Giga Disappointment Alt.

Title: Giga Wrecker Alt.
Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Console: £20/$25
PC: £15/$20
Release Date: Out now
TL;DR: A physics puzzle platformer that’s let down by its shoddy physics system.
Family Focus?:Click here for more information

I was incredibly hyped to try out Giga Wrecker back in the day due to it being developed by one of my favourite childhood developers, Game Freak! However, I never picked it up, probably because of another major release around its release. Then, the console announcement was made and that chance to sit back and enjoy GIGA Wrecker Alt on a big TV excited me. Unfortunately, my hype train crashed into a nearby station wiping out the citizens of Hype Town.

Giga Wrecker Alt’s core mechanics require you to destroy robots and gather debris which you can meld into blocks to solves puzzles or turn into weapons to fight off more powerful robots scattered around the mechanical landscapes, all this is performed by your cybernetic arm that you acquire at the beginning of the story. SOunds good, right? well, the idea sounds better than it actually is.

Giga Wrecker is a physics-based puzzle platformer that on paper sounds like an amazing idea but falls short due to how shoddy the physics system is. It’s painfully unreliable and things won’t always work how they should. As mentioned above you can create blocks with debris to place on pressure sensitive pads which require you to have a block of a certain weight or to pull some debris from a pillar to let it fall into position so you can reach the higher ground but sometimes it won’t do what it’s meant to do.

Not only that but the checkpoint system is inconsistent and can be a little bit unfair at times. It’s guilty of forcing you to revisit a tricky puzzle you’ve already cleared due to a platforming error. For example, you’ve cleared a puzzle that took a few attempts to grasp the concept and then the camera pans away to show you’ve cleared the puzzle correctly only to pan back and you go to jump over a deadly trap but the platforming is also a bit funky and you fall in have to revisit that puzzle from the damn start…

One of the redeeming factors for Giga Wrecker Alt. is the art style! It blends the style of Pokémon with a mecha apocalypse which gives it a familiar vibe whilst feeling unique at the same time. The colours bounce off each other perfectly and some of the areas and robot designs feel unsettling which is really appealing especially to older fans of Game Freak.

The story of Giga Wrecker Alt. follows the journey of once prisoner, Reika Rekkeiji, a young girl who barely survived the robot apocalypse thanks to the emergency surgery that gifted her with the cybernetic arm you use throughout the game. The cybernetic arm looks horrid by the way, like not in the sense of design but it’s all twisted, mutated and body horror-esque especially when compared against her slender frame. Other humanoid robots have this same kind of off-putting nature about them with their unnatural elongated limbs.

The plot of Giga Wrecker is very anime as it uses all the traditional tropes when it comes to the apocalypse and robots like the oh-so-classic amnesiac protagonist. The game makes you feel like that one friend that wasn’t there for that one party and your friends are spouting off about all the cool shit they got up to whilst leaving you completely in the dark and totally lost. The characters make multiple references about the ongoing conflict between robots and humans that you wonder if the game was adapted from an already established series. However, as the story goes on everything falls into place and whilst it’s definitely not a fresh story with all the tropes of your classic anime, it doesn’t feel boring.

Overall, Giga Wrecker Alt. is in need of some polishing which I don’t think it will get with the team currently working on the next entry in the Pokémon game series as well as the upcoming Switch exclusive title, Town. If you’re interested in these platforming puzzle games I’d still wait for a sale as if you were desperate to play it you’d have already grabbed it by now.

The Good:

  • Boss battles are fun and challenging.
  • The art style is amazing and is a tad creepy with the body horror stuff.
  • The enemy design is cool as well.

The Bad:

  • Physics system lets the game down too often.
  • Bad checkpointing can make you revisit some trickier puzzles.
  • Platforming is not great which leads back the checkpoint problem.

Family Focus

Giga Wrecker Alt. is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and PEGI 7. This game contains cartoon violence but Little Jimmy should be okay.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a copy of the game provided by PR for the purpose of this review.