Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – Enter The Gungeon – Switch
If you’ve already played Enter the Gungeon (or read our existing review), I’m here to tell you that the Switch version takes the already great experience and improves on it in several ways. The smaller tweaks present in the Switch version, such as more generous warp points and a slight increase in bullets earned, all help to make the game a bit more enjoyable from the get-go. But let’s not claim false expertise – it’s still bloody hard. In my time with the game, I barely managed to get to the second level of this randomly-generated dungeon, and never saw a level two boss. In fact, it’s still a struggle for me to even get through the first level on a regular basis.
It’s not that Enter the Gungeon is particularly unforgiving. Each room is usually quite manageable, and you always tend to have a couple of Blanks on hand (bullets that cancel all on-screen enemy bullets). However, the difficulty comes from the pure randomness of each run. You might stumble across a chest containing an awesome gun early on and then kick arse all the way to the boss, or you might wallow about with nothing, forced to face the end challenge with nothing but your generic starter weapon and the ability to roll through bullets without damage. After a while, this randomness can drag the experience down and I found myself wishing for some way to save guns for my future self or even reset rooms so that I could farm more bullets to buy weapons from the shopkeeper.
Control wise, it feels good both docked and handheld helped greatly by the ability to completely remap your controls. The default controls are not very intuitive, so I found it well worth the time fiddling around with different settings to accommodate quick muscle reflexes. I found it easier to play on the TV simply because each room is packed full of destructible debris and therefore during some fights, it’s easy to lose track of your character when playing in handheld mode. The larger visual real estate of the TV reduced such temporary confusion. The game’s humour also keeps things fresh, with seemingly unlimited gun types and both active and passive items to experiment with. My favourite gun was a shell that fired shotguns. The box that shoots anvils is cool, too.
While I enjoyed Enter the Gungeon a lot, the reliance on random largesse to win through to new levels soured the experience for me and I just didn’t feel like I had the patience to play the first level on repeat until I became expert. That said, the random generation of rooms and spawned enemies does help to make things feel fresh each run, even if the game is just shuffling around art assets. I can imagine putting this aside for a few months and then returning with renewed vigour during gaming lulls.