In Space, Speed is your friend, as are your reflexes.
I’ve had Switch Galaxy Ultra for two weeks now, and after spending over ten hours with it, it’s safe to say that it’s been difficult to grow attached to the game. This is likely to be a difficult review in summarising my feelings for the game, as I really am struggling to find the words to speak about it.
Essentially Switch Galaxy Ultra is akin to endless runner games, except this game has levels and an end goal for each of them. The story mode sees you playing as Vince Vance, as a former racing champion he now harvests an element known as Tantalum; guided by a mysterious being, he will travel between many different planets in order to collect the rare material.
Levels play out in a similar fashion to many other endless runner style games, with multiple tracks to switch to and the appearance of obstacles in your way as you progress. Using (hopefully) lightning quick reactions you’ll need to avoid these obstacles in order to reach the end of the level – and in order to do this you’ll need to utilize one of the game’s various control schemes.
The control schemes here are all very easy to get accustomed to; you can use the L and R trigger buttons, the analog stick, the D-Pad or the touchscreen – they all work really well, but personally I found the L and R trigger buttons more favourable.
As the game progresses you’ll find that things become more complicated and the game speeds up to incredible levels. The challenge really ramps up after the first couple of hours of gameplay and if you’re like me you’ll find it to more frustrating than entertaining.
The game has three main modes, the story mode – which contains 55 levels (all replayable), a Survival Mode – which sees you play for as long as you can before hitting an obstacle in an attempt you place on the online leaderboards, and a Multiplayer mode – which allows you to play Survival Mode or Barrier Mode in real time against friends. As for the play style of Barrier Mode in multiplayer, it sees players racing to collect keycards in order to pass through barriers – eliminating other players in their wake.
I would like to note however, that I wasn’t able to get into a multiplayer match – so your mileage may vary in that aspect.
The main thing that really sticks out in Switch Galaxy Ultra is the graphics – the game is by far one of the better looking Vita titles I’ve played, and it would be quite fair to say that it almost looks as good as a AAA Vita title in that aspect. The soundtrack of this game is also excellent, the music is paced well with the gameplay, and the tunes get more and more frantic as the game’s difficulty ramps up through progression.
Another thing to point out is the game’s art style and designs are rather similar to the WipeOut series. This is due to the fact that a lot of people from Studio Liverpool (who worked on the WipeOut series) helped out developer Atomicon with Switch Galaxy Ultra. This will likely also explain why the game is super fast.
It really is hard to express my true feelings towards this game; while it is addictive in nature I just can’t see myself returning to it, or at the very least not to the story mode. It hosts a very forgettable story, but is also home to fun and addicting game play. It’s likely that people who play this game will only play it in short bursts, replaying levels in order to beat your high scores.
Switch Galaxy Ultra is clearly a well made game though, but at it’s current price point it doesn’t seem like the value is there. Another nice thing about this game is that some of the proceeds from every purchase of the game go towards the Caudwell Childrens charity, which does seem like a nice touch.
There are definitely some good gameplay features here that could get some players hooked such as the survival mode, which players will constantly find themselves returning to in order to beat their high scores. With that said, Switch Galaxy Ultra won’t please everyone, but it’s definitely worth a look if you like your games with a bit of speed in them.