Game Review #395: Psyvariar Delta (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Steven Green
Developer: City Connection
Publisher: Dispatch Games
Category: Arcade / SHMUP
Release Date: 07.11.2019
Price (at time of review): $29.99 Digital and Physical
SHMUP Classic Returns
Psyvariar Delta is a classic shoot ‘em up from the PS2 era that has been revamped and re-released for the current generation of systems. Bringing its old school arcade style to the mix is a perfect pairing on the Nintendo Switch for anyone who is into the genre and shouts from the rooftops that arcade is not dead. Bullet hell chaos, evasion tactics, and protecting your ship are the name of the game and you have a lot to worry about when it comes to racking up your high score in this title.
As is customary with most arcade titles there isn’t a lot of room for story and background to get in the way, and this title continues that storied tradition. You won’t find anything major to explain what is happening and the story of the game takes place in you completing the various levels throughout the game. Also, as can be found in a lot of vertical shooters from arcade roots you can also beat the game in a very short single sitting if you are skilled enough to complete it. You fight through the alien hordes as their ships come at you and blast away in a chaotic mess, and it is up to you to fight back and continue pace in your own ship. Open and shut case.
Simple Stick Play
This title isn’t trying to get confusing or complicated with how you will play it. You have a button for shooting your main weapon, and another to set off bombs that you acquire, and other than that you just move your ship back and forth to avoid the laser shots that litter the screen. You can play in different modes and settings that can be found in various iterations from prior entries in the Psyvariar series, but overall that is about it when it comes to how you are going to play through this one. There aren’t power-ups either, and instead the game features a mechanic in which you need to ride as close to enemy shots as possible without being hit in order to accrue experience points. From there your ship will upgrade with increased gun power and other various betterments. This mechanic allows you to truly focus on what is going on with the gameplay and doesn’t give you another thing to keep your mind on which is a nice change to the basic model from the arcade days.
Beyond that you also have a waggle mechanic in which you change direction quickly with your ship which allows you to increase movement speed and focus the shots you are sending down screen. Overall the gameplay is what you would expect, and this is an exceptional vertical shooter for anyone who enjoys the genre. But for people who aren’t already into arcade-style-gameplay-only titles then this will be something you will have to consider. Not only does Psyvariar Delta not feature a ton of depth or length but it is also simpler than most games in the genre.
One thing that is fun about this game is the addition of Tate Mode support, which is a real game changer that the Switch offers for games of this type. Tate Mode is a style of play that allows for you to set up your Switch vertically, rather than its normal set up horizontally, and have the gameplay work out heading in that direction to better emulate how arcade cabinets are set up. This is quite the addition to a classic title such as this, and really makes this the definitive place to play it versus the other consoles and ways to play on the market today. Together with the mobile capabilities of the Switch and how well the game runs on the system with little to no hiccups this really is going to be where you want to grab it if the game sounds like it is up your alley.
Clearly coming from the days of old in gaming you can see some lower graphical fidelity in this title overall. However, due to the nature of the genre it isn’t something that is a downside by any means. You have nice coloration and an interesting mash-up of bullets moving across the screen and ships whizzing around that make for a good-looking experience. Paired up with a great soundtrack you really get focused into the gameplay and make the best run you can.
Psyvariar Delta offers a nice revision to a niche classic title that is hoping to get a second life on the current generation of systems. The game accomplishes what it is trying to do by being a great addition to the group of shmups that has been gracing the system as of late but has its own issues as well. Coming from the PS2 era you can see some remnants from that time, and you also have a serious lack of depth in this title that makes things not last very long. Anyone who is a major aficionado of the genre will need to grab this title and will surely enjoy its addition to your library, but for the gaming public as a whole you will find a title that will most likely disappoint most due to the issues stated above. Because of the niche nature of games like this you have a game that does everything right, but doesn’t offer a ton to those who don’t reside inside of this community’s love.
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*Review Code Provided by Dispatch Games