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Aperion Cyberstorm Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer Apriori Digital

Publisher Aperion Cyberstorm

Release Date: February 8th 2018

Price as of Article: $13,49 USD, £10,99 GBP

Story

Aperion Cyberstorm Nintendo Switch Review

In the campaign mode, you get to travel to distant worlds, four in total to find your old team that mysteriously vanished two years earlier. In the way, you will have factions trying to stop you, its pretty simple stuff but there is dialogue between the characters which is fine. It’s not a story though which I was drawn into and felt it a little forced.

Audio

All about the music

The more I played Aperion Cyberstorm the more I enjoyed the music in it. The tracks chosen suit this game perfectly in my opinion. I especially enjoyed the changeup in the campaign mode. Whilst exploring some of the narrow corridors the music is more subtle and melodic but as soon as you reach one of the rooms, all hell breaks loose and it’s like you have just entered into a rave.

Some quality House music had me tapping to the beat whilst blasting enemies away. Some of the explosion sounds are not the best you will ever hear and that laser blaster of yours is going to get a little irritating after a while but who cares about that when the music is this good! The music does a great job of making these battles feel intense and I very much enjoyed the beats.

Visuals and Performance

A little neon goes a long way

The visuals here reminds me a little of Tachyon project which is a game we reviewed recently. Here the craft are drawn out using neon colours which work well against the black backgrounds. The visual style is a simple one and for anyone who judges games on visuals, this is not going to win any prizes or make you believe that there is a quality little game here on first inspection.

bullet hell

The visuals work well because the colours can be deciphered really nicely by your brain. There is no massive mixture of colour when everything on the screen goes manic which it often does. That’s a criticism a lot of bullet hell games can suffer from. When there are many of you on screen, enemies and bullets flying at you at a frightening pace, it’s great that some of the enemies bullets are also different shapes. It just really helps tell what’s what.

The dark side

In the campaign mode when moving from world to world, the caves look more or less exactly the same just with a differing colour skin. It looks as if the maps were built for the game and then the development team decided to link a bunch of maps together by attaching corridors to link them together. It’s a great idea but it does mean the visuals remain more or less the same throughout. While the neon does do a good job of depicting colour I could not help feeling everything was a little dark especially in handheld mode. Performance was fine in both modes and I only notice a tiny bit of slowdown when entering a new area which didn’t affect gameplay.

handheld mode aperion cyberstorm

 

Gameplay

The game is described as a twin stick bullet hell shooter with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer action and in this respect it delivers. Choose a ship with varying statistics, a colour, the two special abilities you want to take into battle with you and you are ready to go. Then it’s a matter of choosing which mode you want to play. Each ship can be manoeuvred around rather easily, the left stick to move your ship and the right to shoot. Standard twin stick shooter stuff. The two left and right back trigger buttons can activate either of your two special abilities which you chose and range from laser beams, spread shots and rapid fires.

They recharge over time, your ship also has the ability to dash and this move is especially useful when trying to avoid the barrage of bullets. The development team have done a great job with the controls, everything feels responsive but what I liked is even though this was a twin-stick shooter they were still able to implement single Joycon use. Instead of the 2nd stick, the player needs to use the buttons to shoot in all 4 directions. The issue with this is not being able to shoot diagonally which is a disadvantage but at least the option is there especially if five of you want to play together. There is also use of HD rumble which adds to the overall experience.

All abilities and ships are pretty fun to play and to discover the best combinations of abilities. I kept things really simple and often went with spread shot and rapid fire. These two activated in tandem cause devastation to your enemies. The build will be dependent on your play style.

A multiplayer game with a campaign mode

The campaign mode requires you to explore a number of maze-like caves linking to rooms and in each you will have to battle it out against an array of enemies. Each room gives you slightly different enemies to fight and whether playing with friends or alone, it is fun for a while but gets rather repetitive quickly as there just isn’t enough variety. The developers tried to change things up somewhat as you get further by introducing differing objectives, for example, protecting a certain area from enemies but really it amounts to killing everything in sight time and time again.

I have to say playing along with a friend is much more fun and engrossing something about achieving a common goal with someone else is rather compelling however for solo play it didn’t hold my attention. In campaign mode you can unlock craft and power-ups which can be activated at  the end of each section and you can change up your build if you require at that point.  You can upgrade your power-ups from collecting crystals which can be found throughout and require shooting to break them off the walls upon which they are attached. It is also worth exploring as you can find the unlockable craft in hidden areas. Once campaign mode is complete you can unlock further tougher modes offering more challenge.

I played through in normal mode and tried hard mode which adds more of a challenge. The difficulty is also adjusted the more players you play with and the balance seems about right.

Battle modes are where its at here, especially versus mode as it allows you to customise the battles to your tastes. You can choose shorter or longer battles and you have a bunch of customisable rules. In Versus mode, you choose  a map and go at it against up to five players. Each player can collect power-ups in order to achieve advantages over one another in free 4 all. You can also team up for some really fun team multiplayer battles which adds some much needed strategy.If you are alone then you can add bots to spice things up which is always a good thing as long as the AI is not totally useless which it isn’t here.

Onslaught is the game’s version of survival mode where you have to survive wave after wave of enemies and the great thing here is the game opens up all the craft and abilities from the beginning so you can choose whatever build you like. It’s fun testing all the load outs and we had a great time trying to last as long as possible. Unlock stars to open up more maps which keeps you motivated to keep playing. This game would have benefited from some online modes, especially a leaderboard.

Value

At £10,99 in the Uk or $13,49 in the US this has some very stiff competition in the e-shop right now. It’s nice that it can be played solo as you can add bots and that there is a campaign mode. Really though the most fun is when you load up and get straight into battle mode to take each other out! Nothing can beat that little bit of competition between friends. If you can play with family and friends or even your partner then I would say this is just about worth your hard earned cash. There is also replayability if you want to collect all the collectables in campaign mode.

Pros

P

Up to 5 players in local multiplayer

P

Great battle modes

P

Quality music

Cons

P

No online leaderboards or multiplayer present

P

This is not really one to fly solo

P

Campaign mode is repetitive