Review: escapeVektor (3DS)
The fact we never saw Chapter 2 released there is telling of its limited success despite being an incredible game, I think. Thankfully, then, the game has a second chance, with escapeVektor arriving on both Vita and the 3DS eShop. Fingers crossed it gets the attention it deserves this time around.
You can read our review of the WiiWare game for a full overview of the game. I won't go over the mechanics of the game again as there hasn't been a great deal changed to the basic formula, it's just that this time around there's a whole lot more of it.
The game is still genuinely challenging, too. A single mistake will destroy the little arrow character and will send you back to the start of the level. Levels are expertly designed to offer up interesting and dynamic challenges - this is by far the best Pac Man/ Qix-styled retro game I've ever played. With so many levels on offer there was the real danger that the game would become a repetitive grind, but I never felt that across the entire 150-level run time.
Similarly, the default pace of the arrow is very slow. It can be accelerated by pressing down a button, and this nominally reduces a "boost" gauge. Should it empty then the arrow will return to normal pace, but in almost all cases that gauge will never empty, and levels are best played with the button pressed down the whole time. This means you'll be pressing down two buttons for the entirety of most levels, and I would have thought the better route to follow would be to have a zoomed-out, boosted play style as the default. Let players press a button to zoom in or slow things down, because those are rare occasions indeed.
That technical fault doesn't hinder the game's entertainment value, but it is a surprising oversight for such a slick package. The game looks incredible, has a classy electronic soundtrack, and even the narrative, which is something Nnooo (of Spirit Hunters and Pop fame) is very inexperienced in, is engaging. It's a great value package on either 3DS or Vita, and is frankly essential stuff.
- Matt S
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