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Giga Wrecker Alt. Review (Switch eShop)

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Despite the fact that it is the next entry in the ethnical cultural phenomenon that is PokémonGame Freak every so often takes time to cleanse its creative palette with something that doesn't involve pocket-based monsters. The most recent of its side forays was Giga Wrecker, which smashed its way onto PC two years ago, and while it's a world away from the top-down beast of the game Freak's usual fare, this puzzle-platformer has a similar level of quality you'll instantly appreciate.

Finally ported to consoles Giga Wrecker Alt., this little open-ended 2D scroller has some great ideas when it comes to puzzles and how you interact with the world around you. Everything centers around one Reika Rekkeiji. Following an invasion by an army of ravenous robots, the young Reika is locked away in a cell and seems left for dead. That is until another heroine blasts open her cell and shoots her. Now definitely left for dead, Reika is rescued by the snarky yet brilliant Doctor Kozuki, who uses the technology of Earth's new robotic invaders to rebuild our leading lady with cybernetic implants.

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So yes, it's very Mega Man (with a sprinkling of 2D) Castlevania), but the actual gameplay itself is more focused on solving than nails-hard combat. With her new metallic limbs, Reika can now smash her way through giant blocks, including smashing and smashing down to access new areas. Destruction is physics-based, with rock columns often falling on how they were struck, enabling you to create bridges across the gaps in the game. However, it's not just about creating destruction, but using the results of your destructive abilities to solve conundrums and help you in combat. By pressing 'ZR' or 'R' you can 'recall' any nearby rubble to create a sphere of deadly detritus.

The larger your ball of rubble, the further it'll reach. At first this will simply be like a quick fix for ranged attacks, but soon you realize it's ideal for turning destructible elements into shapes needed to solve and certain environmental puzzle. Need to reach a high platform? How about turning a high ledge above you into a slope by smashing the nearest section away? Or bashing a large haphazard block into a rudimentary series of steps? Most of the Giga Wrecker Alt's puzzles ultimately boil down, but the fun of solving how to turn the environment into a solution often negates the predictable setup.

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It's easy to mess up – especially if you haven't got the hang of Reika's powerful punch and how best to use it at certain heights and distances – the most major puzzles come with a nearby tachyon point. The electromagnetic waves you use to recall rubble can be used to create and paradoxical time jump that basically resets the puzzle and restores all previously destroyed scenery. The only caveat is these 'tachyon bursts' remove any rubble you were carrying at the time. It's also easy to keep activating these points as you need to push up on the analog stick to activate them. They also reset all enemies, making retries that extra bit tricky.

The console port is not just a straight rehash of the PC version, either. Giga Wrecker Alt. Brand new 'Iron Man' is a new model for your robot, Dölma. The latter is the most beneficial of the lot. Sure, a lot of extra levels to play through is always welcome – especially for those who played the original – but considering how to make some of its grander puzzles and godsend. New players will really appreciate this new feature, while more experienced rubble-rousers will really get a kick out of having a higher difficulty mode to overcome.

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Weirdly, Giga Wrecker. A more retro anime aesthetic was the intention of the game. Dead Cells steed Celeste, this one ends up like something put together in flash. It's environments can also look really captivating at times, especially during certain boss battles, but the dichotomy between the two can be very jarring.

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