Although it remains quite a niche, it is difficult to argue with the level of Clout and the influence exerted by Arc System Works. This studio thrives well in 2D fighting games, with similar franchises Guilty Gear and River City being among its best-known work, and its 30+ year life span has seen the introduction of many new games and franchises. As a kind of love letter to fans familiar with these multiple entities, Arc System Works has chosen to create its own take on Super Smash Bros. formula with Code Shifter. Instead of deploying this crossover as a 2D space fighter – as many would expect – the company has tried to go something different by making Code Shifter a lightweight platform with heavy & # 39; m up features. Unfortunately, the end result of this concept is something that fails to prove itself more than the sum of its parts, even though it has some moments of happiness.
For starters, this story becomes an incredibly important part of Code Shifter, taking as much time as the actual gameplay. The story follows Stella, the thought-provoking and hard-working editor of Awesome Rainbow Corp, which is the process of deploying a universal crossover game called “Color Fighters”. The mid-game is closer to gold, but a sudden attack on some mysterious bugs sets the stage for further development. No one will be challenged, Stella chooses to counter this by creating a virtual avatar named Sera, which she can use to fight viruses directly on digital data.
Instead we enjoy the & # 39; meta & # 39; s nature of this interactive story, as it provides exciting insights into the game development culture while having a lot of language references in the woods and landscape. In addition, it is new the view. Usually, crunchy crossover games like this one will use another tired and ready-made version of a walkthrough that shows why the various characters suddenly come together, but hold the booth in the sense that all characters exist as a fictional IP company The company is a great way to naturally let everyone show up next to each other. . It’s a shame that there are no written interactions between the characters – everyone is actually just fighting quietly – and yet we appreciate the concept of the story.
That being said, execution it's a little fun. Most of your collaborators are casual, one-dimensional people who don't do much to pull you into their role, and the nuances of their office drama are less appealing. This can be a big enough problem in itself, but it's made worse by the fact that there is more than enough cutscenes to pull down Code Shifter drop-offs. Each session only lasts for a few minutes, and then we return to the office to find more dialogue about a shy colleague who does a poor job of hiding her feelings for Stella, or another similarly banned scene. The great power of Code Shifter is at the level of its gameplay, and it would have been much better if engineers deemed it necessary to cut the fat from the script in order to stop getting in the way of the game itself.
If you don't indulge in another moment of waterfall, most of your Code Shifter will have to move from level to Sera through the stages of installing 2D platforms where each represents a separate file on a specific computer. In your journey to the end of the stage, your task will be to pierce all the bugs and germs you encounter along the way, often in the battle of stadium style. Sera herself proves to be well-formed in battle, but the main draw of these 2D sections is found in the various Arc System Works characters spread throughout each stage you can use in battle. A few of these characters are strictly limited, each given their own unique character, while most of them are cast as characters to use & # 39; support & # 39; which can be limited by your fighting in some useful way, such as providing healing or additional attacks. Depending on how well you clear each section, you are placed on your job and – assuming you managed to achieve a S position – have been given the ability to sort that can increase a lot of stats.
The game design of the sections in Code Shifter proves to be the weakest part of the game, as each stage is almost completely incomprehensible from its predecessor and there is not much difficulty to be found even in difficult ways. Most of the sections contain mindless jumping on all the moving platforms and boxes, with a natural & # 39; puzzle & # 39; to mix things up. This can take the form of an ice wall that needs to melt by attacking a character, or a dead switch that can power a nearby platform. It's never hard to figure out what needs to be done, and the skilled character you need is almost always close to it, which turns these cuts into puzzles and more into just inconsistent and annoying walls. Although some new phase modes are introduced at glacial rate as you move forward with the campaign, Code Shifter rarely does anything exciting with them, which sounds like too much
In combat, the gameplay is a little better, but still lends itself to the absurd problem of associating it with a variety of enemies. No matter who you play, each character has basic attacks, ups and downs, and different attacks that slowly heal your life and use. Some characters have a very small range, such as those that use magic or firearms, while others are more striking due to their size or strength. Simple controls, then, are compatible with simple enemy encounters; most viruses mean no threat in itself and can be dispatched with a few hits. Although there is a satisfying feeling of a connected attack and generally crossing multiple characters, it's hard to argue that it doesn't feel like something is missing from the formula here.
Code Shifter is not a fun game in the first place, but perhaps its biggest drawback is that it fails to present anything sensible on how to hold your interest or otherwise create a sense of investment. Most games take a few hours to go up and present some very interesting and action-packed video content, but that accumulation is nowhere to be seen in Code Shifter. It is a kind of game that goes wrong or is worse, it just goes on a straight, straight path to an unfulfilled end. Of course, you pick new characters along the way and there are times to pass as you see how different moves and skills work, but the lack of challenge or variety of gameplay ensures that nothing gets too far off the ground. Then there are the small, severe interruptions that concern us, too, as a controversial decision not to use the D-pad at all
For those of you who love playing with others, Code Shifter has a few options for a few local players to consider. After a certain point of the story, you can bring a second player to each stage of preparation and take viruses together, sharing everything from characters to the health pool. The main draw for most players, however, is the ability to play “Color Fighters” (a game against Stella and the crew) between levels. New characters for this mode can be unlocked by playing at special rates, and you can play up to four at a time with ease and not forgetting the & # 39; m up game. Anyway, it's a neat addition to having this game in-game, and good for a few minutes of fun every time. You can play it alone with the bots, and, if you wish, even though the smoke quickly escapes this way.
From a presentation standpoint, Code Shifter is firmly in the middle of a road field, either impressive or disappointing. The difference between the basic art style and the eight characters is striking, but visually stunning, and almost as touching as the small translation of the 8 songs when controlling the character helps keep things interesting. The architecture of both the office environment and the digital sections is less compelling, but they provide enough variety and detail to satisfy in their own way. It would have been nice if the sections from the various Arc System games were represented in the main campaign (rather than a few Colorful Fighters maps), but which one here is a good thing.
Code Shifter is basically a playful version of an unpleasant sigh. There is a platform. There is a fight. It does matter. Each of these things is there, but they all feel enhanced or ineffective in their own way, and they never really get together. This is a type of game that fails to leave any sense of feeling, rendering it to be a little less than forgetting what is a very good idea. Putting all those different Arc System Works together in one game is a pretty common thing, but Code Shifter is sure it's not the closest thing to being aware of that kind of power. If you're a die-hard fan on the train, then maybe Code Shifter is a good look if you can find it on sale someday. Besides, there's not much we can see here.