Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Sony PS Vita
Breakout, Arkanoid, DX-Ball, are any of these titles ringing any bells? Perhaps, only if you're old like me. The brick-breaker genre of games is not something you see much of these days and I am sure a lot of gamers prefer it that way. Here we have a new release in the genre on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita. Yes, you read that correctly, the Vita still exists!
Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is touted as an old-school brick-breaker with an interesting story. I can definitely confirm the latter. The story is one of discovery, space exploration and intrigue. I do not want to spoil it too much but two ships called Greetings and Salutations go on a mission to find long lost explorers from Earth and embark on a madcap brick-breaking adventure. It's a good story, especially when you consider the genre of game that supports it.
The two ships, Greetings and Salutations make up the paddles for the brick-breaking sections of the game. I think that feature is the main gameplay difference with this game and the one that makes it stand out from its peers. You control 2 paddles at once and at some points in the game, 4 at once. At times it gets quite frantic and it certainly kept things feeling fresh throughout the 40 story levels on offer.
When you do control 4 paddles at once, one on each side and two on the bottom, I had to unlock a part of my brain that I don't think I have used before. When I first started these sections I had real trouble making my brain do what I wanted it to. After many failed attempts though I finally got used to it. If nothing else, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure has probably increased my dexterity and hand to eye co-ordination.
Apart from a few bosses smattered throughout the short campaign the gameplay plays out how you would think it would. You break bricks, collect powerups and try to clear the stage as quick as you can. There are unlockable collectables at certain score thresholds for each level and score ranks to go alongside them. This gives replayability for the score chasers and the platinum trophy chasers alike.
One thing I will say is that I thought the randomness of the powerups were sometimes the difference in completing or failing a level. Especially when you were chasing S ranks or the score for the unlockable collectable. I failed many times on some tougher levels until a powerful pickup dropped, then I completed it straight away. It's not a bad thing but something I thought I should mention. On some levels, I thought my skill had no bearing on the result.
Along with the campaign Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure boasts many other modes including a marathon mode, catcher mode, among a few others. While these modes are a welcomed distraction from the campaign I found none of them shined enough for me to try them more than once. They all just seemed like watered-down versions of the gameplay from the campaign.
I loved the presentation in this game more than anything else it had to offer. The classic pixel art in the cutscenes and gameplay, the old-school chiptune soundtrack and sentimental sound effects all add up to a massive nostalgia trip. It all brought back playing video games in my youth, when people were not bothered about framerates or resolutions and just had fun.
That does not mean the game does not perform well though, in fact, its the complete opposite. I had a perfect time playing this trip down memory lane. No crashes, no hitches, frame drops or bugs what so ever. I know it is not pushing the PS4 to its limits but it does show it was well made and properly tested. I like that, too many games are rushed out and have issues, this is certainly not one of them.
This title is a good one for the trophy hunters out there. It's a fun list of trophies that make you play the game twice, try all modes and unlock collectables. It also includes a handy trophy tracking menu to keep track of your progress towards your virtual baubles. Plus with the game being cross-buy, if you have a Vita, I mean who doesn't right? You will get two platinums for the price of one. I may play it again on my Vita, maybe in the future though, as I am well bricked out for now.
- Nice old-school presentation
- An interesting story for a game of this type
- Seemed a bit random at times, depending on certain powerups for completion