Evolution Continues: Noitu Love Devolution Review (WiiU)

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Do you ever miss those old pixel art “run n gun” games like Contra and Metal Slug? I know I do, but thanks to the indie scene I don’t have to rely on memories alone. Noitu Love Devolution is a great “run n gun” style game with an interesting control scheme that helps separate it from other indie games in the genre.

Noitu Love Devolution was made for PC but transitions well to the Wii U. You can use the Wiimote and nunchuck for pointer controls like a mouse, or you can use the Wii U gamepad for touch controls. I had to rely on the gamepad because due to switching TV sets, I don’t have everything set up to use the Wiimote. The only real issue there is that you don’t see the full beauty of the art style while looking at the gamepad, but when you more experience with the controls this won’t be an issue because you can look at the TV screen. The cartoonish artstyle reminds me of several WayForward games, but it is still very much its own thing. The game has an incredible soundtrack reminiscent of both classic and modern games from a variety of genres. The tunes both keep you going and get you pumped and help accentuate the cartoonish nature of the game at times. In that regard, the soundtrack accomplishes all the objectives a video game soundtrack has. This is not always the case with indie games but works out well here.

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As I said, I used touch controls with the gamepad when I played this. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they worked out fine in the end. The controls took a bit of getting used to and I messed up more than once, but eventually I got the hang of it. The game itself is a sequel but you do not need to worry about that fact and you can actually ignore that and view this as a standalone game. You play as a peacekeeper who must fight an invading enemy force. This sounds generic except the game is anything but generic. Full of action, humor and great music, I had a blast while playing this. The different locales you explore provide a lot of variety for the gameplay experience and the enemies have a unique flair to each one. The animation is smooth and steady, and that makes each stage stand out more. The bosses are great, the random switches in gameplay keep things fresh and the story is enjoyable. The only real issue I had is that the controls did take a while to learn.

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There are numerous attack abilities as well as defending abilities and the game offers an excellent optional training mode. I recommend checking this out because while you can jump right into the game, you will find yourself slightly confused with the controls. This is an optional tutorial but highly recommended. The game obviously is inspired by classic shooters, but you will often rely on melee attacks more, as well as grabs and throws. This adds a lot to the game and helps it stands out in my opinion. It also helps give more replay value by giving you more ways to go back and play differently.

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This game feels like a great throwback to the classic shooter games, especially Gunstar Heroes, but at the same time it also has forged its own identity. The action keeps going and you will never find yourself board with this. I think this is a game very much worth getting for any Wii U (or 3DS owner). My only warning is that the controls will take a bit of time to get used to. I will say that I cannot get the game’s music out of my head but I leave that to you to decide if you think that will be a good or bad thing.

 

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