Thursday, February 28, 2019

Devil Engine review - an assured, satisfying shmup for Switch

Chunk. It's a hard quality to nail down, though it's something imperative to the best action games. It's also something you've either got or you haven't - and Devil Engine, the new horizontal 2D shmup that's just come to the Switch, has it in spades.

How to define that, exactly? There's chunk in the explosions, mostly, quick-sprouting cauliflowers that fizz and boom with grace. Shooting things feels just great in Devil Engine, a small but significant thing when playing a game like this, of course. Being shot feels pretty grand too - the best explosion in Devil Engine is saved for when your own ship is downed, which is quite the generous touch considering how often that will happen.

There's chunk in the artwork too, boldly realised and brilliantly brought to life; this is a 2D shmup that finds a medium between the more stately compose of older classics such as Gradius and R-Type and the more modern bustle of bullet hell games such as DoDonPachi, so it seems apt that its art-style feels like a powered-up version of those vintage 80s vistas, its starfields and spaceships brought to life with a muscular fidelity. As a devotee of the classics, I wouldn't go as far as to say Devil Engine looks better than them - just that it feels like they share that vision, and have been ushered to life with the help of a little more grunt. It's as if someone just discovered an unreleased Saturn shooter, developed by some of the finest minds at Irem and Konami in the 90s, and just ported it to Switch.

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by February 28, 2019 at 12:04AM

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