Viktor is a 2D action platformer with 360 degree firing. Shorebound Studios doesn't have the most amazing resume but this looks to be their first IP and it's feels like it was enthusiastically made. I played exclusively with a wireless 360 controller. I took a chance with this game and was pleasantly surprised. It's a pretty solid experience and it does some things very well. Some things... not so well. It's plays like a Megaman game and looks like a Castlevania game.
Here's the nitty gritty:
- The teleport dash is fantastic. It really feels good. The dash refreshes quickly and about 90% of the time it goes where I expect it. It was obviously the core mechanic around which the game was made (if not initially, then eventually). Cutting corners by passing through them and the snap through platforms feels really awesome.
- The pistols feel good. Firing is definitely assisted but not overwhelmingly so. The aiming is sticky. If you let go of the right stick you will continue to fire in that direction. Initially it felt strange, mostly because I expected the character to face the direction of movement when not actively shooting. When I got over that, it lended itself interestingly. There are segments where enemies approach from the same direction and I was able to take them down while focusing on platforming.
- Animation quality is excellent. Everything feels very smooth.
- Each level feels unique and each boss feels unique. All of them have good pacing and frenetic action. Unique strategies are required to take each one down. The strategies are not obscenely difficult to identify and none of them feel cheap.
- Alternate paths and secret areas are littered throughout and encourage exploration.
- Enemies and bosses look cool.
- Normal movement feels off. The run speed feels too slow. Maybe I'm used to floaty jumping but you descend like a rock and it's especially noticeable since the teleport doesn't feel that way. Non-teleporting just doesn't feel like it's tuned quite right.
- The art design no the levels feels nice and thematic but the areas themselves feel empty. I'm not looking for bullet hell levels of density but the spaces feel underpopulated. Maybe it just needs more props/set dressing.
- Lots of bouncy balls. The majority of the mid-bosses are bouncing balls of various types. Don't get me wrong, I like bouncing balls as much as the next guy but I think there could have been more variety.
- The music is only ok. It didn't have me stopping to listen but it also didn't feel out of place. It was sufficient.
- There are other weapons than the pistols but for the life of me, I don't see why. I have acquired the shotgun, rocket launcher, and grenade launcher. After using each for a few minutes, I was using the pistols again. I will be blunt here. The weapons are unimaginative and underwhelming. They add very little value. Shorebound took some inspiration from the Megaman X series, to be sure, but failed to bring with it the interesting weapons that are so iconic of the Megaman games. Each boss has a projectile attack that could be adapted to use by Viktor.
- Boss difficulty is kind of all over the place from very easy to lengthy and difficult.
-Viktor is the least impressive of the character designs.