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Game Review #429: Standby (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Steven Green

Developer: NoClip


Category: Precision-Platformer

Release Date: 8.1.2019

Price: $4.99

Buy Standby from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Special Agent Man

Standby is a precision-platformer that joins the likes of Super Meat Boy in a genre that has become quite popular in recent years. Extreme difficulty is paramount to the gameplay loop, while forcing the player to become an expert with the title in order to truly gain progression. As games like this get produced more and more, and the top titles becoming some of the must-plays in the industry, you have to have some titles to even out the playing field, and sadly Standby does that. Rough control systems and unfair precision schemes make for a game that is hard to master and hard to enjoy along the way, but brings some interesting dilemmas for those aficionados who eat, sleep, and breathe the hardest of difficulties.

Frustrating Fun

Don’t get me wrong, Standby can be fun at times. You have a platformer that is intense, has a unique art style, a great EDM soundtrack, and has some charm to it, but it is just so overly brutal that it is hard to have it be considered an enjoyable experience. You have a special agent-like character who runs through mazes of jumps and obstacles at high speeds, and each input is necessary for you to actually make it to the end. You have a jump, a powerslide, and a gun that is used to shoot through obstacles. Beyond that, you have a precision-platformer that turns into a rhythm game of sorts. Instead of focusing on the mechanics itself, you have to more or less memorize what is happening in front of you and try to associate it to the beat in order to properly hit the right keys and make it through each level. It’s unforgiving, in almost every sense, and simply being a half a second late, or mis-clicking an input makes for a game over almost instantly.

Pros Only

Standby is a title that I think the top-notch platformer players of the world will like. It is extremely satisfying to actually get through a level, and you have a lot of extras to look forward to. A good length and the increased difficulty also add up to an experience that you will spend some time with. I just think you might want to pre-purchase a new set of controllers before playing through this experience, as you might end up getting frustrated and demolishing said controllers. Unfair gameplay and a lack of being able to make quick on-the-fly changes to what you are doing turn this game from a precision-platformer to Guitar Hero on expert... with the DS claw controller rather than a guitar. It’s just plain grueling to push through, so take that for what it is.

Score: 6.5/10

Buy Standby from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review code was provided for review purposes.

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