Gunmetal Arcadia Zero

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Gunmetal Arcadia Zero is a platform action game developed and published by Minor Key Games and released for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows on 2016-11-15.

Status

I own the game on Steam and have beaten it.

Review

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4 4 5 4 3

Best Version: 40%

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game does a pretty decent job of emulating the style of a 1980s platform action-adventure game.
  • The CRT emulation is top-notch.
  • The game has a fair amount of hidden sections which are rewarding to find and explore, and, with the New Game+, I was able to discover the ones I missed in my first attempt.

Bad

  • The story is dull and doesn't add much to the game. I spoke to everyone in the game about every topic, only to discover it was not important. I didn't learn any necessary hints for solving puzzles, it was just tedious backstory. Other than the merchants, you can basically skip every conversation, but you unfortunately can't tell merchants from pointless NPCs since they share sprites.
  • The art, music, and sound fits the 8-bit theme, but none of it is that great.
  • The game is too short. I completed it and the New Game+ in only a couple short sittings.
  • The game is too easy. On my first play through, I only used the second weapon upgrade, didn't get the third, and forgot to equip the final sword, but I still won with ease.
  • The controls are a little imperfect. The up and down thrusts weren't as clean as they could be, and I often found myself getting hit when I was pretty confident I should have had my sword out in time.
  • The secondary weapon uses the horrible Castlevania system of tossing your current weapon when you pickup the new one. The problem is, once you find the one your prefer, you rarely want to switch, so the new ones just get in the way, and sometimes the one you want is tossed into a pit so you can't get it back.
  • I don't understand the point of lives and 1ups since it seemed to me that I had infinite continues. It reminded me the system used by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which was also strange.
  • Collecting gems, only to sell them for gold is unnecessary busy work.
  • Most of the monster's names don't make any sense. This is, perhaps, a callback to 8-bit games, but a bit silly none-the-less.
  • Achievements are awarded merely for playing the game, they aren't for anything special.
  • I found the New Game+ to be mostly pointless. Since you'll probably end your first run with all the best equipment, the second play through means you're just collecting gold with nothing to spend it on, and getting more hearts that aren't necessary.
  • It was an interesting choice to design the maps so that backtracking was very limited, but I ended up not liking it. My first play-through I missed a lot locked doors and bombable walls, and when I got to them in the second play-through, I found they were just more gold that I didn't need.
  • Despite being quite accurate, I never bother playing with the CRT emulation turned on.

Ugly

  • Although I enjoyed the game enough to play it through, I was never that impressed, and only mildly enjoying myself. I just felt like I was going through the motions the entire time, not partaking in anything important or life-altering.

Links

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