Switch version tested
In the ever-growing library of Gungeon games out there I welcome Blazing Beaks with joy and surprise. It’s colourful charm hooked me from the start and the addictive gameplay kept me coming back for another run. It takes a “guns blazing” genre and adds silly twists that take the pressure down and turns the fun up. Qubic Games grabs the attention of many with this lovely addition to the eShop, let’s dig in.
One of the main goals is to collect artefacts, some increase or decrease your stats. Gather as many or little as you want depending on your strategy, and take them to the shop. This room is indicated by a lamp hanging next to its door. A crow will be waiting to receive these artefacts and in turn, throw the player some upgrades of the same type. Maybe one will increase your hearts while another will increase gun damage. I’ve used both strategies and find collecting the most to turn in being much more fun. It ramps up the difficulty in an interesting way, altogether changing your play style. This will improve the player’s skills run by run and add to the overall experience.
Blazing Beaks is a game that will toy with you, here is an artefact that says your character will take damage by collecting coins. The next room will have five coins and gathering them all will end your run. A fun pair of artefacts to find is one that increases a characteristic by 50% and one that decreases the same characteristic by 50%. Now you have two artefacts to turn into the crow and no negative side effects for your run. Sometimes I will take any that pop up during a run, kind of like an all or nothing thing. Other times I’ll skip them all to avoid any possible hindrance.
The screen shake is obnoxious. If there was one thing I could change about Blazing Beaks it would be the over the top shakiness when damage is dealt. Thinking back, this has bothered me in plenty of other games in the same way. I just don’t understand it’s importance when the recovery time from it is so crucial. Maybe it will be lower in the future but only time will tell.
The first level area is filled with hulk cock egg carriers, zits, and Bucky O’hares. Upon being killed by a Bucky, I then realised it’s a turnip. It definitely looks like Bucky O’hare so they are no longer vegetables. Each sequence of levels has a common theme of colours, the first is green. I usually last about ten minutes, which is average I’m told, but I’m working on it.
Once you gain some traction and finish a few areas the player is given a choice of two areas. I really like that it gives you a chance to make a worthy decision because the two areas beyond are completely different and more difficult. In progressing as such, more characters and guns are unlocked. The chicken has been my main character of choice but occasionally I’ll switch it up to see how I handle the others. I’ve chosen a character with low health and luckily found a health upgrade or two which is the perfect scenario. Chalk it up to luck in finding them but the game heavily relies on skill to get you through it.
An important area I don’t want to skip is the controls which feel very good. They are tight and don’t feel wonky at all. Gungeon games require good handles and Blazing Beaks delivers on that front in a positive way. I enjoyed using my pro controller in particular over handheld mode. It looks great on screen too!
For those scouring the eShop for a fun, silly, and challenging game – you’ve found it with Blazing Beaks. The game’s progression through each area allows the player to hone their skills and move on when they’ve earned it. The lovely art style and visuals are sure to attract and keep your attention.
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Steam
Release Date: 10/05/2019
No. of Players: 1-4
Category: Action, Arcade, Role-Playing
Download link: eShop