Thanks to Gray Fin Studios for the review code
Title: Dual Core
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release Date: 05/26/2016
In the depths of space, a mysterious force has wiped out a human colony known as Europa. Two robots are awakened not long afterwards, and noticing the attack on the humans they set off to investigate the cause of this tragedy in this twin stick shooter!
Visually, Dual Core looks really sharp on an HD TV. The dark environments stand out, the 2D art looks really good on the player robots (though the enemies tend to look as if they were ripped from a flash title) and the gamepad implementation works really well, giving you an inventory on the second screen to use on the fly without having to bring up a menu. The music is also decent in the story mode levels with an atmospheric vibe, though the arcade and versus modes share the same level theme which happens to be one of the worst tracks in the game, so not everything is good on this front.
There are three modes to choose from in Dual Core, each of them offering support for up to four players. You have the Story mode which is the stage based main attraction, the Arcade mode which puts you in an arena with waves of enemies to destroy for the best score, and the Versus mode for local multiplayer battles. While the Multiplayer in Arcade and Versus mode is an optional bonus that can be fun to try out if you have a friend along, the story mode makes you play two-players by default, giving you an AI partner if you don’t have at least one friend with you.
In each of the modes the controls stay the same, with the left analog stick being used to move your robot while the right stick can be used to aim and shoot. Using the Wii U Gamepad you can easily select inventory items on the fly and use them, although the option is also available via the L button if you’re using other controllers.
With the Story mode being the main attraction, the main goal of that mode is to explore every nook and cranny in each of the stages, opening locked doors and taking out enemies along the way. When an enemy is destroyed in either the Story or Versus modes, they can drop a small variety of items from powerups like spread shots or rockets, robotic drones that will help you out for a short period of time, to multicolored gems that can either restore your health if you collect the blue ones or give you the option to upgrade your robot if you collect a certain amount of the green ones. You also get stuck with an AI partner if you don’t have a real friend around, which tends to be a bit irritating since he barely helps at all and often shoots aimlessly at the weaker enemies, so I strongly advise you to play this mode with an actual friend for best results.
In conclusion, Dual Core is an arcade shooter with a big focus on multiplayer, and as a local multiplayer game it really is a lot of fun! With a decent length in story mode, a replayable Arcade mode and a very fun versus mode this is a great game to play if you have friends over. Unfortunately, if you’re by yourself then the modes lose a lot of their appeal, especially when it comes to Versus mode (as the CPU bots are relentless even on the easiest setting) and when you also consider how Arcade Mode lacks any online leaderboards, which could have really helped add to the replay value. As it stands, Dual Core is an excellent game for Co-Op, but if you’re a solo gamer then it may be best to wait for a sale considering how the story mode is not nearly as fun with the AI partner. Whatever the case, you do have a solid twin stick shooter on your hands that can easily be recommended for multiplayer gamers. I give Dual Core a 7 out of 10.