REVIEW : SAVAGE HALLOWEEN (PS5)
Savage Halloween is a retro-styled arcade action platformer in the vein of Contra. Play as one of three monsters to escape the unending party on Earth and return home. The plot, which involves vampires attempting to take over the earth, is actually rather interesting. Once a year, a portal allows them to enter our world—guess which day? The vamps don’t want to go home after they’ve gotten their fill of Halloween this year. As a result, the portal remains open, resulting in mayhem. From werewolves to hobgoblins, the party includes a wide range of terrible monsters (probably). When the good times wear off, three brave monsters battle back to home.
There isn’t much storey stuff in Savage Halloween. There are a few short sequences that describe the story’s lore and environment. Simply simply, an evil vampire has blocked the afterlife door, and the heroes must defeat him in order to return home. The characters are rudimentary, the storyline is short, and the storey is dull, but they help to establish the universe and explain the conflict. However, because the game is an action platformer, there is no need for a lengthy tale. Despite its lack of impact, the storey establishes the game’s premise and frees the player to concentrate on the gameplay. Despite the dearth of storey information in Savage Halloween, the gameplay will keep players focused throughout the seven levels. There are six stages in each level. Usual action levels, boss battles, and mobile chase parts are among the level types. Because of how diverse each stages are, this diversity keeps levels from feeling redundant. The graphics are quite vintage. In fact, the entire game feels like an homage to games from the late 1980s and early 1990s.
There are numerous adversary designs in addition to the various stages. Many stages will introduce new foes, and each new one will necessitate the player learning their particular patterns and avoiding their attacks. Many of the adversaries are clearly inspired by other games. One enemy, for example, throws his weapon like Mario’s hammer brother.The resemblance to such opponents makes the gamer nostalgic and brings back memories of the fun they had playing games as a kid. Though the developers certainly drew inspiration from other games, some opponents stand out, such as the spider that sprays a sticky web to slow the player down. The game does not become stale because it includes both familiar and new enemies. The enemy design in Savage Halloween is based on vintage games, but it still has its own personality.
Weapons are also a fun aspect. You can hop between parts in a platformer as you progress through stages. This isn’t a Mario-style game, so don’t expect to jump on cute Koopas. Instead, you’re given a full-fledged machine gun with which to annihilate any enemy you can think of.
Not only do the adversaries in Savage Halloween vary, but the boss fights are one of the game’s highlights. The bosses in each stage are significantly different, but they never feel out of place. They always make the player think and are virtually always at the perfect level of difficulty. Players may die several times, but thanks to the plentiful lives and continues, they will eventually defeat the bosses. The bosses are a difficult test of ability, but they always follow a pattern, which means that if they die, it is the player’s fault. For example, midway during the hero’s combat with the clown, the pattern shifts, challenging the player to rethink their tactics. This makes it impossible for the player to use the same approach throughout the entire battle. The boss fights are well-designed, interesting, and motivating to the player.
The makers made care to add enough firepower for the characters to progress through each level with all of these foes. Although each level starts with a basic assault rifle, there are extra weapon drops distributed across the levels. Not only do they entice the player to innovate through innovative design, but certain foes even encourage it. Choosing which weapon to use and controlling bullet shortages adds another degree of strategy to the game. Unfortunately, because weapon drops are plentiful, this scarcity is not completely appreciated. Furthermore, these weapons were no more powerful than an assault rifle with an endless supply of ammunition. While this keeps the game balanced, separating the assault rifle’s power from that of special weapons would further encourage the employment of these weapons and cause resource depletion. Despite this tiny flaw, the weaponry provided enjoyable gameplay and a unique experience that set Savage Halloween apart from other action platformers.
Another feature that sets Savage Halloween apart from other action platformers is the chance to play as one of three characters. The player can choose between Jack, a well-balanced pumpkin, Lulu, a tanking werewolf, and Dominika, a nimble but frail werewolf. Experimenting with these three characters will entice the player to come back to the game and go through the stages as each of them. While they do not significantly alter the gameplay, the variations are noticeable, and they are a welcome addition. The characters had their own sprites that nevertheless suited the Halloween theme, and they had their own graphic style. Players can choose their preferred playstyle thanks to the inclusion of multiple characters. Savage Halloween provides a terrific, albeit brief, gaming experience. The controls that the developers chose perform admirably. Aiming diagonally can be difficult at times due to the player’s ability to aim in all eight directions. The game makes an attempt to address this by introducing a button that stops the player’s movement. This works, but toggleable options to make the trigger buttons aim diagonally up and down would have been welcomed. This would provide the player more alternatives and ensure that he or she was in complete control. The game was always responsive, and there were no other issues with the controls. The soundtrack in Savage Halloween is excellent.