01st Mar2019

Digital Shorts: ‘Pang Adventures’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Pang Adventures, the latest game in the long-running franchise now available on the Nintendo Switch.

pang-adv-switch

The Pang series follows the adventures of two brothers on a global quest to save the world from alien invasion and in Pang Adventures, the latest franchise revival by developer and publisher Dotemu (Windjammers, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, Streets of Rage 4) players face an onslaught of dangerous aliens in several iconic locations around the world, including exotic places like Antarctica, Death Valley, Bora Bora and more recognizable landmarks. Battling aliens across more than 100 levels using awesome and daunting new weapons including machine guns and flamethrowers; and in a variety of modes.

Thankfully the easy to learn arcade-style of Pang games, including Pang Adventures, have stayed true to core gameplay from their early 90’s counterparts – which is good for those that LOVED the original Pang games but not so good for anyone who preferred the gameplay of the not-too dissimilar Bubble Bobble games (or Rainbow Islands, which took the gameplay style of both games to the next platform-based level… pardon the pun). There’s something limiting to popping bubbles with a spear rather than being able to jump on, or over, them (something I always preferred THAT other franchise). Though there are weapon upgrades available – thank god! Gotta love the machine gun, which makes playing Pang Adventure much more fun, and not to mention easier.

What is frustrating about Pang Adventures however is the difficulty level. Whilst you’ll plow easily through the early stages there is a point where the difficulty ramps up without warning and players will find themselves struggling to get past a particular stage, draining all the fun out of the game. Of course if you’ve played previous entries this style of gameplay won’t be a surprise – those older titles did exactly the same and were just as frustrating. But with frustration comes satisfaction. Satisfaction when you finally, after hours and hours of replaying a level over and over, beat it and move on to the next. Then comes sadness as you realise the next level is just as hard, or even harder!

Pang Adventures on Switch offers the ultimate arcade experience, allowing local co-op across all three game modes so you can share your adventures and save the world together. And whilst the game isn’t graphically complicated it makes the most of the Switch’s graphical capabilities, bringing bright, vibrant and colorful characters to life in both docked and handheld modes. Combined with the Switch’s dual joycons and portability, it means that this iteration of the game is probably the most versatile of all.

Pang Adventures is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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