Implosion: Never Lose Hope (Switch eShop)
There aren't many reviews for Implosion: Never Lose Hope for Nintendo Switch out there. It is a port of a mobile game that sits at a stunning 93 for iOS on Metacritic, but this didn't mean that I had high expectations. For one, indie games tend to be overrated, and two, that doubly goes for mobile games where being interesting for more than five minutes leads to skyrocketing scores from what I've observed. I was in the mood for this type of game to play on Switch, so I took a chance.
Implosion is on the cheaper side with its €12 price tag (presumably $12) and it comes with added story content right from the start. The regular campaign features 34 stages that are usually 3-10 minutes long, so that's fair enough. The short length of the individual levels is a plus point because the gameplay systems are rather monotonous. There's not much variety to the combos and Implosion makes Warriors games look sophisticated. Or rather, Warriors games do a much better job at covering up for their simplicity by offering a big cast of characters. Implosion has only two. Still, in the first few hours of gameplay it's all quite decent. The game is challenging, so by the time you reach the end of world 3 of 4, you probably have to do reruns of earlier stages to get strong enough for the final stretch despite the option to revive your character with full health up to five times on normal difficulty.
There are incentives to replay stages beyond plain grinding, namely medals for completing special conditions as well as a ranking system. While the latter seems to be only for bragging rights, the former unlocks upgrade parts for your mobile suit. It's a pity that the medal system is half-baked, because in the range of 100-140 medals you only unlock infinite ammo for the various guns, but activating these cheats removes your ability to earn medals. Worse, there are way more than 200 medals to gain in Implosion, but there are no rewards beyond the 140 mark. This drives the motivation into the ground, because the game gets increasingly more repetitive as time goes on.
Upgrades can be implemented in seven slots. The central part on your body adds up to three special abilities that can be activated if a gauge is filled, the other slots can provide you with various offensive, defensive and supportive perks. Upgrades require that you've reached a certain character level, so not everything that you find can be used right away. Unfortunately, none of these parts change that you get no invincibility frames during dodging and even temporary damage to your regenerating shield meter counts towards damage taken in the rankings screen, so that's another negative that hurts the motivation to continue playing.
Hard difficulty is a disappointment because of no changes to EXP gained; the enemies have a bit more health and hit harder, that's all. Extreme difficulty does things properly, so that's something positive. The additional content in Another Story is played with an exclusive character and features a tribute level to Hideo Kojima, going as far as naming a medal after him. Do not take clues from Kojima when it comes to gameplay, just don't! The individual stages in Another Story are a lot longer than in the main campaign, but there are only about half a dozen. Overall, you get a lot of game with Implosion: Never Lose Hope, but the subtitle eventually takes on a different meaning than the intended one.
|Controls||10||Not much variety in the combo chains. The dodge move
has no invincibility frames, making life harder.
|Gameplay||Hack and Slash in predominantly isometric view.
Seven upgrade slots allow for a lot of customization.
|Story||A post-apocalyptic scenario with a cool presentation,
but who really cares in this type of game?
|Single-player||The short length of the stages works well for reruns
for medals and better rankings, but overall it's repetitive.
|Graphics||A solid and unspectacular look that runs stable.
Nothing that stands out positively or negatively.
|Sound||The title and menu theme is pretty cool, but other
than that the soundtrack is quite forgettable.
|Value||34 stages in three difficulties in the campaign.
Another Story provides another couple of hours.
|Replay Value||Can be played in short bursts and it should be done
this way. Too much repetition for longer sessions.
|Score||5||Implosion is of consistent quality. Unfortunately, it doesn't
exceed mediocrity and instead embraces it.