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Wii U eShop Review & 3DS eShop Review

NOITU LOVE
DEVOLUTION


MP2 Games / Konjak



Genre: 2D Arcade-Action (Beat'em Up / Run & Gun)
Players: 1

EU Release Date: 2016-09-22 Price: 8,99€
NA Release Date: 2016-09-15 Price: $9.99

Websites: http://mp2.dk/ & http://www.konjak.org/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joe93fPKG1w

Tested: EU (PAL Version)

What is Noitu Love? Yeah, it's Evol Ution backwards and it's also a beat'em up / run & gun mix in the vein of Japanese Mega Drive and Neo Geo classics with a pinch of Viewtiful Joe and a leaf of Sin & Punishment.

Devolution is the sequel to the first Noitu Love that is unfortunately not available on a Nintendo console. However, all the backstory that is needed is told in the intro sequence. You play as Xeno Rap and the first thing that happens is a helicopter machinegun blasting your appartment windows! As you run to escape by jumping through the windows of what feels like the 12th floor, you see the city is overrun by robots.


There are just 7 initial stages, but staying close to true action-platformer classics (especially crazier ones like Metal Slug and Dynamite Headdy) they are all very different from each other and show nice pseudo-3D effects. It even turns into an autoscroller and horizontal shooter. Fighting your way through a collapsing building, beating up a robot music-band in a jazz-bar, being thrown around in a crazy elevator ride, and running on a log down a waterfall while blasting a giant snake are just a few of the memorable moments in this game. The bosses are the highlight though, and the smooth animations really come to life on the bigger models. You see, this game is not very long, but it's made to be fun and challenging enough to be replayed. It helps that you can unlock another 2 playable characters, a bunch of alternative stages, harder difficulties, a level select, and ranks for each stage.


The other characters play very different from each other. Xeno Rap is a speedy, punching, kicking, biting, almost-teleporting girl. The second character loves to shoot flames at where you aim. The strategies you know from Xeno Rap don't apply to the other characters. They totally feel like a new style of playing. Talking about new style of playing, the Wii U version has two control options: Wiimote+Nunchuk and GamePad+Touchscreen, and if they're not different enough from each other, with having the Wiimote+Nunchuk combo enabled you can select between Wiimote gestures (swings to four directions), digipad double taps, or both combined. The Wiimote pointer (or the touchscreen) is used to aim with a crosshair at any part of the screen instantly, the swipes/doubletaps are for special moves, and the buttons do the rest of the action. Whatever kind of control scheme you prefer, with a bit of practice you find that the controls are smooth and responsive and go well with the turbocharged action on screen. Noitu Love doesn't throw you into the cold water either, it lets you know everything about the controls in a nice little tutorial test arena for each of the characters.


In cutscenes characters talk to each other and give away parts of the story, something about different times clashing together, literally. The world kinda transforms, devolves, and it's just as crazy as everything else in the game. The game could have gone deeper with that. In a game like this you will skip the cutscenes if you have watched them once or twice anyway and rather act to save the world. The graphics are what you'd expect from 16-bit hardware pushed to its limits and the music - while not the strongest soundtrack ever (it still has its moments) - goes well along with it. Both the Wii U version and 3DS version have a visual problem though: The 3DS version doesn't feature the 3D effect and the Wii U version has borders at the sides that can't be turned to black. Also, what is missing in the Wii U version is the option to have the stats around on the second screen. Both the TV screen and GamePad screen are mirrored at all times. In the 3DS version the upper screen is used to keep track of your stats that define your rank at the end of a stage. In the Wii U version the stats are only shown when you finish a stage. If you go for S-Ranks, in the 3DS version you know when you mess up and you can quit and restart before reaching a checkpoint; in the Wii U version this information is missing. I really hope MP2 Games can patch that in the Wii U version.

Conclusion:

Noitu Love Devolution is a fun action-platformer that brings you back to times when the 16-bit / arcade / 2D pixel-animation era was at its peak. Smooth fast-finger food recommended for everyone who's up for a short and sweet blast from the past (and the present).

SKTTRSKORE: 8/10

Written by SKTTR, 5th October 2016
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Comments

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Thanks for continuing to support us through these rough times. Hopefully a fix will be found soon. Neutral
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It sounds like the 3DS version is superior to the Wii U one. Brilliantly detailed review, @SKTTR!
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on October 6th 2016, 9:11 amSKTTR
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
@Ichigofan I'm just continuing doing my duty here. Wink Just get this review on the homepage or explain how so in the future I can put them up myself. And fix the buttons. OK, thanks.

@GeekyGamerZack Well, not really. I prefer the Wiimote aiming of the Wii U version; the small issues with the borders and stats can be patched in easily.

For a game that wants to be pixel perfect in screen size + resolution and has therefore borders on the sides, having an optional plain black border should be a primary feature. When that is done (for the purists), you go develop and add another or more borders (for the fancy princesses and for effort points). A game like this even has the opportunity to make borders an extra feature, like unlockable themes, scrolling backgrounds, game art, flashy colors etc. They can come up with anything, as long as it has the option to also disable it.

MP2 Games made both the Wii U and 3DS version and they are very competent coders that have some of the best Wii U ports under their wing (Knytt Underground, Freedom Planet, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures). They have a flawless track record on Nintendo so far. Getting the in-game stats screen from the 3DS over to the Wii U version shouldn't be a problem.
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@SKTTR Nice review, but this is in the wrong section lol. Rolling Eyes
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@Aqua Cherry Blossom: Thank you but wrong section? Oh, now I see!!

@Ichigofan: Is there an easy way to transfer this over to the Wii U eShop review section or should I repost there then delete the old in here? Also, it's still not on the homepage. Shocked
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@SKTTR It was pure luck, but I managed to move the topic without the button being visible because I apparently memorized its location on the page! Anime Sweat
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Awesome review as always @SKTTR! Very Happy
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