Review: ARKEDO SERIES – 02 Swap!
Swap makes a fine first impression. The story mode of the game introduces King Kat as he wakes up from what seems to be a hangover. Too much ‘milk on the beach’ will do that to you I suppose. It contains much of the same humor that I loved from Jump!, the previos Arkedo Series title, and in some ways exceeds it. The pause menu makes note that you’re a punk for trying to cheat and King Kat often has funny reactions depending on how well you’re playing. Unfortunately that’s one of the only truly notable things about Swap.
Swap’s simply nothing more than a match four puzzle game. There’s a few added items (coins, lightning blocks and time blocks) that try to switch up the game but nothing that makes Swap stand out. The lightning blocks explode a large area of adjacent blocks while time blocks, you guessed it, stop time for around two seconds. The only thing that’s different about Swap is how it controls. Swapping blocks is done with the right analog stick by flicking in the direction that you want to swap. At first I really liked how this worked. It’s a simple and unique way to play the game and worked really well initially. However once the game starts to speed up and you’re required to swap faster is when the controls stop working. Suddenly it becomes way too easy to swap blocks in the wrong direction. Numerous times I found myself swapping up when I needed to swap down or left when I wanted to go right. It’s especially frustrating when you’re trying to swap as fast as you can.
Aside from the story mode Swap also features an arcade and challenge mode. Arcade consists of an Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty level for some good old fashion high score runs. Challenge mode consists of over a dozen challenges to complete. Most of these ask you to match a certain number of blocks at the same time while others task you with exceeding a set score. One thing to take note of with the challenge mode is that it might not work exactly how you’d think. One challenge is to match seven blocks at the same time. This might lead one to believe that matching more than seven would also complete the challenge. This isn’t the case. For that challenge in particular you have to match exactly seven blocks. It’s not exactly a negative but it’s something that left me a little confused. Also of note is the final challenge. Beat the Developers. I’m still completely oblivious as to what that means. Beat the developers sounds like obtaining a really high score but there’s no way of telling what that score might be. Again it’s not necessarily a negative but weird nonetheless.
I really wanted to like Swap. After loving the previous Arkedo game I certainly had high hopes. There’s nothing about Swap that’s going to make it stand out. Nothing that’ll make you wanting to come back for more. In the end it’s just a boring puzzle game with a good sense of humor.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- It's got a good sense of humor
What I Dislike:
- Imprecise controls
- Challenge mode could use better explanation