Paradox Soul | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Paradox Soul | Review | Switch

by Michael Brandse 
Paradox Soul is potential being choked in a mess of half executed ideas.
Paradox Soul has all the potential to be a good game, if it had stuck with one idea and went with it all the way. Instead, Paradox Soul has a number of ideas, all half-executed and all clashing with one another, creating a bit of a mess.
Gameplay wise, Paradox Soul is your average metroidvania game. You make your way through what looks like a secret base of kinds. Where it misses the mark is that Paradox Soul cannot quite decide what it wants to focus on. For instance, early on in the game the player is introduced to a cover mechanic. While the cover mechanic lends for a wide variety of interesting mechanics, Paradox Soul instead just gives you one enemy and one boss that requires diving for cover. All other enemies simply just rush you and damage you even if you are in cover. As a result, cover becomes entirely useless, annoying even as the avatar going into cover may mean you miss an opportunity to kill the enemy, the enemy instead damaging you.

Another thing that annoyed me is that the game simply doesn’t feel all that responsive. The avatar doesn’t really jump high, meaning that jumping is basically useless. Fortunately, you get the double jump early on but for some inexplicable reason, the double jump turns you into a ball. It also has the most annoying controls; you virtually have no control over your avatar in the air and shooting is also impossible. It makes for a good dash though. Other power-ups in the game are simply weapons meant to clear particular obstacles; nothing you haven’t seen before in a metroidvania game.
The one thing that Paradox Soul nails, interestingly enough, is the difficulty. The game is pretty hard and the player can only get hit twice before dying (what was the case on normal difficulty at least). However, the game saves whenever you enter a new room, so the last checkpoint is never far away. As a result, the game may rely on trial and error, but you fail quickly meaning you can try again quickly as well. Even with the annoyances in gameplay, this part of the game is pretty well executed.
This game tries to go for a minimalist pixel art style, with mixed results. While the main character is animated pretty well, the rest of the design just feels a bit dated. It also seems to go a bit too much for a grey color palette, which just isn’t all that exciting to look at. Later parts of the level change the palette up a bit, but not by much. In the end, the game just doesn’t like that good. The music was also rather forgettable. 

Finally, something that needs mentioning, is that the game is really, really short. I was surprised that after a few hours I had already beaten the final boss. In the end, I think I beat the game in under 5 hours, but most of that time was spent trying to find the way out of the game after beating the final boss. To finish this game, the developers decided to add some padding, requiring the player to all of a sudden use one of his tools in a way that has never been explained, and for which the hints are really hard to see. While I did manage to find my way out eventually, that really put a damper on the overall experience.

Paradox Soul is a game that may have potential, but really lacks in execution. The game is way too short, and the padding at the end just makes the game much more tedious than it should be. As such, this game is hard to recommend, even to fans of the genre.

Final Score 4.0

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