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Friday, 19 January 2018

Review: Vesta


Does the new teamwork based puzzle platformer from Finalboss Games make the grade?



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Vesta
FinalBoss Games | Nintendo Switch | Digital Only
1 Player
Reviewed by - Curtis Chapman | 19th January 2018

* Review Code Provided by: FinalBoss Games *







Released today, during a busy week for Indies on the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Play takes a look at Final Boss Games’ newest Switch entry, Vesta. Looking to only part you of a reasonable £13.49, can Vesta do enough to hold your attention and open your wallet?

Vesta, the confident red headed 6-year-old girl with a smart mouth, stars as the lead role in the new Nintendo Switch game of the same name. Taking place on a far off planet in a sprawling underground base dominated entirely by machines, Vesta has spent her entire life in the “Garden”, a part of the base covered in lush greenery with only her floating computer screen friend BOT for company. Power has now become somewhat of a scarcity and Vesta has been tasked with a mission to travel across the sectors of the base. Utilising a special backpack that allows her to harvest the bases dwindling power sources and a robot known only as Droid, she’s must do everything necessary to open the various locked doors and pass the many obstacles that she comes across on her travels.

Loosely defined as a puzzle platformer, the main gameplay finds you switching freely between Vesta and Droid to open doors and cross obstacles as you encounter them. You are initially only able to hold 1 electric charge in your backpack, making puzzles are fairly rudimentary. This is quickly upped to 3 charges however and objectives become more a case of juggling various switches and buttons simultaneously to ensure both Vesta and Droid can both proceed through the level. Droid can be used to temporarily stun enemies, allowing Vesta to syphon their power, he can also move heavy items and throw Vesta across small gaps. Each level features the same goal: Get both Vesta and Droid from the beginning of the level to the end, ensuring there is still enough requisite power left in Vesta's backpack to open the door at the end of the stage.




There’s no denying that the symbiotic nature of Vesta and Droid would lend itself well to a multiplayer co-operative mode, though one is not included in the game. It is understandable why this has been left out however as the switching back and forth between Vesta and Droid at just the right time, ensuring that neither is left in harm’s way, is a key element and adds a level of difficulty to the puzzles found within the game. Allowing two plays to move each character independently in its current state would lower an already moderately easy to play game into something that two people would be able to walk through in a few hours.

Vesta features 4 chapters with 9 levels in each. While the first world serves more as a tutorial than anything else, the game does get progressively more difficult, though still ending up fairly accessible to those who are not big fans of difficult games. The puzzles involved are fairly straightforward and shouldn’t see you trawling the forums and wikis looking for guides on how to solve them. There are collectables to be found on each level, some are fairly easy to spot while others require you to venture off the beaten path somewhat. These collectables can be tracked on the games level select screen, adding something in the way of revisiting the 36 levels once the story has reached its conclusion.

The art style serves the game well, opting for that cartoon “Low-Poly” effect, most comparable to the characters and locales found in World of Warcraft. Level design is well thought out, with some levels split across several floors of varying heights and puzzles making use of the layout efficiently. Sadly the game doesn’t do a very good job of filling its world with interesting things to look at. Each chapter features a different grey/brown theme with only one brightening up the colour palette slightly. Across all 9 levels, each chapter the limited assets in play are used constantly, providing little variation between rooms. Enemy design is varied with each one possessing a unique personality in how they move and react when encountering the player.




Cut-scenes are handled through the medium of a graphic novel, with the hand-drawn artwork being crisp, looking fantastic and going a long way to adding a layer of depth and polish to a game that could easily have blended into with so many games currently releasing on the platform. All music and sound effects are top notch and compliment the games art direction perfectly.

Taking into consideration.... Vesta is a title that does well provide an entertaining puzzle platformer throughout its duration. Unfortunately, its barren levels, average animations and a limited variation in the puzzles hold the game back from standing out above all the other indies in the crowd but is well worth your time and money.



FOR THE WIN OR FOR THE BIN?



+ 36 lengthy levels
+ Entertaining teamwork based puzzles
+ Excellent Sound/Art Direction

- Repetitive level decoration
- Lack of a co-op mode

Verdict: Above Average - Worth a Try



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