs to speak of. Enemies can re-appear after loading a saved game; items that should be inside a locker aren't there, and upon returning to the locker after a while they are; loading a game starts you off with your equipment but no ammo, and no way to pick it up again; and, finally, cut-scenes play twice when stepping on the spot that triggers them. In conclusion, this is neither a good game, nor a well-made one - oh, and as long as there are masterpieces like Cave Story out there, the "it was made by a single person" excuse holds no power.

The consensus is that Red Colony is a piece of trash, yes? Well, not necessarily. Bugs and other issues put aside, this critic really enjoyed the two and a half hours this lasted - but it took a very specific kind of mindset in order for that to happen. In other words, don't come in looking for a great action-adventure, as this is average at best. The best way to approach this is to turn off your brain, and just take a good whiff of the b-movie-ness at hand. The badly-written, corny dialogue that feels like it came out of a cheap porn flick; the mind-numbing lack of subtlety when it comes to the storytelling; and, finally, the absurdness of the plot, where zombies get mixed with communism, space exploration, and more.

Screenshot for Red Colony on Nintendo Switch

As for the heavy use of fanservice, while somewhat titillating, like with how Maria loses parts of her outfit upon getting hurt (and she has an amazingly high level of endurance), or how the camera zooms on her curvy body in the tiny (and pretty cool) intermissions that activate when opening a door or using a ladder, but more often than not it ends up looking funny, in that charming, '80s slasher/sexploitation film kind of way, with some examples being how almost all women are dressed like prostitutes, or how one character portrait in particular is a lady that bends over, her breasts ready to spill over her dress, making the "serious" conversations you'll have with her more hilarious than emotive.

That being said, the direction is all over the place, making it hard to tell whether the whole silliness was intentional, or accidental. This has a pretty good and dark atmosphere, and offers plenty of gore and blood, but very often it also forgets that it is a horror game. In the beginning, for instance, and before meeting a single zombie, Maria finds two corpses, and doesn't even bat an eye, but then gets startled by a deer that jumps in front of her. Long story short, Red Colony is a bit of a mess, and that's putting it mildly. Fans of campy, ultra-low-budget, "so bad it's good" experiences will get their money's worth here, but even they are advised to wait until this drops a pound or two.

Screenshot for Red Colony on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Unpolished, unbalanced, feeling half-made, and being way too easy for an action-adventure dealing with a zombie apocalypse, Red Colony is hard to recommend to fans of survival horror. This is strictly only for those who can enjoy its - intentional or not - b-movie-esque campiness and fanservice… reviewer included, of course.

Developer

RunicCodes

Publisher

Shinyuden

Genre

Action Adventure

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I was actually looking at this game.  Got way too many to play still though, so guess I'll skip it.

It was a fun ride, but a hard one to reccomend to just anyone. It's one of those games

( Edited 18.01.2021 20:06 by Ofisil )

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

It's actually not bad and doesn't last too long, Eric. It's a "Part 1", after all... just a short chapter. 3 hours max, I'd say.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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