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Review | Concursion

by on July 22, 2014
 

Having recently beaten Concursion (the rest of the videos are coming soon, for those of you interested in the Let’s Play of it), I felt that it was a decent genre-mashing game.

For those unaware, this title is a unique game that thrusts you into the role of a hero as he seeks to fulfill the game’s not-too-unique goal. This goal? To rescue the princess, who has once again been captured by the Dark Lord Biganbad. Along the way, you will find gem fragments, which serve multiple purposes in the game. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I shall simply state one purpose they serve: To unlock extras (such as enemy bios) that you can check out from the game’s title screen.

You can grab the fragment by bouncing off the beast's head.

You can grab the fragment by bouncing off the beast’s head.

You start off in the game’s first genre, a platformer. This genre is quite simple: You walk (or run, if you hold the button down) left or right and hop on enemies to kill them. If you hold your jump button before you land on an enemy (or if you simply time your button press perfectly), you will gain extra air as you bounce off of said enemy’s head. This can be useful for grabbing an out-of-reach gem fragment, or simply giving you the extra boost needed to clear a pit. This genre, though simple, was decent enough.

You must utilize your sword skills to slay the boss.

You must utilize your sword skills to slay the boss.

The next genre in the game we’ll talk about is the Shinobi style. In these realms, you turn into a ninja who can utilize a sword to slash his enemies, double jump, and climb up walls, providing they aren’t slippery. One trick you may be interested in for this genre: If you jump, then enter the previous genre and quickly reenter this one, you can double jump once again. Honestly, this was likely my favorite of the game’s five genres.

Controls are quite touchy with the jetpack. Good luck avoiding spikes!

Controls are quite touchy with the jetpack. Good luck avoiding spikes!

The third is a jetpack type genre. You must hold down your jump button in order to fire your jetpack, and move left and right through space. In this mode you can take three hits (unless you hit spikes/another instant kill object, of course) before death. Honestly, this was probably my least favorite genre in the game, as the controls felt far too flaky, at least when you utilize a keyboard (I did not try a controller, so it is possible the controls feel more responsive with one). As a result I found myself constantly hitting a spike while trying to keep just the right amount of thrust up.

The space shooting genre is rather basic.

The space shooting genre is rather basic, yet fun.

Fourth up is a space shooter. You simply pilot your ship as you shoot the incoming enemies and blocks. One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot destroy certain asteroids, so if you see that your weapon isn’t having any effect after several shots, you may want to simply try to avoid the object rather than continue shooting. To be honest I had no strong feelings one way or the other for this one.

Can you eat...err...collect all the pellets, or will the enemy find and kill you?

Can you eat…err…collect all the pellets, or will the enemies find and kill you?

The fifth genre is a PacMan type deal. You are in a maze and need to collect the colored dots in order to open (or sometimes close) the colored doors and advance to the next area. There are enemies residing in these mazes, some of which follow a fixed pattern, some of which don’t (and even a few that are asleep until you draw near), which can all kill you in two hits. This one was probably my second favorite.

Just finish a level? Time to dance!

Just finish a level? Time to dance!

If we want to get technical, you could say the game has a “Bonus genre”, in that your character decides to do a little dance at the end of each stage, with the disco ball above his head. We don’t include this as one, however, since you cannot control the character during his dance.

These five (or six, depending on your point of view) genres may seem to make the game quite hectic (and nearly unplayable) if you simply see them on paper, but the result is rather surprising. The result is that the game actually manages to smoothly transition from one genre to the next, which adds in an extra layer of strategy (at least if you’re planning to grab all the fragments) for you to utilize.

Overall the game was fun, if somewhat difficult (and it can be unforgiving on Hardcore). The difficulty may turn some people off, however. In addition to the difficulty, if the controls were a bit more responsive in certain sections (I’m not just speaking of the third genre mentioned, as there were other sections my buttons didn’t seem to respond during as I played), I’d probably say most people would enjoy it. Concursion is not a perfect game by any means, but as things stand, I still believe that many would have fun with it. I know I certainly did.

Final Score: 3.5/5

 

 

 

 

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