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Review #034: The Walking Vegetables: Radical! Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed By: Chad M.

Developed By: Still Running

Published By: Merge Games

Category: Action, Arcade, Shooter

Release Date: 11.08.2018

Download The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

All Rogues Not Alike

The genre of roguelike dungeon-crawlers with permadeath has been growing increasingly strong over the years, with popular and critical darlings like Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon. So, with their popularity, it’s only natural that you’ll see more and more games in that genre that seem to have a few similarities. The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition throws its hat in the ring as it comes onto the Switch eShop. While it undoubtedly will have comparisons to the titles I mentioned before, it also uses nostalgia to pull in some gamers that love retro-styled games in both look and feel, but also with pop culture.

I won’t Eat My Veggies

Outer space zombie vegetables have invaded and begun to take over. The city has now been overtaken, and the police captain only has one place to turn, one man to call, and you are it. You play as a hard-nosed cop who chugs coffee like a fat kid consuming cake. He is called in as a last resort to save the city from flesh-eating zombie vegetables. Everything feels hand-picked straight from the 80s, from the always screaming police captain, down to our lead protagonist’s vehicle—a DeLorean! The story is simple, but it isn’t what the developers use to draw you in. The sheer fun of finding the best load out all while blasting away baddies as darkness cloaks the streets is the thing that brings you back over and over, seeing how long you can last.

Gameplay & Fun Factor

Each time you begin a run, you’re dropped off by your DeLorean to start the level. You have a map that shows you the entire desolate 80’s style city, which is then broken down by each section you enter on the grid map. When you enter, the enemies begin to spawn within seconds, so you have to be on your toes and ready to run and gun. The only thing that was slightly annoying is when they would spawn behind me and hit me before I could see them. In each section of the city there are breakable items that you have to smash, looking for bullets and keys. By my tenth run, this also became a drag, as I felt that it slowed down the momentum of the gameplay. In each section you’ll find buildings that are mini dungeons that you can enter, most times by key. After fending off a wave of baddies, you’ll usually be given a chest. Sometimes it’s locked, which means that you will need yet another key. Keys weren’t always very accessible, since everything is randomly generated. Again, it would slow my momentum down as I searched for keys for more loot and weapons.

After going through several sections, you will reveal a boss to fight. The first boss I fought was Choco Ball, then a giant broccoli named Broccolith. The bosses aren’t super hard, but if you come in under prepared then you’ll be killed fairly quick. Again, with it all being randomly generated, I would have amazing runs that felt like this game was too good to be true, then have some where I felt so nerfed that I couldn’t do anything to progress. There is a pawn store you’ll have to locate in each level map if you want to use your loot to buy guns, ammo, and health.

Our hero comes equipped with a pistol to fire, police baton as melee, and coffee as a throwable weapon. Each one of these can be replaced by tons of different options that made for a heck of time. Nothing like shooting a bazooka at a giant broccoli that wants to kill you! All those feelings you had as a child not wanting to eat your broccoli, but being forced to, seems to easily bubble to the surface to make this a more cathartic experience. My experience with the game was very enjoyable, but when I added a friend to play with me in co-op, it made the game truly shine. It became the way I wanted to play it each time, as it added to the overall experience.

Audio & Visuals

The audio is laced beautifully with sound effects that match the game perfectly, and the music is fast-paced 80s synth music that never got old. All the dialogue in the game was via text subtitles, but the main character would sometimes say things when prompted, like if I didn’t have enough money to buy something. The visuals are where some of the comparisons will be from other roguelike games, but the visuals here are great. I thought the character designs were cute with the veggies and the little cop. One thing that stood out that some people today might not get was the fact that, throughout the entire game, there was a wave on the screen that was supposed to be the tracking of a VHS tape. I thought that the extra touch was just one of many things that made my experience memorable. The game ran great both docked and handheld.

Wrapping Up

Though there are similarities to other roguelike games to an extent, I’d say that The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition is a great arcade shooter. The time I had playing was mostly enjoyable—if at times slowed by hunting for keys—but then again, was redeemed by its superior co-op experience. So guys, grab your grenade launcher, hop in the DeLorean, and come blast some crying onions, because at the asking price, this is must own on switch!

Final Score: 9/10

Download The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Merge Games

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