ReCore

ReCore

A Core Idea

It’s not often that we see a first party triple-A title on any of today’s consoles, so when ReCore came along I was naturally shocked we were receiving a game like itself for such a low price. Naturally, I was looking forward to ReCore simply due to the fact that ex-Metroid Prime developers were working on it, and that was part of the inspiration for ReCore’s design. Well, ReCore’s out now, and has been out for almost a month, does it live up to the games it’s so heavily inspired by? Or does it trip over its own ambition to be a bigger game than it can possibly be?

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If you can’t tell, ReCore has a thing for the colour yellow.

A Home Away from Home

In the early 2020’s in the universe of ReCore a disease called the Dust Devil Plague began to tear apart and ravage Earth, slowly rendering it uninhabitable. The Mandate launches and has launched several missions the the planet Far Eden, to process the planet and optimise it for human life. Robots known as corebots were sent to complete this process, with the first group of settlers, and the terraforming of Far Eden began. Roughly 200 years later ReCore’s protagonist, Joule, wakes up and find the Far Eden is far from being fully terraformed, and that almost every single corebot has gone rogue for some unexplained reason. As supposedly the only living human on Far Eden, it’s Joule’s job to find out what happened to the terraforming process, and to start it back up again so that the people in orbit of Far Eden can settle in. It’s a fairly intriguing story at first, but once it all starts to come together it becomes fairly predictable and boring, with a main antagonist that’s just as weak as his motivations. Joule herself is fairly likeable, as are her corebots, and most of voice acting is fairly passable. I can only recall one moment where the story managed to pull on a heartstring or two, but that was the full extent of it. It’s a fairly weak plot, which had a lot more potential in the long run, but it definitely could’ve been worse.

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Mack is easily one of Joule’s cutest companions.

Survival Starts in the Core

ReCore primarily plays as a third-person shooter with heavy platforming, exploration, and the inclusion of some light RPG elements. You’ll regularly find yourself moving from one dungeon to the next, or maybe you’ll do some exploring every now and again. ReCore’s gunplay feels tight, responsive, and fast paced, and it suits the game perfectly. Joule’s primary and only weapon is a rifle that’s quickly modified and upgraded in the first few hours of the game, in addition to 2 corebots. Joule can use a variety of different corebots, all with their own unique effects and damage outputs against different enemies. ReCore works off of a fairly simple system in combat, each corebot has a colour corresponding to its core, and they take more damage from the fire mode corresponding to that colour, and as you fight, your combo is built up, increasing your overall score. Combat was the one thing in ReCore I enjoyed no matter how far I was into the game, and there was something truly special about skillfully dodging and weaving through projectiles while firing bursts of coloured rifle energy at different targets. ReCore manages to excel in combat, but that seems to be the only thing it does right, at least for the second half of the game anyway. Exploration in ReCore is entertaining, but only when it’s of your own volition. ReCore’s biggest problem is that pads out game time in an incredibly dull, repetitive sluggish way. To enter a specific dungeon, ReCore requires Joule to have collected a certain amount of Prismatic Cores that are scattered around the open world and in dungeons. Early on this isn’t a big problem, but once you reach the final level you’re required to collect 20 cores, and then 5 more for each level up. It drained me, and it was extremely challenging not to stop playing ReCore each time I found out I had to collect more. It doesn’t help that ReCore’s exploration is fairly bland, with samey dungeons and huge masses of sand to trek across with no environmental sights to see anywhere. To make this process even more strenuous, Joule can only have 2 corebots with her at any one time, which means that if you need a certain corebot for a certain dungeon that you don’t have, you have to go back to the nearest fast travel point in order to get said corebot. Lastly ReCore has a few survival elements to it’s gameplay, throughout the world you’ll find various crafting parts and blueprints in order to make better parts for your corebots, making for some pretty unique customisation and upgrading. The one problem with upgrading my corebots was that I never really felt like it made a massive difference in the long run. Lastly is platforming, ReCore is quite keen on platforming and luckily it’s good platforming. It’s fairly challenging, but controlling Joule is tight and precise, making for an enjoyable time.

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ReCore’s platforming is fairly challenging. 

A Bland Wasteland

One area where ReCore fails to excel in at all is in the technical front, or at least from my experience. I had inconsistent frame rates, various bugs, slow loading times, slow down, and the game in general just looks really bland. It’s low resolution, low detail environments sculpted around passably detailed character models. Some of the dungeons have some interesting art design but they never reach the full potential they have. Areas feel copy and pasted for the most part and visually, I was never terribly interested by the way ReCore was taking its art design.

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Joule’s corebots are acquired fairly quickly through various means. 

Verdict: 5/10

ReCore sets out to do something that is now alien to the market of gaming. ReCore definitely is not abysmal, it’s just very average. I can see what ReCore was going for, and I still think it had a lot of potential to be something great, and I still do. I hope Armature can learn from their mistakes, and release another game that fixes the mistakes ReCore made. If you’re really interested in it, wait for a price drop, but for now, ReCore isn’t worth it’s asking price when it becomes more and more boring.

