ACA NEOGEO Gururin (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Gabriel Jones 20.04.2018

Review for ACA NEOGEO Gururin on Nintendo Switch

Legends tell of a world where everyone eats, breathes, and sleeps in two-dimensions. They have never known difficulty or strife, until now. A pathogenic bacteria, as mysterious as it is deadly, has infected the populace. People of all ages and occupations are doomed to misery unless the bacteria are removed. In order to accomplish this daunting task, ACA NEOGEO Gururin was created. Inside this magical rotating troupe, a god-like entity attempts to bring like-minded people together in harmony, so that they become heroes. Heroes gain the power to expel all of the nasty bacteria from their bodies. However, great care must be taken to manage the troupe, or else it becomes overcrowded and falls to ruin.

It's hard to go wrong with "falling block" puzzle games. Simple, yet absurdly addictive, series like Tetris and Puyo Puyo have enjoyed considerable success all over the world. In less than a minute, everything the player needs to know is effectively communicated to them, but an exceptionally high level of knowledge and reflexes is required in order to succeed. It's easy to get caught up in that "just one more go" mentality, and spend an entire day chasing a high score. Then there are puzzlers, such as Gururin, which are dauntingly complex and just not as much fun as they could be.

The magical troupe essentially serves as the playing field; the place where all of the hero-making occurs. People, dressed in all manner of styles and colours, will tumble down the field before settling at the bottom. Naturally, if three of the same citizens connect, then they turn into heroes and fly off. If there's no room for anyone to fall, the game is over. It's as simple a concept as ever, but the gimmick here is that unlike most titles, the people can't be rotated as they fall. Instead, that role is given to the play-field itself.

Screenshot for ACA NEOGEO Gururin on Nintendo Switch

Rotating the field is accomplished by pressing the Y or B buttons. Each press, depending on the button, will result in a 90-degree turn clockwise or anti-clockwise. Holding either button down will result in a 180-degree turn. To keep the action from becoming incomprehensible, this can only be done when people are waiting for their turn to fall, which is a window of about three seconds. Naturally, whenever the troupe is rotated, everyone will shift accordingly. If same-dressed people happen to land next to each other in groups of three or more, then they will become heroes. Note that this only occurs in lines that are horizontal or vertical. Heroes can't be made from diagonals or squares.

The entire goal of the single-player mode is to obtain as high a score as possible. Naturally, everyone falls much more quickly as things progress, and occasional power-ups can either eliminate rows or add to the score. However, as is usually the case with the genre, things get out of control after a short time. The speed at which people drop becomes impossible to handle. Players already have enough trouble figuring out what to do next, but whatever plans they have are made irrelevant when they can't even move the "blocks" to where they need to go. Eventually, attempts devolve into the rotate buttons getting spammed endlessly, in the hopes that things will fall into place.

There's also a 'Versus' mode, which pits players against the AI, or each other. The troupes are smaller, and people fall in sets of two instead of three. Whenever one person manages to create some heroes, the opponent's troupe is "gifted" a skull, which isn't easy to get rid of. Naturally, long lines and combos can up the skull count, destroying any hopes of a comeback. Since matches rarely go beyond two minutes, this mode is a bit more sensible in its execution.

Screenshot for ACA NEOGEO Gururin on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


ACA NEOGEO Gururin is a tough recommendation, even for hardened veterans of falling block puzzlers. The learning curve is enormous, which usually isn't a complaint in itself, but it just doesn't mesh with the "pick up and play" nature of arcade titles. A lot of time is going to be spent fumbling around and not achieving much of anything. Given enough practice, and a propensity for thinking several moves ahead, players might be able to make some progress. Until then, don't expect to have a lot of fun.









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   


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