Saving the princess and being the good guy is so played out, now it’s your turn to be the bad guy. Play as Crow, an evil-doer with a conscious and sense of humour. Crush the heroes and steal away their beloved princesses, while cracking jokes and being evil along the way.
Collect Lucre (or coins) in-game to purchase upgrades between levels, back at your ship. You can upgrade grenades, punches, health, and ammo. Find crowns in each level just for fun, to complete the level 100% and get a better score. Vinyl is the final collectable to find in each level. They are used to change the music on your ship and give you 200 lucre.
If you die in a level you will be reset to the beginning or checkpoint, and you can find some lost collectables and lucre where you perished. Respawning is quick, thankfully. I think the most times I died was ten, and a couple of times I just ran through areas swarmed with enemies that I had no chance of defeating.
Controls remind me of Rayman Legends, meaning they are more loose than you would want or expect. I wish the action and movement were a bit more responsive. Interesting that you can jump and punch with the L/R bumpers if you choose. If the controls were a bit tighter, it would only make the game better. That being said, it holds the game back a bit. A lot of deaths were simple in nature and could have easily been avoided with better controls.
The level select screen is your ship flying to other kingdoms. It shows your scores in each level including time to complete, number of deaths, rank, and crowns/vinyl you have yet to find. The music is awesome, very entertaining and fitting to the levels.
This game has so much variety! This is a platformer, but the way you traverse each level changes. Each princess you kidnap gives you a new and temporary power up to use for the remainder of the level. One of the fights becomes a turn-based RPG battle! Boss fights can be challenging, but you’ll find that each fight can utilize an evil machine of yours which brings even more variety of play.
There is plenty of humour, this is a silly game that you don’t need to take too seriously. Sit back and enjoy the gameplay without a lot of pressure. Almost every dialogue sequence is humorous.
Retro influences to look out for come from Mega Man, Donkey Kong, Rampage, Rayman, and Sonic. These are referring to either a similar art style or mechanic used in-game. All of which, are great nods and make Nefarious enjoyable to play.
The controls are a bit loose but for fans of Ray Man Legends, this will feel pretty good. For others it will just take a bit longer to get used to. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the game due to software failure, which I contacted the developer about to resolve. All in all, this is a great game that I would recommend. Full of humour and retro nods that make the game interesting and enjoyable.
Beard Score: 7.5/10
Genre: 2D Action Platformer
Release: 09/13/2018 (Switch)
Format: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Steam $14.99