Positives

-Tight and precise control

-Slick, elegant, fast paced combat

Negatives

-Weak story

-Exploration is boring

-Bland world

-Need for use of specific corebots

-Unnecessarily padded out game time

-Bugs, slow loading times, inconsistent frames, and very average visuals

Thanks for reading guys, sorry this one took so long. Had some problems getting it started up and all that stuff. Up next is Mafia III – Harry :).

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Kirby: Planet Robobot

Kirby: Planet Robobot

A Robotic Revolution

When Kirby: Triple Deluxe was released in 2014, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of creativity and charm went into the game. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but in my opinion it’s the best Kirby game to date…… or it was. Kirby: Planet Robobot is Kirby’s latest outing on the 3DS, and it somehow improves on everything Triple Deluxe did well, while managing to add new, fresh features to the Kirby formula that never got old. Kirby really has returned, and he’s better than ever.

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Kirby looks ridiculously cute in his mech.

A Charmingly Robotic Tale

Planet Robobot definitely doesn’t go out of its way to tell a deep story, however, it does go out of its way to be charming, adorable, and beautifully simplistic in style. It truly is a Kirby story, told in Kirby fashion, and I’d have it no other way. The game opens up with a cutscene to show the Haltmann Works Company slowly turning Dream Land into a mechanised hulk of a planet. Having defeated Meta Knight and King Dedede, Haltmann must and can only be stopped by Kirby. There is minimal story telling from there, one or two more cutscenes are present, along with some dialogue, but you don’t play a Kirby game for the story, no matter how charming it is, and in Robobot’s case, thank god for that.

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It should go without saying that Robobot does feature Amiibo support.

True Mechanics

Kirby: Planet Robobot might seem like it’s very similar to Triple Deluxe at first, and that’s because it is. You’ll run, jump, explore, and eat enemies in order to gain specific abilities. Speaking of which, new powers such as Poison and ESP Kirby are new, inventive, and incredibly fun to use, unfortunately the same can’t be said about Doctor Kirby. However, Planet Robobot proves it doesn’t need to rely on new powers in order to keep the formula fresh. Gone is Kirby’s Hypernova ability, which is now replaced by a giant mech that Kirby can use in certain levels.The mech can use certain powerups, and it definitely felt like there were more than enough to keep the mech fresh and fun to use whenever you encounter it. The one gripe I have with Robobot’s gameplay is that I found the main campaign very easy, but thankfully the same thing can’t be said about it’s other modes.Throughout each level, Kirby can find three code cubes hidden around the world, along with various stickers and collectibles. Once you collect all the code cubes in a world, an extra stage unlocks, making for plenty of incentive to collect them all up. Robobot’s boss fights are extremely entertaining, and are very well made. This carries over to The Arena where Kirby can fight all the bosses from the main story with whatever powerup you choose. It’s challenging, and rewarding, trust me, it’s worth doing. Robobot also features two other game modes, being Team Kirby Clash and Kirby 3D Rumble. Team Kirby Clash consists of four Kirby’s teaming up in an RPG like adventure, with different classes and familiar bosses to face. Kirby 3D Rumble drops Kirby into a 3D plane, where all he can do is suck enemies up and spit them out, in order to clear all the enemies in the stage. Meta Knightmare Returns is also unlocked once you complete the main story line, allowing you to play remixed stages as Meta Knight, which is incredibly fun.

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There are four classes in Team Kirby Clash, and the later stages are quite hard.

A Mechanical Dream Land

Planet Robobot certainly doesn’t fail to run incredibly well on a technical level. Not once did I encounter any bugs or glitches (as expected from Nintendo) and the game runs phenomenally at a solid 60FPS the whole time. Robobot runs on the same engine as Triple Deluxe, but that’s no complaint, because it looks amazing. The mechanisation of Dream Land becomes more and more prominent as you travel through the various stages, and it’s really cool to see.

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The art style is bright, and colourful! Just the way it should be.

Verdict: 9/10

Kirby: Planet Robobot is in my honest opinion, the best Kirby game to date. It’s new, inventive, and incredibly charming. Although the main campaign might be easy, the game definitely doesn’t lack content that makes up for it. Robobot is simple, charming, and incredibly fun to play, if you’re a fan of Kirby, I can’t stress to you enough to pick this one up, and if you enjoyed Triple Deluxe, the same applies.

Positives

-Charming story

-Mech is fresh and new

-New powers are awesome

-Technically flawless

-Tons of content

Negatives

-Main campaign is easy

Thanks for reading guys! Up next is Monster Hunter Generations, which wont be out till next month so it’ll be a bit quiet. I might still do an article on my thoughts for E3 though.

Harry