Game Reviews

Ludicrous Edition, Frog Detective, and More – Gamezebo

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We try to cover every Switch game we’re sent a code for here at Gamezebo. Sometimes we find ourselves with a bit of a backlog though – like right now for instance. 

So here are some shorter reviews of games released or updated on the Switch over the last few months – that we might not have gotten round to covering otherwise. 

Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition

There have been so many first person shooters released in recent years that have attempted to tap into the 90s glory period for the genre  – with many failing miserably. So it’s nice to have a port of an actual title from the 90s in the form of this turbo charged edition of Rise of the Triad.

Rise of the Triad was stuck in an awkward position when it was originally released though, being developed using the creaky Wolfenstein 3D engine despite Doom already being available after it was launched. So even at the time it already felt like yesterday’s news.

Which is unfair, as it offers some absolutely mad ideas. Some of the weapons, bosses, and obstacles you’ll encounter here are genuinely inspired, and it all moves lightning quick. If you can adjust to its old school sensibilities there’s tonnes to enjoy.

Many won’t be able to adjust to the sometimes unfair difficulty spikes of course, but if you’re an FPS fan you owe it to yourself to at least give this a try. 

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Gargoyles Remastered

After Illusion Island it’s interesting to see Disney’s next step is a port of a game that, quite frankly, isn’t remembered fondly by many. That’s maybe a little harsh. But only a little.

A tie-in for the animated show from the 90s, the original was a 16-bit release and was a serviceable enough action platformer. You play as leader of the Gargoyles Goliath – who can flap around a bit, battle enemies, and scale buildings.

This remaster is undeniably visually impressive, as you can switch between the original visuals and enhanced ones with the tap of the button any time you wish as you play. There were times we found using the older visuals more helpful in figuring out what to do or where to go as well, so this isn’t just an empty gimmick.

As for the gameplay itself, it’s serviceable if slightly dated. Difficulty spikes are common and the combat often feels weirdly spongey, with it often hard to tell if your attacks are actually landing.

The game is also very short, with a newly implemented rewind feature meaning you can complete this within an hour.

We can’t question the work that’s gone into reviving Gargoyles Remastered, but we do slightly question whether this was a title that needed bringing back in the first place.

Score: 3 out of 5

Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery

Frog Detective raises an interesting question – is charm alone enough to make a game worth playing? We found the answer is yes, but only just.

Nominally a mystery game, Frog Detective ultimately sees you attempting to solve a set of three cases. To work out what’s happened you have to talk to everyone and usually end up trading items between them. And that’s it, pretty much.

There’s very little in the way of puzzles here, with the main entertainment coming from the off-kilter dialogue, endearingly basic character designs, and many oddball flourishes.

For some Frog Detective won’t offer enough actual detective work, but it’s still a gently amusing ride that will certainly appeal to younger gamers.  

Score: 3.5 out of 5

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing

Listen, this isn’t great. That’s probably not a surprise – barely any gameplay footage was shown of this before it was released after all, never a great sign.

However this isn’t as much of a disaster as it could have been, even though it’s a shonky karting game in many ways. It has awful voice overs, somewhat stilted movement, and awful weapons.

Yet it does have some decent track design at times, and even some nice flourishes. The DreamWorks logo fishing you out back and plonking you back onto the track, for instance. 

But these things are simply not enough to make this worth looking at over something like Mario Kart.

DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing is a just about serviceable budget kart game, but did we really need another one of those?

Score: 2.5 out of 5

Bang-On Balls: Chronicles

There is a lot going on in Bang-On Balls: Chronicles. All of the time, every single second. A 3D platformer which prides itself in having loads of characters (mostly ball shaped) and objectives, it’s very hard not to be impressed at the ambition.

Sadly this Switch port is near unplayable, and makes the game far more of a chore than it actually is.

The frame rate constantly slows, meaning getting any enjoyment out of the madcap happenings occurring all around you is very difficult indeed.

Which is a shame, as there is loads to do here and some of it is huge fun. There’s a dizzying range of worlds, tasks, and enemies. It would perhaps be too much to take in if the performance wasn’t horrid, but as it stands playing this on Switch only ended up giving us a headache.

If you’re after a bold and brash 3D platformer you should definitely check out Bang-On Balls: Chronicles. Just not on the Switch.

Score: 2 out of 5

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