8.5
Our overall verdict "silver"

Originally released on PC and then on PlayStation 4 back in 2015, Japanese arcade shoot ‘em up Astebreed lets you take the reins of one of the most powerful and versatile flying robots in existence. It hurtles you across the galaxy for some intense nonstop bullet hell and sword slaying action. Astebreed is a swift and full on fight and comes with some tasty Japanese cut scenes too. One to check out on Nintendo Switch? Definitely.

Edelweiss and Active Gaming Media thrust a visually awesome shooter your way. It’s beautiful. Yes, there are other shooters out there on Nintendo’s eShop that look and play great, but Astebreed stand out by its glossy and eye catching look not to mention its slick super fast gameplay. Getting to grips with Astebreed is easy, but playing the tutorial is advisable as there are some neat moves and scoring systems to learn. Roy’s mech has some pretty devastating firepower, dash attack moves and special attack moves which are all explained here.

You play as Roy Becket. Roy is a courageous character and a man of mystery. Complete with a scared burn across his body and an unconfirmed age, this young pilot has dreams of becoming as skilled as his adoptive father.

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Starting up sees you needing to wade through a fair amount of text. Because this is a Japanese game there’s always going to be a tad more dialogue than you would normally expect. Sit back and enjoy it though. You’ll be glad of this timeout as once the action starts you can forget lunch; you’ll have a full screen of chaos to worry about. Even during gameplay endless text belts out at the bottom left of the screen relaying information on updates and story. Played on handheld such text is rather small, squinting is advisable. Obviously you’re going to miss most of what’s being said unless you understand Japanese, as both eyes need to be scanning the trouble that’s coming your way. In short, the story tells of Roy Becket who needs to save what’s left of humanity, which entails defeating an alien race called the Filune. Joining your fight, you hook up with a young female companion and hit the stars.

Astebreed is an adventure that’s full of unexpected twists and turns. It’s not just a simple side scrolling shmup. You’ll be flipped and slung round corners as the camera angles go haywire, all while swarms of angry mechs hunt you down. It’s a stunning ride with so many jaw dropping moments as glossy detailed landscapes and backgrounds zoom by. It’s a joy to play and a visual feast that’s being banged out from your Switch.

Bringing more excitement, your war machine mech comes equipped with a large sword which is capable of cutting through any material known to man or mech. Mixing up attacks with streams of lasers that home and lock onto enemy mechs or splicing everything in sight close quarters style, makes the combination of moves and actions feel fresh and exciting to execute. Combat is never dull. Actually I can’t remember a dull moment in the game. Astebreed offers more than just a standard shmup experience. It does take the word ‘bullet hell’ to the extreme at times, but swiping away the opposition with your giant sword mixes gameplay up.

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Unfortunately there are only six short chapters stopping you from completing the game. Arrange Mode is set up especially for the Nintendo Switch, while Orginal Mode gives you the startard mode from the PC version.

There has been so much care and love pumped into Astebreed. Extra content comes in the form of learning more about the game as you can open up pages of character information, gaze at impressive artwork and even check out the making of the story boards. All this gives you added insight into development, and touches like this are really appreciated if you’re a massive fan of the game.

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CONCLUSION

Astebreed is a technically advanced and dazzling shoot ‘em up; even the added confusion of the Japanese language makes Astebreed special and endearing. If you’re looking for a short but big spectacular shooter on Nintendo Switch, look no further.

Lizard Rating – 8.5/10

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Blondlizard

Blondlizard is from London. His love of gaming continued onto the Sega Mega Drive, Gameboy, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation 1,2,3 and 4, PSP and PS Vita. Blondlizard loves his racing games and is yet to play a RPG, but tells us he is willing to change. His favourite inventions are the wireless controller and American size crisp packets.