Developer: CreSpirit, No Stuck Game Studio
Genre(s): Arcade, Action, Adventure, Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 19/01/2023
A code was provided for review purposes
Welcome to the Internet
Last Command is a mixture between a game like Snake and a traditional bullet hell boss rush. Throughout the course of the game, I navigated different locations in an online world to try to heal degrading and corrupted code. Was the game any fun? Find out in this Rapid Review.
To begin, I was introduced to a bunch of charming and interesting characters. Each stood out from one another, having distinct yet cohesive stories. In fact, the game hones in on the internal struggles of many of the characters, as many have lost their way or encountered hardship. Together, these miniature arcs come together to create a lovely story, connected by a general shared environment and a simple but effective overarching plot. The story is not overly significant, but I enjoyed reading through it and think it played a role in my enjoyment of the game.
Though the story has many lovely elements, I was immediately drawn to the gameplay. There are two primary ways to progress in Last Command. There is the boss rush component and then there is a fairly significant chunk of the game dedicated to exploring an overworld. The overworld segments feature miniature challenges that teach new mechanics, hidden objects to find that grant new abilities and plenty of traps to avoid. The balance between boss fights and exploration was well done. I enjoyed how the more tranquil exploration often offset the high-intensity fights. Last Command knew not to overstimulate me.
Hardly a Challenge
While largely, I enjoyed the level of difficulty assigned to each segment, at times, the overworld segment featured components that were mundanely easy. Sometimes, I would spend a long time moving from point A to point B without traps or anything to stimulate me. Though I had a dash move and this happened infrequently, it was still a bit frustrating. Still, most of the time, I was adequately stimulated. Often, traps were well placed, but so were checkpoints. This way, minor mistakes would only set me back marginally. While the occasional empty area was frustrating, the lack of challenge in these segments was rejuvenating. Granted, I was playing on the standard difficulty, and there may be more challenging areas in the more challenging settings, but these areas served as a stimulating yet calming palette cleanser.
On the other hand, the boss fights themselves were entirely intense and riveting. Much like the overworld areas, there are checkpoints in many of these fights. While challenging, Last Command never comes across as insurmountable. Yet, at the same time, these fights are not easy either. I constantly had to devote my full attention to survival, as even small mistakes could be punished. The fights are interesting too. Instead of shooting bullets like a traditional shooter, I had to navigate the arena to collect different pages of notes. With these pages, I could attack the bosses. This connected both the bullet hell and Snake components. It made Last Command stand out, and I enjoyed the way each fight flowed.
Attacking with Pride
This also likely had to do with how creative the bosses were. In addition to being visually stunning, each boss incorporated their respective theme into their attacks. For example, one boss was a musician, so he made his bullets into music notes on a sheet of music. Simple things like that were scattered all throughout the fights, and it made the bosses far more memorable and interesting. Though Last Command was a bullet hell all throughout, each fight remained entirely unique and interesting.
On the other hand, my main character was incredibly simple. I could roam around by moving the arrow keys, dash to evade bullets, and I could decrease my snake to a single dot to slow down my movement speed. While this is incredibly basic, my character feels dynamic and has the capacity to do both everything I needed to do and everything I wanted to. My controls felt fluid, and I enjoyed taking my main character all the way through each fight. There are also some customization elements where I got to select some upgrades for my character. These were fine, though I only altered my composition sparingly. Still, even though I was not incentivized to interact with this component much, my main character felt excellent to control and interacting with the world was very enjoyable.
The Sights and Sounds of Battle
In addition to enjoying the primary gameplay loop, I enjoyed both the art and sound design in Last Command. Each character and even the sprites in the background were beautiful but they looked especially good in fights. Attack patterns are consistently easy to read, which makes the game very fun to play. The sound design is good too. The music is often filled with high energy during boss fights yet mellows entirely once I enter the hub world. The soundtrack sets the scene nicely for each crucial moment while helping slow down the pace, when necessary, too.
Last Command is an excellent game. The combination of its cute story coupled with wonderful aesthetic design and riveting boss fights makes the game feel incredibly polished. However, it shines even further because every moment is fun. I never found myself feeling burned out, and I always went back into the title excited to see more. Though I am not typically a huge fan of bullet hells, this game certainly stood out and I can easily recommend it.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
You can purchase Last Command from the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.