(Wii U eShop)

Internal Invasion (Wii U eShop)

Game Review

Internal Invasion Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Terminal

Imagine a future in which all disease is cured through the aid of tiny nano-bots flowing through your bloodstream. There would be no need for medicine or doctor visits, as all illness would be taken care of internally. It's an incredible proposition that makes for an interesting sci-fi storyline that can be taken in so many directions, including being turned into a disappointing Wii U eShop game.

Entering the fray of eShop games made cheap, Internal Invasion is the latest title to be developed through the Nintendo Web Framework, many of which have been average at best. Not one to break out by going above and beyond to achieve new heights, this is yet another budget game that feels exactly that. The gameplay here is not particularly fun or innovative, and no successful attempts have been made to at least give this one the appearance of something that might be worth your money or hard drive space. It’s very sad when you consider that the intention of the Web Framework is to allow fledgling developers a chance to showcase their work, but instead it appears to have opened the floodgates for substandard games to appear on the platform.

Keeping it simple, Internal Invasion sees you taking charge of Ro’Bert, a nano-bot implanted in an apparently ill person’s body to fight off an infection that has been ravaging its host. Rather than actually doing any form of fighting, your task is to merely guide Ro’Bert deeper into his host’s body by launching him using a series of cannons. The goal is to make it from one end of the stage to the other as quickly as you can and by using as few cannons possible. As the stages progress more and more obstacles will stand in your way, including cannons that fire by themselves, lasers bent on sending you off course, and even enemy viruses – all of which look suspiciously like Kracko from the Kirby franchise – that must be avoided. Completing a stage will earn you a local ranking, easy fodder to lure in the perfectionists among us.

The gameplay is reminiscent of the barrel blasting from any Donkey Kong Country game, but the repetition can become grating over time. In Donkey Kong, this mechanic was used to break up stages and add a bit of challenge, but when the entirety of gameplay focuses on this one aspect it quickly loses its charm. There are 50 stages to slog through, all of which employ the same gameplay, and it all stops being fun way too early on.

Despite gameplay being similar to a Nintendo classic, Internal Invasion controls much more like mobile behemoth Angry Birds. Opting out of physical controls, Ro'Bert is launched from cannons by pulling back on the GamePad's touchscreen and releasing at your desired strength and trajectory. The controls are far from perfect and lack any semblance of tactility, though they work well enough for what is demanded of them and add an interactive element to an otherwise straightforward game. All of the action is displayed on both the television and GamePad screens, but due to the touch controls it's likely that your eyes will be fixed on the controller's screen most of the time anyway, rarely having reason to look up at your TV.

For a game as presumably untaxing on Nintendo’s hardware as Internal Invasion, there is a significant amount of lag. Whenever you launch Ro’Bert from one cannon to another, the frame rate drops to a staggeringly slow pace, sending your nano-bot clipping across the screen. There is usually bound to be a bit of slowdown in even the most polished game, but the amount here is inexcusable. This is unfortunate because the art is attractive otherwise. Most stages look exactly the same, featuring pink fleshy environments with bones protruding from random places, but the cartoony style lends itself to the lightheartedness created by the easy-to-grasp gameplay. Appealing aesthetic aside, the drop in frame rate is substantial and impossible to overlook, at points to the extent of being nearly game-breaking.

Conclusion

There aren’t really two ways about this: Internal Invasion is laggy, repetitive, and downright boring. For a game that boasts an original enough plot to initially grab our attention, it’s very disappointing that the rest of the package falls flat and lands with a thud. From uninspired gameplay to its awful frame rate issues, this is one game that needs a serious update before it can be recommended to anyone. As it stands, the entire package feels incomplete, more like an early build or a tech demo. He may be an adorable nano-bot with the best of intentions, but one illness that Ro'Bert can't cure is that which we feel while playing this game.

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Game Trailer

User Comments (21)

SylveonLover

#1

SylveonLover said:

Ouch... But the real question is, why is this on Wii U and not on mobile platforms? This would be good quality for them. :P

ValiantPixel

#2

ValiantPixel said:

Any Mario fan would instantly attribute these screenshots to Bowser's Inside Story...except that game is actually amazing :P

By the way, where are the Elite Status rewards?

