Title: Blue Rider
Genre: Action, Shooter
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: E 10+ – shooting violence
Release Date: 13/12/2018
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Hop in and join the explosive action of this shoot-em-up! The perfect adventure that players who enjoy a good challenge were waiting for. Face the most challenging robot bosses you could possibly imagine as you travel across rich and diverse landscapes, and try to keep up with this insane bullet hell.
Enjoy a dynamic arcade-like game where its you against anything that moves. Remember that hedgehog or that little robot boy? This is a trial they wouldnt be able to face. So get ready for a daring battle thatll put your skills to the test. Blue Rider! Not for the faint of heart!
Twin-stick shooters are a dime-a-dozen on the Nintendo Switch, and I never turn the chance to play one on the console. I was happy to find that developer Ravegan’s newest shooter Blue Rider was making its way to the Switch and although it satisfies my cravings for an original take on the genre, it did very little more. Being a difficult title in and of itself is not a bad thing, especially in the genre, but some of Blue Rider’s control issues made some parts unfairly frustrating.
Looks and Sounds
Environments are nice to look at, and I’m not sure if the developers intended this, but there is a sense of continuity within Blue Rider that I enjoyed as one stage transitioned to another. Enemies get more annoying as it goes on, but that’s in the best shmup way possible, and I wish there were an option to practice some of the later levels with full power-ups and extra lives. That way you could take some time to master the mechanics more proficiently.
The soundtrack is on point, representing the on-screen action well and Blue Rider runs well, even during the more intense boss battles with only one area (lava level) where I experienced any slowdown. Speaking of bosses, each one is unique with exciting arena layouts and attack patterns. They each take inspiration from different types of insects and represent a worthy challenge to conquer.
Gameplay and Replayability
Blue Rider wastes no time putting you in a cockpit and having you blast through enemies in a 3D environment. Although there was not much of a story, this was not an issue because the shooting is what it’s all about. There aren’t many changes made to the standard twin-stick shooting formula found here, though turning the ship also turns the camera. The camera made me somewhat disoriented at first, but it’s manageable once you get used to it.
Outside of shooting enemies down and avoiding attacks, Blue Rider also rewards exploration with power-ups and extra points. These points are needed because it’s the only way for you to gain extra lives while playing. There are nine levels you can play through and feature a lot of variety visually. Unfortunately, after the first couple of levels, the difficulty spikes pretty high with being sent back all the way to the beginning if defeated even by the stage’s last boss. It seems relatively easy at first, but you’ll eventually be begging for more HP and extra lives.
To help you battle the endless enemy hordes are power-ups you can obtain. You can choose between a focused line of fire and a spread fire gun. Spread tends to be best for the main levels where the focused version is better for taking out bosses. You can’t switch at will though unless you pick up a different shot power which is a shame. You also have a bomb/missile option that you can use in a pinch. I tend to save these for boss fights, but on some levels, you do tend to get ambushed and, at that point, you’re better off giving everything you’ve got at the enemy because you’re not given the tools to manoeuvre through the trouble effectively.
This difficulty stems highly from the fact that there is no option to increase your lives, so once your HP is gone, you are always sent back to the main menu. You have to be somewhat more daring in fights to quickly take down more enemies and get your score multiplier up for earning more lives.
Overall, there are many positives to say about Blue Rider regarding gameplay and originality in the shooter genre. Unfortunately, the lack of options and unlockables make it tough to want to play through again once you’ve seen the end. However, if you’re looking for a decent twin-stick shooter to quickly play on the Switch, Blue Rider does enough right to warrant purchasing if you’ve exhausted other superior options.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Blue Rider on the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Blue-Rider-1483045.html