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  • Writer's pictureFrankieW

Game Review #206: Devil Engine (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: FrankieW

Developer: Protoculture Games

Publisher: DANGEN Entertainment

Category: Shoot-Em-Up

Release Date: 02.21.2019

Price (at time of review): $19.99

Buy Devil Engine from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Fast-Flying Bullet Hell

Pulse-pounding moments abound as you twitch your way past screens full of bullets just barely grazing past your ship as you fly full speed ahead to a boss. The beautiful 32 bit graphics echo visual styles from the games from which it takes a lot of inspiration, giving us a beautiful pixel graphic aesthetic, full of moving parts that are truly impressive all together in recreating the feeling of the old arcade shoot-em-up games. Devil Engine harkens back to the days of the likes of R-Type and Thunder Force, while giving itself its own identity as well. Devil Engine was an absolute treat to play, and the kind of game that when we got the code, they knew this bad boy was all me. Let's break this game down a bit more, and see what makes this all work.

Save the World, From the World?

Devil Engine is a side-scrolling horizontal shooter in which you pilot the AI ship Andraste in a last ditch effort to stop the Devil Engine from destroying the rest of the human forces after it seized control of the Earth's entire military. The Andraste is packing some serious heat; it has 3 different weapons that are upgradable and also feature their own bombs. Your basic spread shot is here to help you lay down as many bullets on the screen as the enemies having at you, and it also has a missile barrage for a bomb that hits straight ahead real hard. Also in the arsenal, the laser is going to put out a large amount of damage at the cost of a narrow attack spread, with the bomb activating 2 more lasers to dump a ton of damage in front of you for a limited amount of time. Rounding out the weapons is a homing shot, that is super useful as it lets you focus on dodging and learning shot patterns, but its damage is the lowest of the 3 to compensate, and its bomb will blast out a bunch of homing missiles to even out the damage more.

In addition to the attack options you have, The Andraste also features the ability to burst away enemy bullets, the mechanic working on a cooldown that is tied to your score multiplier. This is where some real decision making comes in; do you brave the millimeters of space you have to dodge through the bullet hell of a boss, or do you bust your 3x score multiplier to cut a swath through the sea of bullets safely? Well, that is up to you, and depends on if you think you are good enough to make it happen!

32-Bits of Goodness

Let’s jam on these visuals for a bit. This game really bleeds the feeling of the old IREM shoot-em-ups of yore, and the visuals are just beautiful. The 32-bit inspired visuals are gorgeous in motion, and the amount of motion each unit has in it is crazy impressive! It reminds me of the pixel art in the later metal slug games how each and every background, enemy, and especially boss is a collection of gorgeous moving parts. It's one thing to make pretty pixel art that doesn’t move, but the fluidity and constant motion that this game has is just absolutely gorgeous. You can really feel the amount of love that went into this game from the devs because of just the insane amount of attention to detail this game bleeds in every aspect.

Electric Beats, Visual Treats

The sounds are music to my ears, the OST is absolutely fantastic! Devil Engine features pulse-pounding electronic beats that will have you ready to save the world at a moments notice, nicely wrapped around great sound effects. Every shot, explosion, and attack has a satisfying sound that never wears thin on your ears, I found myself humming tunes from the game well after the fact; the sound track is seriously killer!

The Wrap-up

This game has a TON of unlockables based on your point totals, so there are plenty of things to keep you playing as you try and learn how to beat all of the levels. This game is ROUGH too, but it never feels overwhelming or unfair which is a great. It's one of those games that will make you grit your teeth, yell when you lose that last life, and start it RIGHT back up to try and just get a little further. Devil Engine is a FANTASTIC game for any fan of the genre, and right now I would say it’s my favorite no-frills shoot-em-up game on Switch so far!

Score: 9/10

Buy Devil Engine from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by DANGEN Entertainment

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