|Posted by SheldonRandoms on May 9, 2017 at 9:15 PM|
Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, i'm going to mech up in Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad. The Wii U over the course of it's life has had plenty of classic arcade beat 'em ups, however, most of those titles have been games seen already on previous retro consoles, with the number of original games in the genre appearing on the low side. It just so happens that a group of sciurdaes are going on an mission, and it just so happens to play like a beat 'em up, thus, filling the void. I'll be taking one of these mechs and will determine if this is something i'll go nuts for, or will I just tip over and crash because i'm a kangaroo in a squirrel sized mech? Let's get nutty!
The story begins with a group of colorful squirrels in the forest going about their day, with everything being peaceful and calm (and kinda boring), however, with most stories in beat 'em ups, that doesn't last long. Out of nowhere, a claw grabs pink squirrel Rocky (for better or worse for the other squirrels), as well as all of the other squirrels in the forest. The remaining colored squirrels, Flapjack, Pothole, Nitelite, and Foxglove begin to chase the claw machine with a cat logo on it that captured the other squirrels, but, things didn't go so well due to their tactic just bombing, and then they went crashing down. By some twist of fate, the four discovered four mechs in a cavern discovery, and what luck, they knew which ones to pick since each one matched the color of their fur! Now equipped with their new mechs (dubbed, “ACORNs” ), the four now go straight for the HQ of a certain cat ceo to save their kind from being forced to become an alternative source of energy!
You'll have the choice to play as one of the four members of the action squirrel squad, it'll show you what their acorns look like in base form, which in this form, they'll all play similar to each other, however, behind their base form is the armored form, which increases their size and gives them each a unique ability for a short period of time. You can take on the entire game yourself, however, I did say there was four members of the action squirrel squad, so if you can, you can have up to three others join in and help defeat the evil energy corps' evil doings in a four player co-op adventure, however, your friends must join you at the character select screen, as you cannot join during a stage. Playing in co-op is like playing in “mode b” of some games, where it might seem like you and others can just gang up on one particular grunt, however, if you all keep attacking by said grunt, one of you will be the last one standing, as you can damage each other by attacking, thankfully, you can't harm each other via armored mode. If someones health reaches zero (by an enemy or by friendly fire), you can revive each other by in a short amount of time. Player one using the gamepad also has the job of scanning objects and baddies, which reveals their health, but only player one can see this, and must inform the other players of the current health of bosses, although, the game does hint at the conditions of the bosses with added dialogue and movements, so stay alert of that other players!
Most of the levels will have your squirrel in their acorn, walking down the pathway with rage to settle the score in a final fight! On the gamepad, the d-pad is only used for moving, as the analog stick isn't supported. The standard combat consists of walking around with punches that you can combo for extra points, with your air game being taken care of by your kicks, two types to be exact, the regular and horizontal kicks. For the most part the combat works, however, sometimes when getting near some enemies and punching them, my punches didn't land, and because there is no grabbing present as seen In other beat 'em ups, before I could move back and strike back, the enemy lands a couple of hits, dealing some noticeable damage in the process. The game has health acorns that replenish two bars of health, but that can get drained almost instantly due to there being no short moments of invincibility for most enemies and bosses, in multiplayer it's not as big of an issue since you could always revive someone if they go down, but in single player, it's game over, not to say that makes the game impossible, but it makes it feel like it's trying to find a way to make me insert more quarters into the machine.
Some other stages add some variety to the mix, such as using your kicks to time timed bombs to hit switches, or telling gravity to get out! Other stages don't go the usual beat 'em route, since some stages have you outside of your mech, automatically running with only your dash attack for defensive, and one stage feel more like an auto scrolling horizontal shooter, which really added to the formula, however, it's only present in one stage, and you can't revive each other until you go to the next section. The game also has two bonus stages, with one of them making you want to say “OH, MY CAR!” since.....well you didn't really think smashing a cat ceo's car would be that easy, did you? I mean you're going to need some form of security for your car if you have wrestler mayors or birds spinning into your car windows, so except some form of security measures when things heat up. The bonus stages even save your high scores, you can even add your own initials if you wanted to, or, you could just give them all to the master of the high scores, “AAA”.
Presentation wise, the game is bright and colorful like the action squirrel squad themselves, and to add some depth to the characters, game adds some humorous dialogue throughout the stages, as well as hints that'll keep flashing in the text bubbles. It's not just one squireel doing the talking, it's all of them, no matter who you pick, which is cool if you're playing alone, as it'll make you feel like you're playing with other players. The soundtrack is pretty good, it really does add the atmosphere to the levels, and each stage has it's own catchy unique theme and name, which can be viewed (or, listened in this case) in the options. Your playthrough of the game will take you around the same time it does for arcade beat 'em ups and after clearing the game, you can view all the golden acorns you've collected throughout the game. You don't find hidden golden acorns in the levels, instead, you get them by clearing a stage, and these golden acorns aren't for eating, but instead, are used to view concept material for the game with a short description for each, and some of it goes to show that things really do change throughout development.
All and all, Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad delivers an original classic styled beat 'em up for the Wii U that is worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre. While the ACRONs have some loose bolts due to the knockbacks in them, you'll still find enjoyment to be had, especially if you have other squirrel squad members tagging along for the ride, just don't go down the rocky path when you go on the adventure, just saying.
I give Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad 8 acorns out of 10!
Cost on the eShop: $7.99
Memory used: 211 MB
Review code provided by: Nexcra Software