Alright guys, if I’m going to be very honest. This top-down perspective isn’t really my kind of genre. I never was good at it, and thus never seemed to enjoy it. It becomes tedious and annoying very quickly for me. So when I got this one? I was already biased on it from the get-go. But that was until I started playing it. The clutter on the screen didn’t really bother me. The music was enticing. And it didn’t look half bad! So, want to know what this game is all about? Well, let me tell you. The Vasara collection came into being in the years 2000 and 2001. Both were received relatively well. Fast-forward almost 20 years and here comes QUByte Interactive with their entire remake of both Vasara 1 and 2. Both games are set in the historical setting of Feudal Japan. Though not entirely accurate, since science fiction steps in and places you on flying motorcycles that have both ranged as melee fighting abilities. Did this intrigue you? Then get ready, because this is my review of the Vasara Collection!
- Soundtrack: A game that has a lot of combat? Needs a kicking soundtrack to pull you right into the thick of it. And Vasara truly does this in an amazing fashion! QUbyte surely has some creative talent when it comes down to it! You’ll know this when you feel your adrenaline pumping after a few minutes into the game!
- Fun gameplay: Yup, while I am not a fan of this genre? I have to say that I did enjoy myself quite a bit during my game sessions. It felt engaging, yet not frustrating. The number of enemies that you’ll be facing truly didn’t really bother me, nor did the fact that I constantly died. More on this as to why? Later on! Each character that you pick and each mini-boss you encounter? Feels unique and enjoyable at the same time. The enemy types have their own kind of quirks and the power-ups and bombs feel impactful. Just like they should be! As these break the mold of the regular combat.
- Classic and modern take: This one surprised me. Most of the times when games get a re-release, and into a collection. There isn’t much done to how the game looks. QUbyte, however, stepped up their A-Game and did not only bring to us, the classic pixelated version of Vasara 1 and 2. But they actually introduced a modern take on the visuals. You can go from 2D to 3D. And I got to say, it looks really nice. The colors are fresh and appealing to look at. The effects are improved as well. And at a buttery smooth frame rate to boot! This is truly something that needs to be strived towards when developers re-release and old game of theirs. Put in some effort! I can only commend these kinds of actions! And just truly hope that future developers will look at games like this as an example.
- Couch Co-op: This could actually work as a party game. Just connect some extra controllers and get your friends ready, because it will be needed! With up to 4 players at the same time? Vasara 1 and 2 will truly be a laughter-fest or rage-fest. Depending on how drunk you all are. Or you could even strategize and launch an all-out offensive? Either way, there will be quite a bit of communication during your play sessions! So just be good sports about winning, or losing. Okay, guys and girls?
- Too much information: There IS a story in Vasara. It’s just really hard to follow when you’re trying to maneuver around over 9000 projectiles! Adding to this? Tach time that a mini-boss shows itself, there is a conversation. Yeah… Good luck following those as well. Then there are the powers ups for you to grab or bombs. But with everything just being so chaotic? It might be better to let one pass. It’s not worth it dying over… Truly. It isn’t! There are so many power-ups being dropped anyway because there are a gazillion enemies coming at you at the same time. Just be sure to grab a breather from time to time, because Vasara will exhaust you and leave you drained.
- Does even the game know it’s over the top?: Something that I was wondering to myself after playing the game for a few hours. Does it know that it’s really hard? I mean, you can cheat extra coins for yourself. This means that you could just, go endless without really having to start all over again from the start. Or maybe it was a setting that I put a check on? Don’t know. Either way, I still found it peculiar. Especially since this took away the fact (and fear) of truly dying. Also, the amount of fodder that’s being thrown at your face really makes it hard to not die constantly at the beginning. So yeah, maybe it truly is a way to serve the “noobs” amongst us. One as to which I am proudly a member of!
- Actually… Nothing!: … Yeah, I thought I would’ve had one or two things to talk about in this section. But after really getting into Vasara, I realized, there really isn’t a lot of bad stuff to talk about. Actually nothing. The gameplay is smooth, the visuals are nice. I mean, what’s not to like then? And you know me by now, I can be very critical about the things that I review. The UI is clean and not too shouty. Truly, there is nothing bad in this game.
The Vasara Collection brings back 2 critically acclaimed gems from the past. And while they both surely are entertaining! I couldn’t shake the feeling of “did we really need these re-released?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I surely had a blast with these 2! And I actually survived without having a splitting headache. Overall this collection won’t disappoint. But it won’t wow either. Just keep that in mind when you purchase it!
Developer: QUbyte Interactive Publisher: QUbyte Interactive
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Alexis spent 4 hours shooting down Japanese airships with a flying bicycle.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: 10ish hours would probably do it.
Perfect for: Anyone who enjoys top-down games like this.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here