15th Aug2018

‘Megaton Rainfall’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

Megaton-Rainfall-header

Originally conceived as a VR experience on the PS4 and now ported to the Nintendo Switch, Megaton Rainfall is an amazing showcase for the developer’s clear talents but I did come away from the game feeling more impressed than sated.

Quite a unique experience, Megaton Rainfall is a purely airborne 360° arcade shooter with some explorative elements. You are cast as an immortal, mute and indestructible creation, the ‘Offspring’ of a mysterious being who talks of returning to the Earth when the time is right, mostly seen as a spinning cube that acts as the narrator and tutorial.

As you are effectively impervious to harm, the game over system in the game (as well as the ‘health meter’) is the condition of the current city that you are protecting. The main bulk of the game is spent flying towards the next mission and defending the city from attacks from a metallic alien race referred to as ‘The Intruders’. Initially only having a standard single blast from your hands, the aim of these sections are to repel the attacks by shooting at glowing red spots on each alien vessel (a clear design flaw that shouldn’t have been an oversight in the prototype stage, really. I MUST have a word with R&D) to destroy them. As you can’t be hurt, the ships never attack you, focusing instead on blasting the roads and demolishing buildings to inflict as much mayhem as possible. It can be quite frantic as you blast, miss your target only to hear the cacophony of screams as your energy blast cuts a building in half, slowly crumbling to the ground, that all-important casualty number creeping ever higher in the bottom-left corner of the screen and leaving a pang of guilt in your super-stomach.

Aside from zooming over the Earth, boosting from mission to mission and unlocking various super-powers as you single-handedly hold back this mass invasion of the world, you can also travel to the far reaches of space. And I mean far. As I was pottering around thousands of feet above the Earth, I saw a pulsing light in the distance and headed towards it, what followed was a serene journey past galaxies and solar systems to reach that distant light and find out what the mystery of it was. Whilst the vast emptiness of the universe is a key element of the plot and so all planets are barren and relatively non-interactive, there is an inherent beauty in just flying around. Even on Earth itself, aside from oceans and huge cities, there aren’t any side-quests or major points of interest which is clearly due to the constraints of the one-man dev team. I also really enjoyed the juxtaposition between the empty silence of space compared to the hectic dance music that kicks in during the combat and mission segments.

The fact that one man designed this game from scratch is bewildering, especially due to the sense of scale that it offers. The simplistic combat and straight-forward gameplay would clearly be much more enjoyable in VR, which is what the game was originally designed for but the game still stands as an impressive achievement, albeit one that, as mentioned at the start of this review will leave you impressed but not entirely satisfied. Either way, this is still the best Superman game never made and leaves a heck of an initial impression and universe to build on in Pentadimensional’s future games, to which I will look forward to immensely.

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