(3DS eShop)

VVVVVV (3DS eShop)

Game Review

VVVVVV Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

VVVVVVery impressive

When VVVVVV burst onto the indie scene in 2010, it was immediately lauded for its simple, addictive gameplay and unique vector visual style. After enjoying quite a bit of success on PC and Mac over the past two years, the game is now making an appearance on a dedicated game system for the first time via Nintendo's 3DS eShop. While it's received a fresh coat of 3D paint and some additional levels, it's the enjoyable gameplay that still makes it shine.

Unlike traditional platformers, there's no jump button in VVVVVV. Instead, you manoeuvre around the various platforms and ledges by reversing gravity. One press of the action button and you'll go from the floor to the ceiling. You'll soon find that this gravity switch will be your key to navigating through the game's constant barrage of platforming challenges.

In the beginning, you'll find yourself alone and in search of your companions. You have to traverse a lot of ground in order to locate them all, but thankfully you'll have a map on the bottom screen to help you out. As you complete levels, you're given access to warp zones that allow you to reach previous areas with ease.

While many of your challenges will come in the form of ledges and spikes, there are plenty of enemies, moving platforms and areas that feature auto scrolling. Having just the one action button to control gravity might make the adventure seem overly simplistic, but you'll soon find that combined with danger it make for quite a tricky experience.

Once you've gone through the main adventure, you'll open up a series of additional playing modes. If you find the adventure too challenging, you can always take the easy way out and just use a menu option that will allow you to unlock these modes. Many of these bonus modes feature remixed ways to play the main game. Time Trial mode allows you to take on the various sections of the game to see how quickly you can beat them. Then there's the hardcore No Death mode, which pits you in a quest to see how far into the adventure you can get before dying. And as if all of these extras weren't enough, there are even an additional 18 player-created levels to tackle, some downright brutal in challenge.

It's worth noting that the bonus Flip mode doesn't seem to be working properly currently: when it's enabled, all of the game modes display as blank screens. It's obviously a bug of some sort, so you won't be able to play this mode unless a fix is released, sadly. (Update: This issue was thankfully resolved in March 2012).

Original developer Terry Cavanaugh clearly put plenty of time and thought into creating such an easy and intuitive control scheme, not to mention surrounding it all with some amazing level designs. It's the kind of game that's extremely easy to pick up, yet hard to stop playing.

There will probably be those who criticise the simple vector-based visuals, but they certainly give the game a unique look that should definitely appeal to those who enjoyed playing some of the old arcade and Commodore 64-era games. The added depth of the 3D and the animated backdrops give the game a few nice flashy moments, but in truth, you couldn't ask for a more interesting visual presentation for a game as streamlined as this one.

Considering the game's old-school look and feel, it comes as no surprise to see the developer inject a nice dose of classic chip tune music to go along with it. Those who've yet to play the game will likely be quite impressed with how melodic and catchy the majority of the tracks are. It's also nice how the sound effects are rather subtle, thus not taking away from the impressive musical score playing in the background.

Conclusion

VVVVVV might not have the usual visual flash we've come to expect from games in recent years, but that doesn't mean it's not every bit as much fun to play. It's hard to believe that such a simple concept as flipping gravity can prove to be so enthralling, but given the game's incredibly diverse level designs, it's no wonder it's so difficult to put down. Whether you've played the game before or not, you owe it to yourself to experience another great addition to the 3DS eShop library.

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User Comments (55)

Spoony_Tech

#1

Spoony_Tech said:

I've seen a lot of people like this on my friends list! Great review but I'm still not 100% sold on this. The price is a bit much and I'm waiting for zen pinball. I hope it going to be available at some point on club Nintendo!

JayArr

#2

JayArr said:

I can't believe they released the game when Flip Mode is completely broken. :/

Geonjaha

#3

Geonjaha said:

From all reviews it looks like a great game, but on the other hand it's a port with a larger price tag. GUH.. UGH... Decisions D:

shingi_70

#4

shingi_70 said:

Update incoming. Good thing patches are easy now. Hopefully the Level maker and Leaderboards make it.

eviLaTtenDant

#5

eviLaTtenDant said:

VVVVVVant zhis game in Europe. When they fixed the Flip mode bug and hopefully include the level editor that is.

JustAnotherUser

#6

JustAnotherUser said:

I got this as part of the Humble Indie Bundle, It's a great game.
Can't wait for it to be released Europe.

One question though, does the 4:3 aspect ratio effect the 3D effect?

Eliasson

#7

Eliasson said:

Great to hear the 3DS verision is great, instabuy when (if?) it comes to EU. So Team Meat, why not announce Super Meat Boy for 3DS Ware?

