Certain titles, especially the ones developed with a mobile device in mind, translate terribly when ported to another platform. And this is because it is extremely difficult to transform a touch oriented game, into one which is dependent on buttons, triggers, and analogue sticks. And Shred It, a recently released arcade take on snowboarding, is a great example of this phenomena.
Within the digital world of Shred It, you take on a plethora of characters, which just like the in-game environment, are made out of paper. And initially, in their non-altered form, they all seem charming, and are a great addition to the endless, in-game track. However, once you start purchasing new outfits, and turn your rescue dog into a Canadian werewolf, and the female character into a pirate, Shred It, comes across as throwaway mini game, rather than a title with substance.
In short, Shred It, is a great concept which is buried under an avalanche of missed opportunities, as everything it contains is nothing more than a soulless, useless, and short-lived fad. From the visual aesthetic, through the album of collectible skins, all the way down to the core gameplay, everything feels shallow, and inconsequential. The paper mache art style, could have been easily justified with a short back story, where the game is simply taking place within a child’s schoolbook, and each and every stage is simply a different lesson. But instead, there is no explanation, no collectible notes, nothing, just a shallow endless runner, with a cutesy aesthetic.
Shred It’s lack of content, or any sort of substance is disappointing, but what is even worse than a lack of abovementioned features, is the fact that Shred It possesses a dreadful, and unresponsive controls, which are simply not refined enough in order to justify its existence on consoles.
At the beginning, the inadequacies in on-screen character control weren’t as apparent. However, as the game progressed to latter stages, and subsequently increased its difficulty, it has ultimately exposed its biggest flaws. At times characters would refuse to jump, even when the jump button has been pressed multiple times. And the same rule applied to ducking underneath the on track obstacles, as circle button responsible for this function, was just as unresponsive as the X button responsible for jumping. And this is simply unacceptable, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that endless runners, such as Shred It, fully depend on a crisp control mechanics, due to their frantic, arcade-like nature.
Lack of any meaningful content, in conjunction with a dreadfully lethargic control scheme, ultimately make for a game which is not only boring, but also frustrating to play. And what makes it even worse is the fact that Shred It, on consoles, unlike on the iPhone and android mobiles, costs over £7.49, which is exactly £7.49 more than it should. And Shred It’s price tag is not warranted through any additional content, at launch or otherwise, but through developer’s inability to monetize the game appropriately. Yes – Shred It, is not a free to play console title, simply because developer couldn’t ham fist any malware filled ads into the game, and also could not be bothered to produce any additional content which could warrant addition of micro transactions.
It is safe to assume that many, when reading the word ‘microtransaction’, get triggered into oblivion; because they believe that no game should ask you for money post launch. But unfortunately, due to the major shift in gaming landscape, which has been taking place over the last decade, micro transactions are now a vital part of the video gaming ecosystem, and whether you want it or not, they give certain titles a purpose, and on some cases increase their longevity. And if Shred It, just like the recently released AdVenture Capitalist, was a free to play title featuring a system of reasonable micro transactions. It would instantly become a much more appealing title, and would most likely be a recipient of a long-term technical support, which it desperately needs.
To summarize, it must be said that Shred It, has the roots of what could be a great arcade/indie game. And one could even overlook its flaws, at the current time, if there was a chance of it getting both technical and feature based support in the future. But right now, a month after its initial launch, Shred It, is still in its 1.0 version, and not a single patch has been released, at least not on the PlayStation 4. And it seems like a patch addressing the technical issues may never come, as Shred It, is nothing more than a shallow cash grab, and has been ported onto consoles simply to sell as many copies before any potential customers realise how bad it truly is, or before they find it on the App, and Google stores, and find out that it’s free to play.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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