I have never had so much difficulty with a game before. Nor have I ever wanted to throw my controller more than when playing this game. Everything about this game just feel so wrong on the Wii U. The controller just doesn’t feel responsive. You seem to have to make moves way before you want to. Gear Gauntlet moves really fast for a game on this console. With sticky feeling controls it’s just a little too fast. It makes it really hard to enjoy the game. And if you are like me, you don’t limit your self to one console. Xbox is my favorite poison and the game implements the colors on a Xbox controller. Which just adds to the wrongness of this game.
In Gear Gauntlet you control a spinning cog that has to move as fast as possible, collecting other cogs and moving through colored path blockers. There seem to be three different cogs. A bronze, silver, and gold. The points get better as the closer to gold you get. I seemed to have notice that if you go for gold cogs more it does get way harder. There is an attempts counter at the top of the screen. Yay! You can see how many times you have had to restart the level you are on! And of course, you get to see your score for the level as well as how much time you have spent on the level.
At the end of a level you get a final grade. While most of mine were F’s I had a few B’s and at the end of one level an A. I started looking at the actual breakdown for the grade, it doesn’t seem to make sense. On one of the levels I got a B on, I didn’t do good at collecting points, my timing was horrible and I had so many deaths. On one I had failed I had made the time, collected hardly any points and died once. I can’t tell if the game wants to reward you for less attempts or more points or better time. It makes no sense to me, which just added to my aggravation. I know I’m not the most patient person but, come on game. At least make your scoring make sense.
Something else I didn’t seem to like was the tutorial level. It showed you things that, after completing several levels, I have yet to see. In the tutorial level it shows you blocks that will change the direction of the screen, and it shows you checkpoint blocks. I have only seen one checkpoint block outside of the tutorial. The tutorial level also shows you the “enemies” in the game, the saw blade things. Now, I felt here the tutorial was a bit misleading. While learning the ropes I came across the saw blades. I ran into them a few times and my screen glowed red and a message box popped up saying that these cause a ton of damage and I should try to avoid them. Well guess what, the saw blades are instant death.
Earlier I mentioned the colors of the Xbox controller. In the game there are blocks that block your path. There are four different colors. Blue, yellow, green, red. When you come across the colored blocks you need to hold the button that corresponds with the block. So blue is Y, yellow is X, green is B, and red is A. Not a big deal right? Well if you play more than one console this can get confusing. I found myself going wait, that can’t be the right button, A is green, not red. Then you would fall behind because your slowly forgetting the Wii buttons and starting to think about Xbox controls.
Honestly, this game just wasn’t for me. It didn’t stand out as a fun and great Wii U game. It was more of a frustration and rage maker. I feel like this game does not belong on Wii U. It’s again, too fast paced for sticky controls and perfect timing moves with saw blades that kill you in one hit and no checkpoints on top of that. The music was pretty metal though. Really brought out my inner rage I had been feeling from this game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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