Thursday, December 7, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Gunbrella On Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Gunbrella . This game, from developers Doinksoft and publishers Devolver Digital,  is already out not only on Switch and PC.

The demo for Gunbrella, and the game itself, has been out for a few months now so the complaints i might have with the game could all be resolved by now if the game has been patched. i don't have the game so i can't do the comparison, but if you have it and played it it would be great to read your comments about how things have changed or how they are now in general.

There's a lot to like about this game after playing the demo. graphically, it looks great. more detailed than 8 or 16bit games but also not too blocky. there's a decent amount of movement in the foreground that helps give life/energy to the world, with decent backdrops helping to set the scene, and a sky with rolling clouds. The music is also good to listen to and works well, especially with the boss at the end of the video. i would be interested in hearing more of the music for sure.

For the most part, the controls are really good too. general movement is responsive and whilst the initial jump may not be that high it does feel satisfying in how it works. When we get to use the Brella for an additional jump, the sense of movement and speed is greater but i mostly felt able to control things just as easily. But, movement is also tied to shooting. If you jump up, the gun points up. if you move right, the gun points right. The right stick is also tied to shooting and something about having both control the gun just didn't work well with me.

I admit that it's only a demo and i could just need more practice. i often had issues when dealing with enemies. i would jump at an angle, try to shoot, my gun would be pointing up at an angle, i would miss the enemy and typically end up getting hit by them. It could be that after practice and more time i would be able to adjust and come up with a different strategy. But in the hour i played with the game, i never really got the hand of it.

The game didn't offer any tips or suggestions beyond the basic tutorial either. and that's something that i wasn't impressed with during the demo. It felt like the game did the minimum when it came to tutorials for the player. last weeks game, Knight Vs. Giant: The Broken Excalibur showed how to not only do text on screen but how to use the space effectively with added video tutorials. the text on screen approach here felt dated like the atheistic the game is based on. It wasn't just the tutorials. the items in the store and inventory had the bare minimum information. i had items that sounded like permanent upgrades and some that seemed to be time based. but the game never told me any of that. It's the same when looking up your tasks. there's a lot of space used by such few words. 

One of the more annoying parts of the demo is when i follow the instructions of a text box and it doesn't work. the game explained about food. i did what it said, and nothing happened. There were a couple of instances in a library section where text seemed to be out of order. i would encounter a scenario, get past it, and then read a text warning me of it.

One weird thing about this demo is that in the more than a hour i played, it never once said it was a demo! It's possible it might've after the boss i couldn't beat. i suspect that's where the demo might've ended, or after the quests related to it had finished. after trying that first boss i feel like i should've tried this demo on Easy, not the Normal i picked or the Hard it defaulted to.

I'm glad i tried out the demo. i was a little curious about this game. i now know that it's maybe not for me, but i can come away from it appreciating what it got right and maybe if a "Directors Cut" or "DX" edition were to come to other platforms then maybe i'd give it another shot.