Assault Android Cactus

From Indie developer Witch Beam, they raise from the depths of Early Access a fully packed action bullet hell. Their latest launched title, Assault Android Cactus is here!

UPDATE: PS4 Release Impressions "This game is now more bananas than before."

The comedy factor in the game has such an interesting charm, it's right to the point and every character adds their tiny bit to the story. Cactus is obviously the funniest and the cutscenes in the game are quite a shinning element of the whole game.

As for gameplay, I can easily say it's pretty much the same experience as the PC version; the game is just very good overall. Of course having it on a current gen console gives Witch Beam quite a push to share this fantastic bullet hell game to as much people as possible, and at a very accessible price.

Speaking of accessibility, I believe its something I have not yet mentioned. This game's attention to detail and accessibility options allow to expand their playerbase as well as respect them. These options are something most developers should probably pay more attention to, since gamers are also end-users.

If you haven't tried this game out, I would honestly recommend any of it's versions, either PC or PS4, it's all a matter of preference (unless you prefer the other platforms). The amazing experience is the same, and always is a blast of fun. Do find more players to play with, THAT'S when the genre truly kicks in.

ORIGINAL GAME REVIEW

Itís been quite a run. Having the opportunity to try this game when it joined Steamís Early Access program was a thrilling experience, from where I thought ďhow can they further polish this?Ē. Of course, many issues here and there were encountered, but they were gradually getting squashed.

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Many of the features promised by the devs have even been enhanced; good example for this are the number of playable characters. Any who, letís get on to the review.

WHAT IS GOING ON!?

Calm down. Yes, they are androids who are not exactly cactuses, (Cactus is the name of the main character) but they do pack a punch when it comes to fighting enemy robot hordes.

The plot canít really be mentioned without spoiling it; however I will say that itís basically a rush to fighting a bunch of enemies and eventually entering the boss level. Each boss seems to be commanded by somethingÖ Or someoneÖ Itís your duty (and your friends!) to find out the source of this evil and bring a halt to it.

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ARENíT CACTUSES UNTOUCHABLE?!

The gameplay that Assault Android Cactus offers is a twin-stick shooter; each character offers a unique primary weapon type that can be infinitely spammed, and a secondary weapon type with has an increased cooldown and higher base damage.

During your encounters with enemies, you will notice youíre facing a bunch of themÖ and I mean A BUNCH, and even if you have ďinfiniteĒ ammo, your synthetic heroine runs on a battery. The battery gradually depletes while you kite and destroy your enemies, fortunately a new one drops from a specific mob after each mini wave (or at least thatís my impression).

Batteries arenít the only things that may drop; some enemies may drop a power boost that can slowly shift into 3 different types:

a. Yellow wings: Increases your movement speed to almost cheat code levels.

b. Red drones: Companion drones that constantly fire whatever is at the direction youíre pointing at.

c. Blue shutdown: Shutdown every enemy on the battlefield briefly for you to shoot them without having to worry of getting hit.

These are your helpful power-ups. As I mentioned before, if you donít pick one up immediately it will shift into another colored power-up, so choose wisely! Just do keep in mind that the battery orb must be picked up as soon as possible as it may disappear.

Your playable characters also have a life bar; when strucked by a foe it may replenish fully if you donít get hit again for a while, but some enemies can really pack a punch or nuke you instantly while your battery is still slowly draining. It all comes down to a DPS race so see which side overcomes the other.

If you think fighting hundreds of enemies is a bit unfair, each enemy drops little white sparks that gradually make your primary weapon stronger and more aggressive, with the music scaling the higher the combo by its inevitable hype!

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SOUNDS GREAT! BUT WHAT ELSE?

You donít have to shout. The game offers unlockable game changing aspects. After each successful level, you obtain points which can be used to buy an EX OPTION found on the Collections menu. Some of these are simply bizarre, others can make the game look more attractive, others make it more challenging, others even change the way you play. Itís an interesting fun box that allows you to enable one or multiple of these options at a time, but you have to earn them!

The game offers a campaign with 5 mayor areas, containing a total of 25 stages. Not to mention Infinity Drive (endless amount of of waves to test your endurance) and a Daily Drive stage for Leaderboard shenanigans. You can also play local co-op with up to 4 players, increasing enemy waves difficulty and fill your screen with bullets flying everywhere!

aacarticle04 Yup, this is First Person mode, unlockable from the EX Options.

THE VISUAL DESIGN

The game stands out with its variety in the color palette and 3D modeling. Each character is designed in a very unique way, in accordance to their personalities.

You would think a game this visually demanding would affect the framerate, but it mostly does not (as some areas are weird for some reason); The amount of particles used and so many animations going on at a time really support the action theme of the game, itís almost impossible to get visually bored.

THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

Music by the talented Jeff van Dyck. The sound proposal for this game simply does it right. Not only is it well balanced and mixed, but it scales accordingly to the tension and combo meter, a very well implemented automated soundtrack for a great genre.

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MY EXPERIENCE

Every level is phenomenal to play, and the fun factor is constant as stages load really quickly in between each other. I also feel that the more you play the more you get rewarded which is always a nice touch. Another aspect I found interesting is how stages change between waves, setting new challenges that you must deal with at a short pace.

Higher difficulties do get tiresome as they just get ridiculous. Sometimes reaching or just trying to get a battery can be dreadfully hard, and some enemies can down you really fast sometimes. However, itís a challenging genre, whether balanced or not for some players, itís a very interesting experience that keeps you on your toes and on the edge of danger.

4

In Short

  • + Fantastic game pacing
    + Bunch of character variety, bunch of enemies, somewhat bunch of stages, unlockable content and comedy
    + Visually appealing
    + Clever uses of the soundtrack

  • - Difficulty can take a while to get used to

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