Knuckles

#9

Knuckles said:

Maybe when I have more e-cash, or as Tech101 said free through club nintendo

DazzaAdmin

#11

Dazza said:

Great review Corbie, I really hope this hits Europe soon (with Flip mode fixed of course!!). I'd love to play it on the 3DS!

bro2dragons

#12

bro2dragons said:

Considering Nintendo didn't make this, I wouldn't count on a Club Nintendo download, guys.

I'll be picking this up, me thinks, when I snag a bundle of eShop games sometime late January.

Geonjaha

#13

Geonjaha said:

I dont understand how blocks can be an issue to anyone with the 3DS. How much stuff must you have?

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#14

Philip_J_Reed said:

Considering Nintendo didn't make this, I wouldn't count on a Club Nintendo download, guys.

Psst. Xevious.

Radixxs

#15

Radixxs said:

The simple "VVVVVV" on the top screen when I open up the eShop makes me feel good. Who knew 6 V's could be so elegant, simple, and cool? I wanted the game after hearing about it, but relegated to passing on it because of its steep price tag. But seeing its simply elegant title, 6 blue Vs coming at me in 3D on a black background, I knew I had to get it. It just feels so right.

shinesprite

#17

shinesprite said:

Considering I got this as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 3, I'm not itching to get it again. Fantastic game though, and I'd like to see more of this retro candy in the eShop in Future. ;)

If Club Nintendo were to make this a temporary reward, I'd definitely pick this up again!

Spoony_Tech

#18

Spoony_Tech said:

@Geonjaha If you didn't know games like lets golf take up well over a 1000 blocks. The 3d downloads are bigger then you realize. Just about 5-6 of those type of games and your card is done!

RR529

#19

RR529 said:

I've downloaded it, and think it's great! It's a shame that Flip mode isn't working, though.

For those of you wondering, it's around 500 blocks.

chewytapeworm

#20

chewytapeworm said:

Bought Antipole the other day, great fun in short bursts, and this looks no different. Buying this from day one I think, looks just as good if not better than Antipole's gravity flipping mechanic. They'd better not take too long releasing it in EU!! Also, what does this flip mode entail exactly?

Geonjaha

#21

Geonjaha said:

@18 Ok, I wasnt sure. Thing is I have the 20 Ambassador, 6 DSiWare, and 6 VC games along with Nintendo Video, and some 3DSWare, and I have plenty of space. I suppose its just what kind of 3DSWare it is, seeing as I only have Pullbox, Freakyforms and Kirby's Adventure - none are that big.

WolfRamHeart

#22

WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Corbs. I was not going to get this game at first because I thought that the price was too much for such a simple looking game. I'm glad that I gave in and decided to give it a shot because this game completely won me over. Old-school fun challenging and addictive gameplay, cool retro graphics and excellent chip-tune music. Love it! I just hope that they patch that Flip mode soon.

Rockgamer

#23

Rockgamer said:

@Chicken_Brutus Even though Namco originally developed Xevious, Nintendo is the publisher of the 3D Classics version. So as of now, all of the Club Nintendo downloads are games published by Nintendo.

I was all set to download VVVVVV, but now I'm kind of wary of the glitch. I'm fully confident that it will be fixed, but I hope it is via a patch and not by way of having to redownload the whole game (and possibly losing all progress). I think I'll take my chances and download it now anyway, but I'm still going to be paranoid until this fix happens.

PickledJimmy

#25

PickledJimmy said:

@7
Beating that game was tough and it made me develop an eternal hatred for dr.foetus! Super meat boy 2 with 3D effects like in mutant mudds would be an instant purchase, and so would the long forgotten angry birds 3DS for me

Supremeist

#26

Supremeist said:

I'm not really sure about this one yet. I might just wait for different ones. Looks like It's a really solid game though.

DjinnFighter

#28

DjinnFighter said:

I bought VVVVVV on PC last summer. I liked the idea a lot. But the game was not that great. Frustrating + Short. Frustration is possibly a more important feature in the game than the gravity reverser.

Just to say, i finished the game and Steam says I played only 108 minutes.

Ren

#29

Ren said:

holy moly. the 3ds shop is bursting at the seems with goodness all of a sudden, I can't keep up. Still odd that everyone I know who see's my 3DS still has never heard of it at all. Nice job on the marketing, Nintendo.

Theres so much good DL content all of a sudden it's destined to succeed if only there was a little advertisment here for the 3DS.

grumblegrumble

#30

grumblegrumble said:

I downloaded this last night and I can't put it down! It's a great game, especially for 8 bit retro game lovers (fans of Atari-era games will love this!) i'm a bit dismayed that the game has a flaw with flip mode, but I'll let that pass. I think the 8/10 is a fair score considering there is a bug in the game. Is it ever going to be fixed??

TeeJay

#31

TeeJay said:

@Ren The 3DS has plenty of marketing...on Cartoon Network (Adult Swim too) and Nickelodeon. I see commercials for it pop up every other commercial. I feel that if Nintendo wants a larger audience (older adults who don't watch adult swim) they're going to need to advertise on other channels as well.

CorbsAdmin

#33

Corbs said:

It is? Someone said my name was in the Mighty Switch Force credits also. I guess people like me. Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head. :D

TKOWL

#34

TKOWL said:

Yeah, I was a bit surprised too to find @Corbs name in the credits too :)

Score should be one point higher; a handful of glitches cause this game to not live up to its perfect potential unfortunately, but for what it is, it is brilliant. I highly enjoyed playing through it again.

joevox316

#35

joevox316 said:

You can currently download a free demo on PC, and last I checked it was on sale for about $1.24. Even when it isn't, it's still cheaper than this version. I want this, but what about the 3D? That seems to be the selling point, but I haven heard much about it. Is it pretty good?

Ren

#37

Ren said:

Yeah, I'm 34 and most of my peers are in that age range and are amazed at the 3DS but all have never heard of it. A few seconds with the camera or a 'retro' game and they all want one. There is a huge untapped market but the marketing seems to be aimed at kids where it is; I don't get it. Half or more of the 3DS content is geared for older players so why the kid focused marketing? I'm in Chicago, but never see a city bus, billboard, any kind of posted ad for Nintendo anything. The other game companies are all over, I have to fight the urge to buy an HD system I'm so bombarded by the marketing (and I don't even watch tv, maybe why I've missed the marketing). Seems N.O.A. thinks the market is all in people who just watch loads of Broadcast TV. That group is fast shrinking, they need to hit harder with physical print and web based entertainment venues so people just know that the things exist. The E3 WiiU presentation was a clear sign of their lack of prudence with new product marketing.

Bassman_Q

#39

Bassman_Q said:

I played the demo on Steam and finished the first two levels. And considering there's only 6 levels in the game and the demo took me around half an hour, I'd imagine the game only takes around 2-3 hours. Not much for $8, sadly. :(

Odnetnin

#40

Odnetnin said:

@Qwikman Except for the 18 bonus levels, 8 of them 3DS-exclusive (so far anyway). :O
also the bonus modes and secret area that add to replayability

Odnetnin

#42

Odnetnin said:

Ooh, and the trinkets which unlock (phenomenal) music among other things.

And there are different playable characters in the bonus modes, even though technically they're just monochrome palette swaps. :P

joevox316

#43

joevox316 said:

@Oddy Thanks! I went ahead and downloaded it. Not disappointed. It almost instantly made me nostalgic. It feels great. And yes, the 3D is nice. Everything pops nicely. The music is also great. It's like distilled Mega Man with a hint of...awesome. Or something. I think I've already died about 100 times but that's part of the fun. :D

EdEN

#46

EdEN said:

Another game added to my "buy" list for eShop content in march. Need to work on my DS and DSiware backlog (and Steel Diver and Super Mario 3D Land) before I start buying eShop games.

julianozuca

#47

julianozuca said:

I own it for PC for some time now and I really love it... as I would love to get this makeup, but its price tag is a bit too steep here IMO. -.- @JayArr: So true... -.-

Odnetnin

#48

Odnetnin said:

@milman12 Try Viridian Vitellary Victoria Violet Verdigris Vermilion or Spikes or The Shape You Make When Flipping Down to the Right Then Up to the Right.

atariman

#49

atariman said:

Way to hard to be playable! it is harrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd! I don't like it.

NImH

#50

NImH said:

Just picked this up on sale here in NA... This game is AWESOME! The simplicity of this game is a powerful statement about why I love videogames.
I am no hypocrite.
I do love me some eye-popping visuals... but above all things in a game, I desire the charm, addictive gameplay, and obvious genuine passion from a developer that makes for titles like these.
Sadly, until recently, the majority of these games existed in a past game-era. This modern resurgence of passionate indie developers has done truly great things for the gaming culture.
VVVVVV is a must-experience for anyone who loves a fun videogame, period

Katzii

#52

Katzii said:

...So, how come we had to wait nearly five months for this game to come to Europe, and we have to pay that much more?

Sforzando

#53

Sforzando said:

I love this game. The graphics are very nice. I love hardcore retro-style games. Cave Story is my favorite.

SonicTheBluBlur

#55

SonicTheBluBlur said:

@Geonjaha I have so many downloads (91 to be exact; 5 of them being retail games) that I did what any sane person would do and bought a 32 GB SD card so I didn't have to worry as much about how much space a game takes up.

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