Aug 8, 2012
Megatroid is a game that uses a retro-inspired gameplay design with 3D graphics. Players control a futuristic space mercenary who is out to destroy evil robot faces, I suppose. She also has a long red pony tail, and a talking robot that helps her out: both essential for destroying robot faces. The obvious key influence of Megatroid is Mega Man, with the ability to just run horizontally and slide down walls.
The game’s hook is that there’s no set levels: they are all ranomly generated, though the same levels can be played by using the same level name. While some level pieces do get re-used, there is enough of a variety in them to keep them feeling just fresh enough. Playing these levels is necessary to gain experience to unlock boss fights, and to collect money for upgrades. The game is free to play, with the ability to buy money and credits for special items and upgrades.
The controls are simple with just buttons for horizontal movement, jumping, and firing, with layouts designed for tablets and phones; the phone buttons are a bit large on 7“ tablets, but they’re better than the tablet controls which are designed for 10” devices. The app is fairly unstable, as it seems to crash way too often even on the Nexus 7 that I tested on.
The problem with the random level generation is that visually, the levels are just way too similar. There’s only one real type of level design that gets used in the early levels of the game that should be attracting and hooking the player. This causes the game to feel monotonous and repetitive, and it was a struggle to keep going with it. Things start to get mixed up once the first boss battle is unlocked, but then he winds up being absurdly difficult with some missile attacks that are practically impossible to dodge. But at least there’s a different visual style! Also, the game commits the sin of not having its secondary currency earnable through in-game actions, only through outside purchases or offers.
The monotony is really what got to me: it felt at times like if I wasn’t reviewing the game, then I’d probably have quit sooner. There’s really no reason why a retro-inspired game that lets me control a futuristic redhead space mercenary shouldn’t keep me captivated. I’m soundly disappointed.