Dimension Drive Nintendo Switch Review-Written by Juan Romero for SwitchWatch
The story in Dimension Drive is told in a comic book style which I really appreciated. You take control of Jackelyne Tywood (a.k.a. Jack) in a ship called the Manticore. This ship has a very special ability in that it is able to teleport between dimensions. The Ashajuls, a cruel multidimensional alien race are attacking the universe and it’s your job to stop them. Between each mission you find out more which I will not spoil here as it does add quite a lot to the experience. There are a lot of Indie games out there which negate the story but you can tell some work has been put in. You will also have your AI friend V.E.R.A who will help you along the way.
The audio in this game is fantastic, I really enjoyed the fact that the protagonist is voice acted and so is VERA. In this type of bullet hell game I like to hear that the bullets make a great sound and the game delivers. 2Awesome studio’s have done a really great job. Then there is the catchy soundtrack which again is excellent and really makes you feel like you are engaged in a fast paced action shooter. Some really great melodies which I wanted to come back to the game to listen to again and again. Explosions and enemies meeting their demise also sound satisfying.
Visuals and Performance
I was also really impressed with the visual fidelity in this game. I like comic books anyway and really enjoyed the artwork, especially the character models. When the story was being told throughout the campaign using a comic book style. The ships look nicely detailed even though they are small which of course you would expect in this type of game and the enemies are varied. Bosses look commanding and I really enjoyed the differing ships you had to fight against. My only complaint is the levels did become rather samey after a while but this is a small complaint. The enemies are animated really well and I was often surprised how quickly some of the enemies could move. I also enjoyed the differing enemy patterns. What makes these games stand out is the vibrancy of the colours and the game delivers in spades.
This game had absolutely no performance issues either in docked mode or in handheld and ran smoothly wether I was playing solo or in Coop mode.
So whats different about Dimension Drive out of all the other vertical arcade shooters out there? When first looking at this game from a distance you may think that the screen is split because people are playing in co-op mode and while that maybe true, it is also the same if you play solo. You see this game has a very unique twist which at first I have to admit takes a lot of getting used too but once mastered, the game becomes a joy to play.
You control one ship which is able to teleport to the other side of the screen at the press of a button. The genius here is that you can see a little pink ball on the other side of the screen letting you know exactly where your ship would teleport too. If your fighting enemies on the left side of the screen, all hell may break loose on the right side. It would be in your best interest to teleport over so you can kill the enemies to get a higher score which you can later post on the leaderboards. This would be class except the servers are not configured quite yet. The developers have said this will be ready in a week or so though, so that is good news if your a competitive beast like me.
You may also only be able to get certain power ups or cubes which you can use for upgrades by teleporting to the other side of the screen. You will in some cases need to look at where your ship is going to end up by keeping your eye on the pink dot. In some situations you will need to get your ship teleported into a very tight spot and once the power up has been picked up, you will need to teleport back to the other side before crashing. This makes makes for some really tense and sometimes frustrating moments when you get it wrong. This is where I think you will either really enjoy the mechanic or get turned off by it. The amount of times I teleported into a rock by accident was frustrating to say the least.
Make no bones about it, this will take some getting used too. You need to train your eyes to look two places at once to be able to plan your moves which is quite a skill. This is especially true when you get deeper into the campaign as things become quicker and more intense.
The game has four modes of difficulty, Normal, Hard, Extreme and Insane and wow if you think Hard mode is hard wait until you try Extreme. As you progress you will unlock other moves like reversing your ship to shoot enemies behind you or drifting which allows you to slide left or right quickly which I used a lot. At times it can become a little confusing trying to pull off the right move while also looking at two screens and not accidentally making yourself perish. When trying to do something different the trade off will always be that the experimentation may not always come off and I can’t help thinking it would have been a better experience had the game been kept simple especially in solo. It’s not so bad in Co-op.
You also have an energy bar which you need to keep collecting green stuff from your defeated foes to keep topped up otherwise you cannot fire your weapons any longer. You can charge by teleporting or not firing while the bar recovers.
I had the most fun with this game when playing with a friend, because it’s easier to concentrate on what you have to do rather than the other screen all the time. You take one side and your friend the other but the great news is you can move to the other side of the screen when your friend needs help. You may both have to teleport together at the same time when you encounter some set pieces or bosses. Communication becomes key and the game for me goes up an extra level. Everything is also shared from your lives to power ups. It makes it essential to work together and not let the team down! It’s so much more fun and intense.
This game also showed the perfect capabilities of the Switch. I was stuck at the airport with work and I was able to whip the Switch out, a Joycon for me and a friend and we played Dimension Drive in table top mode. This is the perfect co-op game without a doubt.
This is a great game to play with a friend and it also has a comprehensive solo/co-op campaign mode with very good difficulty levels to tweak the challenge to your skill level which is really welcome. The price is $12,99 or £11,99 which I believe is just about the right price for this game. There will be a lot more replayability once the leaderboards go live so you may want to wait for that.