Tuesday 30 August 2022

Avenging Spirit Review (Switch)

This one came at us almost completely out of the blue. We are well aware of the Gameboy version of Avenging spirit (and the fact it’s being released again in physical form) but had no idea that originally the game started out as a coin guzzling arcade cabinet. Somehow though it has found its way to Switch.

Avenging Spirit comes with two modes available. There is a new mode which sort of optimises the experience for console players – pretty much pre-setting a lot of the arcade options to the middle ground. Or if you want to fiddle around with settings you can pick the original arcade version of the game which lets you change all the dip switches and other settings. You also get the standard save states and other features common to these arcade releases.

The game itself is a bright and colourful action platformer. The gimmick of course is that you are of a ghost. Players can possess most enemy types and then take on their skills for their own. Whenever you are not in possession of an enemy body your energy drains away so it’s important to protect your host at all times.

Enemies are varied with a host of different styles and skills to play around with and each level ends with a larger-than-life boss battle that fall into the difficult but fair category. Most of them are quite unique and creative in terms of design as well, meaning there is a distinct personality to each level and area.  

The game is bright and colourful with big sprites and certainly fits into that arcade style well. The only real issue we have with it is that the onscreen real estate is simply too small. The camera really needs to be zoomed out quite significantly as the game world feels cramp and you can never really see where you are going or what hazards you are about to walk into. Maybe this is a hangover from playing the much smaller Gameboy version but it’s something we never got used to.

Overall, there is fun to be had here but this is a game that only the most hardcore of arcade fans would consider essential. It’s a tricky one as there’s nothing really wrong with it and it is fun but given the choice there are numerous better arcade games out there and the Gameboy version is also better in general.

Overall 6/10

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