Review: Battle Sports Mekuru [Flip Wars] (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Battle Sports Mekuru [Flip Wars] (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Gameplay mechanics, check. Game content, where are you?!

Battle Sports Mekuru, tentatively known as Project Mekuru in the West, was announced at the April Nintendo Direct and looked to be an even simpler version what Konami provided on the Switch with the most recent Bomberman. A few weeks ago, developer Over Fence released the game onto the digital shelves of Japan. While the gameplay mechanics, aesthetics and overall feel of the game seem pretty polished, it’s hard not to walk away from the experience without feeling that the game is lacking in content.

The gameplay for Mekuru is pretty simple. Controlling a spacesuit wearing semi-deformed character (which looks very similar to the characters in Metroid: Federation Force) on a tiled floor, players battle against up to three other computer or player controlled opponents. By pressing A, the character jumps into the air and comes down with a “hip stomp” (butt stomp) which changes surrounding tiles to their corresponding color. The goal here is to either capture as many panels as you can or to knock out your opponents. That’s it. There are three different gameplay modes - Panel Switch, Knock Out and Life Battle. Panel Switch is a battle to get the most panels in a set time period. Knock Out is based on timing your hip drops to send other players flying off the stage. The goal here is to try to knock out your opponents as many times as possible in the time limit. Life Battle is similar to Knock Out except that you have a limited amount of lives. The last man standing wins. There are also several power-up cards that can do things like extend your tile reach, give you invincibility and speed up your movement.

Players do have the ability to play online or locally (on one Switch) for four player sessions. There are two variants of stages - A “Green Field” or a “Blue Arena” with water-like elements under the tiles. On top of that, there are three variants of each stage - one that’s fairly open with a few obstacles, another with an electric shock button in the middle that once pressed, changes a significant portion of the tiles in the middle of the screen to your color, and one with a beam cannon placed in the middle of the screen that is constantly rotating and covers a straight line of titles in your color. The Blue Arenas also occasionally have a wave effect that causes players to be temporarily stunted if they are standing on the stage while the wave comes by.

Although everything is very simple to get the hang of, there simply isn’t much to do in Mekuru. Right off the bat, you immediately notice that there are several “coming soon” tiles on the game menu. Included are the likes of Achievements, Rankings and Local Area Battle (the ability to play the game locally with another Switch). The visuals are pretty low key, but get the job done, as does the Euro-techno beat music. Online also works relatively well, however I did have some issues with lag and matchmaking depending on the time of day (there were typically more people playing in the evening).

Battle Sports Mekuru can be quite a bit of fun to play in short bursts, however the current lack of content hold this back from being a must own. It would behoove you to wait this game out until Over Fence implements all of the modes and features that are currently unavailable.

Overall Score: 5.0

*Battle Sports Mekuru is currently ONLY available on the Japanese Switch eShop and is available in Japanese, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese.*

No comments: