Arcade games are fantastically addictive and fun to play on any day of the week. The main appeal, in my mind, is that they’re easy to play and short enough for you to get a gaming fix without wasting the day away. Many arcade classics are returning to Nintendo’s consoles and a few new ones are as well. Ultratron is one of the newer games, but I’m not sure this one is a worthy entry.
There’s not much of a story, so I can’t really elaborate on that, but what I can say is that you’re a robot who’s tasked with avenging humanity. Somewhere along the line robots have wiped out the human race and you’re the sole survivor. You fight in an arena type thing, and if you destroy all the bots, you win the game.
If you’ve played Titan Attacks!, you’ll instantly get a sense of familiarity, as the game shares the same studio: Puppy Games. It also follows a few simple recipe: Kill all enemies in waves, collect coins, use coins to upgrade before the next wave, and so on and so forth. To put it simply, it’s a twin-stick shooter that can be played on the TV or gamepad. The game is, once again, divided into various stages with bonus levels popping up when you don’t need them.
The enemies are moderately difficult, but what makes them so tough are the numbers. They are plentiful and some move quite quickly. What also doesn’t work in your favour is the layout of the level. To make the game look more “techie” the designers put in a variety of flashing lights in the background. More often than not, these lights make it extremely difficult to tell if you’re walking into enemy fire or not. Adding to that, it also makes it harder for you to spot the enemy.
The good news is, you’ll always be able to tell when you’re firing as your shots are a different colour. To aid you in your battles, you can buy or collect turrets and robotic helpers. The turrets fire in the same direction you do, and your robot helpers all have their unique skills that “may” help you. The main gripe I have with them is that they’re expensive and don’t have a significant impact in the arena. Instead, I opted to upgrade my weapons and restore my shield (which acts as your health bar).
The upgrade area, which was probably my favourite part in Titan Attack, is now my least favourite part of this game. First of all, your character doesn’t look or feel upgraded. Not only are weapon parts expensive, but they don’t feel stronger, more like keeping the status quo. You buy upgrades, bombs, shields, etc. by using the coins you collect from fallen enemies. Collecting these can become tiresome and boring, but it’s the only way to survive in the game. Another issue is that the coin amount seems ridiculously low. Most of the garden variety enemies give you about $10, but when a weapon upgrade is $3000, it takes a while to get to that point.
As a whole the game is fairly short, but has a continuous loop after you’ve finished all the bosses in the game. It doesn’t take very long to get to that point though. You can easily clock all 40 missions in under two hours, but getting to that point is a chore. After the first 30 minutes, my energy for the game reduced significantly.
Ultratron doesn’t have lasting appeal and it’s not quite the hit I was expecting. It’s great to have a more options when it comes to Wii U titles, but sadly, this isn’t a game that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Some arcade fans might find a great deal of enjoyment out of this title, but that’s not you, then it’s best you give this a skip.