Thanks to Mixedbag for the review code
Title: Futuridium EP Deluxe
System: New Nintendo 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: 09/08/2016
This game has barely any story to speak of, with the story itself being hidden in an obscure place. (waiting idle on the level select menu for some reason) Overall it’s a fairly generic story about a space ship in the middle of a fierce fight who gets trapped in a mysterious loop, and must find a way to escape back to the battlefield. This is an old school arcade shooter in the vein of Starfox, Bosconian and The Last Starfighter (The awful game, not the movie), exclusive to the New 3DS thanks to the power of Unity!
As a clear homage to the Super FX inspirations, the visuals look use polygons that look almost the same as the type that inspired it, with simplistic shapes and objects representing the entire game. Thankfully if the default colors for the stages don’t look that great you do eventually unlock other skins, allowing you to eventually change the overall color scheme to one that’s better on your eyes. Of course, being a 3DS title Futuridium has 3D support, offering a nice sense of depth that is ultimately dependent on which viewpoint you choose from. (with the first person view being my personal favorite for the 3D effect)
Music and Sound
While this game does boast a nice variety of genres for its soundtrack, I’m going to have to be perfectly honest when I say that I found myself muting the BGM in the options menu, mainly because of the fact that you can’t seem to lock a single track on loop, therefore making the OST an entire playlist that loops endlessly unless you move the C-stick left and right to change the song back to the one you were just on, and eventually I found myself sick of having an OK song play for half a stage before a mediocre theme took over and required me to push the C-Stick to the left to restart my track. Considering the tight time limits you’ll be making if you want to get a lot of medals, I found that simply muting it altogether to keep things consistent was the best option for me, though you won’t be missing out on much considering how pretty much all but one of the songs are mediocre to downright bizarre.
Futuridium allows you to choose between twp game modes, and while the levels remain the same regardless of choice, they do alter the scoring system and overall difficulty. Original mode gives you more points with the downsides of an instant game over upon losing your energy (which is already low enough to begin with) while Remix mode gives you less points while starting you off with more energy and only giving you a game over if you bump into anything. (Bonus stages still kill you regardless)
There are five main worlds of ten levels each to traverse, with each main level requiring you to shoot every blue cube in order to open up a white portal and escape to the next level. Every once in a while you’ll have bonus stages with really tight time limits, although failing these thankfully won’t get you a game over. Upon clearing a stage, you’ll be given one of three medals depending on if you fulfill the requirements for each, with one for not crashing into a wall, one for beating the target time and another for getting a perfect chain on the blue cubes. Despite the simple to learn controls, this game can get really difficult, especially if you’re trying to get the medals for target time and chains due to the extremely perfect timing you’ll need to master in order to obtain them. Thankfully you do unlock a single level mode early on that lets you replay any stage you’ve cleared at your own pace, which makes it so you don’t have to repeat the same 10 level gauntlets just to retry a level you can’t get a medal on.
It should be noted however that if you run out of energy, you’ll pretty much have to restart the world and go through the gaunlet of levels again to get another shot at clearing it. You don’t need to worry about medals while going through the worlds, but this can get frustrating if you’re having a tough time simply staying alive in a particular world, although if you keep on trying you’ll eventually get enough cubes to unlock one of the very rare continues, which allow you to continue from the stage you died.
In conclusion, Futuridium EP Deluxe offers the first Unity port to the New 3DS, and thankfully the 3D effect works wonders with this port. It even offers cross-buy with the Wii U version of the game, allowing you to play it in precious HD at no additional cost! Despite the simplistic looks, this game is challenging, but in an addictive way rather than a way that’ll frustrate you. Dull music aside, the amount of medals you’ll collect along with the extra unlockables to discover make Futuridium Extended Play Deluxe a really fun game to pick up and play, and I have had a lot of fun playing this game in my community college while waiting for a ride home. I give Futuridium EP Deluxe an 8 out of 10.