How crazy is it that people are surprised when a developer does something outside of their main franchise? It is almost as if we expect that at Gamefreak they are looking to the future at every given moment. I mean, after 800+ Pokemon, they have got to be starting to run out of ideas right? RIGHT!?! All jokes aside, it is not all strange that Gamefreak is doing something different, why drink nothing but coke when you can also have sprite? I had not heard of Giga Wrecker upon its original release but like most people, it caught my eye in the upcoming releases simply because of the developer. I am glad it did, as now I can comfortably say that there is another game in the developers’ line of games that I enjoy.
Of course, as the game originally came out on PC back in 2017, Gamefreak has had more than enough time to go back and clean up any bugs that the original release would have on the console. Giga Wrecker Alt is a 2-D side-scrolling Metroidvania that has elements of puzzle games. Granted, those puzzle elements are physics-based, DON”T LET THAT SCARE YOU AWAY! I personally felt that none of the puzzle segments were too difficult to conquer. If you do mess up though, there is a way to reset the puzzle and give it another shot. Also, towards the beginning of the game, you pick up a companion that will show you exactly what you need to do to beat any puzzle you come across.
The game is set somewhat far in the future when humans are unsurprisingly wiped out by robots and what few humans are left are trying to put up resistance while also trying to now be abducted and forced into slavery. It has been 3 years since the robots appeared and took over the games starts you off as Reika, a girl that has been held prisoner by the robot empire for three years who has watched all her friends and family have been killed by the robots is freed by a mysterious white-haired girl, and then shoots Reika, intending to kill her and claiming that it’s for the good of the human race. I’ve seen a rescue or two happen in video games over the years, but this is by far the most bizarre!
As Reika is starting to pass out with the end result being death, she gets saved by a mysterious doctor. He then proceeds to craft a new arm for Reika by replacing her missing arm with a mechanical one (her arm is what was shot off by the white-haired girl) that has all sorts of amazing abilities that will help Reika in her adventure that she embarks on to seek vengeance against the robots that have killed her family and friends and also find the mysterious white-haired girl that saved her but also tried to kill her.
Like many Metroidvanias, as you travel around this world torn apart by robots, you will find that there are some areas in which there is nothing you can do to progress past a certain point until you have a new ability. The world of Giga Wrecker Alt has a pretty decent size and many different paths that you can find yourself going down. Thankfully the map is completely visible from the beginning of the game and you can see how many exits are in each section of the map. Any kind of special object will also be marked on the map.
Your special new robot arm comes loaded with all sorts of goodies and will only get stronger the more you play the game. As you progress you can download blueprints that will let you do new things with your arm, such as taking scrap and making a massive sword out of it. These abilities are the reason you can survive in this harsh world, to begin with. As you kill enemies, they will drop blue nanomachines which act as experience points. Each time you fill up the experience bar, you will gain another ability point that can be used to power up Reikas health or other abilities like Auto-Healing or stronger attacks.
As I had mentioned, there are lots of puzzles you will come across that your arms abilities will help you solve. Reika has the ability to essentially make her arm a scrap magnet that will pull any loose scrap to her and make a ball out of it to do many different actions. You can use it to fight enemies or make blocks that would be needed to get to a high platform. Perhaps there will be a spot in which you have to take the ball to a waterfall that will turn your scrap ball into rubber so that you can jump on it and be thrown high into the air. As I mentioned, the puzzles are not too difficult, but you may need to reset the puzzle and that is as simple as walking into the time portals that are at each and every puzzle.
So to all the folks that played game originally on PC, why would you bother picking the game up on PlayStation, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch? Well, Rising Star Games is are the folks behind the port and they have added additional content to the game. They have added 20 more puzzle stages, a harder Ironman mode and the new companion robot that will assist players that are having a difficult time with puzzles.
Gamefreak did a wonderful job with Giga Wrecker Alt! It was nice to see the developers do something a little bit different than what most people would assume they would be doing. The game may not have the best story in the world, but at the end of the day, it was fine. Fans of the Metroidvania style should enjoy the game, even if it isn’t quite as long as those games tend to be.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*