Originally Posted July 06 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming Forums
I remember back in March this game was set to come out at the end of the month. Excited for this game to release, I spent the majority of my spring break waiting. And waiting, and waiting. When it was delayed, I immediately got angry, feeling upset that a game that would help the Wii U drought at the time was delayed until May.
Then May came, and yet again this game was delayed. luckily now it’s finally released, but the big question remains… Is Armillo worth the two delays it suffered?
System: Wii U (eShop)
Price: 5.99 (To be 7.99 later)
Release date: 7/3/2014
The main game/story
This game is a 3D platformer with a lot of small, fun elements added in. The main story here is that Armillo, the main protagonist returns from a long vacation, only to find his world under attack! With the help of some friends, he spins into action and sets off to save the universe from this strange alien menace, who seemed to be called Darkbots!
The graphics for the most part look all right. Menus are clean and well organized, and Armillo and friends have very nice portraits displayed before you enter a 3D level, reminding me of the portraits from SNES Starfox. The game itself however, looks a bit dated, like it was from the late PS2 era. However, it doesn’t hinder the gameplay, and everything can be identified just fine.
Music and sound effects:
The game’s soundtrack sounds rather fine and fits the theme of being in space. When going to the alternate universe, it even changes to fit the theme of despair there, despite the fact Armillo doesn’t stay there long. And with each world and level having their own unique view and feel, the music changes as well. Sound effects work accordingly, and there is surprisingly voice acting, though most of the time the Darkbots end up being the ones to speak with voice acting.
Being a 3D platformer, most of the game is viewed from a slightly isometric perspective, which can be changed by using the L and R buttons. Armillo controls well, as he can move smoothly with both the D pad and the control stick. Using the Y button, he can boost, unless he gains a powerup which lets him fire the critters he collects during the game as projectiles. The main goal of the game is to get to the end with as many critters and collectibles as you can find, which then sends you to a bonus stage to get more orbs. The more critters you get, the more time you have.
Speaking of time, there is also an alternate universe Armillo will have to visit to make it to another part of the level. In these areas, he has to make it to another portal within the time limit or else he will lose a life instantly. In areas without any extra time, it’s incredibly intense and keeps you on the edge to try to survive! Found in the alternate universe are 2D stages hidden throughout, and you must make it to the end of the stage you found them in order to keep them. Once you do, you can play the 2D levels at the critter corner, which opens up yet another gameplay element that I found a lot of fun.
In the 2D levels, there is a time limit, and obstacles. That’s it! No critters to rescue, just orbs to collect. This means you MUST go through the levels as fast as you can, while avoiding death and getting as much orbs as you can, and I had the most fun with these levels, especially since some of them reminded me of parts from other games, like one level (Which the developers even stated was based off of this) that was similar to the Castlevania Clock tower levels, and another that to me reminded me of the SNES Castlevania game Dracula X/Vampire’s Kiss/悪魔城ドラキュラXX due to it’s incredibly precise jumps and timing.
Speaking of orbs… Besides being used to help you unlock stuff and to aim towards the gold medals, they are used to unlock items at the critter corner, which are mostly upgrades that will help Armillo on his journey. These can range from an extra heart (And considering the fact Easy mode gives you three and normal gives you 2, it would help), to an upgrade letting Armillo destroy certain blocks to access secret areas. With so much to do and so much to unlock to get that 100% rating, there is a lot of content here, and is worth the $6 introduction price and even the $8 normal price.
However, despite the delay I encountered a few glitches. Nothing dangerous but a bit distracting.
The major one I have encountered was the framerate. At random times it would dip down and everything was choppy. The only places it never seemed to drop at all for me where the bonus stages at the end of 3D levels. Luckily the developer confirmed it would be patched,
The next one was a bit weird. In the middle of the first boss stage, I defeated the darkbot in “stomp mode” while trapped in a corner. A cutscene played where he flew to another part of the level, and while doing so I was knocked outside of the border, letting me explore the out of bounds area of the stage and causing weird things to happen. I ultimately had to restart the level. Besides those two things, I didn’t have any other troubles.
In conclusion, Armillo was thankfully worth the two delays it suffered to arrive on the Wii U eShop. Unfortunately, it came with framerate issues, but with solid gameplay, a good price, and lots to do, as well as a patch to address these problems, Armillo is definitely a great value, and for that reason, I give Armillo an 8 out of 10.
Thanks to Fuzzy Wuzzy games for the review code.