The Walking Vegetables: Radical Edition is an extreme way to go about not eating your 5-A-Day.
It’s the 1980’s and a diabolical alien race has turned all vegetables (and certain fruit) into the walking uncooked. These vegetable zombies are now ready to feast on human flesh and the only team to stop them is the Department Radical.
The Walking Vegetables is a twin-stick swarm shooter akin to the likes of Enter The Gungeon and The Binding Of Isaac. The idea of the game, while quite linear, is for the most part, enjoyable. You are tasked with looting and shooting through a number of buildings; each with their own end of level boss with is usually a larger version of a zombie vegetable. This includes a giant piece of Broccoli known as ‘Broccoliath’. Unfortunately, the bosses aren’t that unique compared to the other enemies you’ll be facing and don’t really come into their own as characters. Cuphead still owns the title for best bosses based on vegetables. An award you will most likely not find at the Video Game Awards.
Each of the standard Vegetable enemies has their own unique attacks that add a bit of variation to the game. Onions will cry to slow you down and carrots tend to rush towards you causing you to act fast.
There is a myriad of guns and other projectiles you can use against the enemy. Some of these can be found via hunting and looting while others can be purchased at the shop. You can also unlock skills for your character that help you along the way such as Big Game Hunter and Pulpinator which changes the way you deal with enemies. Stocking up on medical kits is also an idea at these points ready for the next boss due to the games punishing difficulty. While this isn’t Dark Souls featuring vegetables, I found it did provide me with a significant challenge for a good majority of the game. You can end up dying quite a bit if you cease concentration for a certain period of time. The level design is incredibly similar and due to the lack of health your character is given and the space between checkpoints you may find yourself repeating a lot of the same areas.
Speaking of repetition, the music does become rather aggravating over time. While there is a clever use of changing up the soundtrack (i.e. when your character is in danger or there is a boss present) it doesn’t really deviate enough to be listenable for long periods of time.
The controls on the Switch in handheld mode can be a little fiddly at first, but you’ll soon find yourself settling into it after a few hours of gameplay. It’s very easy to pick up and play on the go, as there isn’t a convoluted plot or cutscenes to deal with. The couch co-op mode also allows the player to help chop down these vegetables with a friend.
The presentation of the game is very well done and the 80’s neon colour palette is very pleasing to the eye and there is a retro theme flowing through every level with peppered references.
While The Walking Vegetables is a solid and fun twin-stick shooter, the Nintendo Switch is not without its fair share of these and there are arguably superior titles such as Enter The Gungeon that may cause people to miss this enjoyable and challenging title. It’s an original concept and 80’s radical feel will hopefully be enough to entice potential players. Pick this up now to help strengthen your skills before Cuphead is released on the Switch later this year.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*