With a title like Noitu Love 2 Devolution we expected to be reviewing a Japanese dating simulator, naturally I found myself a little disappointed, instead of the shy anime girls desperately trying to win my affections , I would actually be reviewing a Side-scrolling shooter/brawler series. This disappointment however was short lived as I was soon transported into a ridiculously colourful and up-beat 16-bit world; where I was free to bash robots to my giddy hearts content.
Four years ago, in a time where steam was not quite the monolith of digital distribution it is today, a Swedish developer by the name of Joakim Sandberg (Developer alias of Konjak) brought out Noitu Love 2 which was sadly overlooked by the gaming populous devoid of a place for indie developers to showcase their creations. However with its release on steam and a price cut it has gained deserved popularity for its tight control scheme, colourful visuals, impressive sound track and nostalgic arcade flow.
The controls at first seem rather bland, rapid clicking on robots causes your character to kick and punch them until they die, you can also dash between enemies but it was still a little too easy. However as you progress more and more through the game more mechanics are introduced, giving the combat a real depth and complexity, I certainly was not expecting a arcade style brawler. I don’t want to spoil any of the weapons for you as I feel discovery is half the fun, saying that though they really raise Noitu Love 2 Devolution above others in the genre by the way they adapt to your gameplay style. The player must develop a rhythm of clicking to really maximise efficiency, if you just click as fast as you can to dispatch an enemy you leave yourself vulnerable to attack because of the slightly longer than I would like attack animations that leave you annoying lingering in the air.
One thing I always find lacking in many games is a real challenge, a reason to punch the air in a Final Fantasy fashion after beating a particularly tough boss. Noitu 2 love Devolution really feeds my inner-sadist by giving me the kind of boss battles that cause people to turn to alcoholism. On normal mode it’s a challenge for sure, but one or two goes and you will beat him/her/train that becomes bipedal and chases after you without breaking a sweat, you crank it up to hard though and you got yourself a whole world of pain. It’s not just that they do huge amounts of damage, it’s the incredibly small window of opportunity you have to inflict damage on them between them beating on you, miss it and you have to go a whole other round.
At its tiny price of £3.99 there really is no reason not to pick it up. Once again Steam have given a game that could have so easily been scanned over as just another arcade brawler a chance to really show what it can do.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.