Noitu Love Devolution is an action blast from the past that Wii U and Nintendo 3DS owners won’t want to miss out on.
Developers: Joakim Sandberg / MP2 Games
Publisher: MP2 Games
Platform: Nintendo 3DS & Nintendo Wii U (Version Reviewed)
Release Date: September 15, 2016
In the year 2088, an organization called “The Peacekeepers League” protects the citizens of the world from danger, and the Institute now faces one of its greatest challenges as a robot army declares war and attacks the populace for global control. Noitu Love Devolution for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is a tribute to the classic 2D action games of yesteryears – of which include Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes. For what the game lacks in compelling narrative, it more than makes up for with chaotic, challenging, and fine-tuned fast-paced gameplay.
This game is actually a sequel to Noitu Love – a title that was released many years, but there is no need to know about the proceedings of the previous game as the introduction of Noitu Love: Devolution does a fine job of explaining the events that transpired. Once you are brought up to speed with what is happening with the game’s storyline, you are dropped straight into the action.
What separates Noitu Love Devolution for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS apart from other 2D action games available on these two platforms is the manner in which the game is played. Targeting and attacking is done by using the touch-screen (or in the case of Wii U, a Wii controller and nunchuck can also be used). Those familiar with Kid Icarus: Uprising will grasp the game’s controls quickly, as they function in a similar manner. Using a stylus, you will move a cursor to target enemies, but the stylus control style extends far beyond just simple pointer controls.
Since the game is played in two dimensions, there is little frustration in terms of character movement and attacking. Using either the analog stick (circle pad on 3DS), D-pad, or face buttons (yes, the game is left-hand friendly), you will move your character and be able to perform special attacks – double tapping up, left or right will execute a special attack. The L and R-triggers can also be used to jump, wall jump or two perform the ‘Up Special Move,’ as well. As you can clearly tell, there is a lot of control flexibility offered, and players will be able to acclimate without issue.
Noitu Love Devolution has a wonderful arcade feel to its gameplay.
The touch-screen hosts the majority of the game’s action. Tapping on enemies will lead your character in that direction to perform melee attacks, or to use projectile weapons to fire at enemies. You can also swipe the style up, left, right, or down to perform special attacks – though I preferred to double tap the D-pad. Skills such as using a shield, charging an attack, or grabbing and throwing a weak enemy can only be done by using the touch-screen controls.
Though it may sound like a lot, the controls click once you have the game in hand and begin to play. It’s one of those games that is easy to pick up and play but has a surprising amount of depth to it as you learn the intricacies of the control scheme and learn to perform combinations and increase your high-score.
Noitu Love Devolution has a wonderful arcade feel to its gameplay. With a constant barrage of enemies appearing on screen, the action never seems to let up, and that’s a great thing. New types of robot types are introduced as you make your way through stages, and many of them present new ways in which you have to defeat them. For example, enemies will carry shields, and you will need to shoot the bomb they toss in the air as it will allow you to redirect your weapon’s attack down directly onto the enemy – thus bypassing the shield.
Many of the techniques you learn will be utilized against one, if not all of the bosses, featured on a given stage. Each level has one or two sub-bosses and then a main level-ending boss battle. Many of the bosses will prove quite challenging as you solve for their weakness and learn to exploit the momentary opening to deliver damage, all while dodging powerful attacks.
Noitu Love Devolution succeeds in delivering a challenging game without becoming a frustrating aggravation. You may fail during a boss battle and die, or you may not catch on to an enemy and their unique attack patterns right away, but it is through these failures that you learn. The game is fine-tuned to deliver the right balance of challenge and still feel manageable.
Noitu Love Devolution features seven stages to play through, but you will unlock new playable characters upon completion of the game. Each playable characters plays differently – each has their own unique move set, so replaying stages have a fresh feeling.
For those curious to learn what the difference between the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS version is, there is little to say. On the Wii U, the game is displayed on both the TV and GamePad, and it has support for Wii controller with nunchuck. For 3DS, the game is displayed on the touch-screen as the top screen shows your health, kill total, and other stats. Noitu Love Devolution plays well on both platforms, so it comes down to personal choice as the GamePad may be too heavy for some to hold and balance with one hand.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.