The true successor... to Serious Sam! (single player review)
I really like this game. There's nothing else quite like it... or it turns out that on closer inspection, there kind of is something else like it. Except this is better. But I'll get to that later.
Each level begins with Pit flying through the air on a preset path, fighting enemies Star Fox
style as you progress toward the goal. These are very scripted, with sudden "surprises" that always occur the same way. While I enjoy these sections as a warmup, and they do a great job of showing off some amazing graphical power (rumor has it they're actually FMV footage with 3D graphics superimposed in them, which wouldn't surprise me), I wouldn't like the game if it entirely consisted of these.
But it doesn't. Far from it: the vast majority of any level takes place on the ground. This is what the game is going to be best known for as a result, and this is also where the odd controls come into play. They're changeable, but the touchscreen controls are probably the best way to go, once you adjust some settings and get used to them.
The "ground" level design is really good. The levels are hugely diverse, with an amazing variety not just in theme but also in design. Some levels contain maze-like segments, others are more straightforward. There's large open rooms, small rooms, corridors, outdoors sections, places where you can drive vehicles (that have their own unique physics and movement), and unique gimmicks such as optical illusions, jumping-oriented areas, and all manner of creative ideas show up from time to time. The level design is very platformer-ish, even though the game is not a platformer.
Enemy design is hugely varied as well. Some enemies require specific strategies to beating them, and their behaviors vary so much that there's always many surprises.
Heck, playing the ground levels made me think of one game series in particular: Serious Sam
. Think about it: Serious Sam
has level design that's platformer-esque, with gimmicks from time to time, is about only fighting varied enemies and moving onward. However, Serious Sam
has failed to evolve much. This game, if anything, is its unintentional true successor, rather than a successor to Kid Icarus
. It happens to use Sam
's basic concepts and builds on them significantly. It's also a great game.