Have a Heart to Acknowledge Effort!
One could argue that there’s some games that aren’t given enough (or as much) credit as one deserves. And I would argue that case for this version of Rodea the Sky Soldier. This version is the 3DS version, but with minor tweaks like a “pencil sketch” filter that you will notice on many landmarks. Starting off, yes there are some things that could’ve been better: the framerate is (a albeit consistent) 30 instead of the 60 of the original version (also consistent), the art style while not optimal for the Wii U is adequate, and the port overall is solid. However, it’s not the whole nine yards. The graphics, for example, while not bad, could’ve been better if there was another “elemental weather” filter to complement the “pencil sketch” filter. The only area in the game that comes to mind is chapter 6, where I would argue is visually interesting with the sandstorm. The controls have been altered to operate without the motion controls of the original Wii version, which means that instead of flying by flicking the Wii remote, you either enter a “pre-flight” mode by pressing A and aiming, or pressing B to initiate the Homing Attack (and motion) instantly. You can also jump a surprising distance in this version. Other additions are also present, such as an upgrade system for your weapons and abilities (though roughly speaking your stats are “max” in the original version), and a radar that shows most of the notable objects nearby (such as health (armor), checkpoints, and medals, though they kind of mesh together). Plus now there the enemies will drop parts for you, adding replay value for people wanting to continue the game after finishing it. Some might find the “limited flight” mechanic to be annoying, but as long as you’re smart with the usage, as well as constantly finding gravitons (maintains combo and flight) and surfaces to recharge the meter. Though one thing that bothered me about it was that in the first chapter of this (and possibly the 3DS) version, is that there was a medal that apparently to get it was to start with a good jump, fly as far as you can go, and when the meter empties you need to use at least 350 gravitions. And this was despite the game implying that you shouldn’t rely on them) to reach the end. There’s more that I could say about this game, but the point here is that while this port isn’t perfect (smaller framerate and lack of environmental filter), it at least feels like there was some care put into this version that some overlook.
Reviewed by: Ryan P from Edwardsburg, MI on 6/27/2019