BearClaus

#3

BearClaus said:

It’s very sad when you consider that the intention of the Web Framework is to allow fledgling developers a chance to showcase their work, but instead it appears to have opened the floodgates for substandard games to appear on the platform.

"Instead"? Those aren't mutually exclusive. This game is an example of a fledgling developer showcasing its work. Considering the accessibility of the platform and the low barrier of entry for release, expecting most of the games to be ≥A would be unrealistic.

Captain_Toad

#5

Captain_Toad said:

Well that game made me sick to my stomach.

@SylveonLover Long story short, Nintendo made it's game gate more accessible than ever. meaning that more stuff like this'll be shown up.

TG1

#6

TG1 said:

The slow down is bad for sure, but no way does this release deserve a 3! This review seems to be so focused on negatives, that it skips over entire big elements of the game! This might not be a great download, but by no stretch of the imagination should it be considered a poor one.

AnD4D

#9

AnD4D said:

As the developer, I am very disappointed by this review. Elsewhere it's scoring 8.4, 7.8, 7.5, etc. This is the first time I've seen it drop below a 7, nearly 2 weeks after its release. In any case, I should point out that it's the limitations on the NWF that are causing the lag, and not the game itself.

I do wonder if the review would have scored a lot higher if the occasional lag, which doesn't in any way make the game unplayable, was gone. It seems a lot of focus as place on this small point, rather than the challenge of the game itself. There's an angry birds reference, but Internal Invasion is a lot more diverse and different than that. Even the price hasn't been taken into consideration. Remember! This is a budget title!

I agree with another commenter, that the review skips over quite a lot of areas of the game. Boss chase modes, controlling the character mid-flight, how to get the best scores on the levels, music, etc.

It wasn't even mentioned that I'm working on free content and updates for the game. Very disappointing and surprising review. The game's not perfect, but in no way should it be a 3/10 game.

Emblem

#10

Emblem said:

I'm sure NL done a first impressions or interview about this game a while back and was singing its praises (correct me if in wrong).

Ron_DelVillanoAdmin

#11

Ron_DelVillano said:

We are not in the business of reviewing games based on their price or the potential of future updates or DLC. This review is based entirely on the game that is available right now and not its outlying factors.

This game would have scored higher had the lag not been so prevalent, but as stated in the review, "the amount here is inexcusable." The lag is not occasional. It appears in every stage and makes the gameplay frustrating and the controls inaccurate.

AnD4D

#12

AnD4D said:

It's a shame as other people have been able to cope with the lag at the beginning of the levels. In any case, I appreciate you taking the time to review the game.

It's entirely possible that the lag caused by the Nintendo Web Framework made the game frustrate you so much that you couldn't look past it to the other features it has to offer, such as the inverted gravity mechanics, the fact that you can alter the path of the character mid-flight, the extensive number of levels and challenge. I hope to get an updated version over to you as soon as possible.

Looking at your past reviews, I'm genuinely surprised you were asked to review this game. If the genre isn't your kind of thing, why would you be expected to give it a good review? It doesn't look as though you've given a positive review in quite some time.

Just noticed you're now twisting things on Twitter, saying I'm getting mad at you? I felt my comment above was quite calm. I merely stated my disappointment, and pointed out items that were missing in your review. I don't believe there's a shred of anger in there.

Very unprofessional, I must say.

Ron_DelVillanoAdmin

#13

Ron_DelVillano said:

@AnD4D You've now called me unprofessional twice on public forums.

This review was written as objectively as possible, pointing out what works and what does not. Then you took it upon yourself to argue that my assessment of your game is not accurate. That's all that happened.

AnD4D

#14

AnD4D said:

That's fine, but I feel that describing a game as boring is 'subjective', not objective. However, reviewers are welcome to writing subjective reviews. What works for one, may not work for the other, and the reviews for the game reflect that. Prior to your review, I was averaging 75% in scores.

My referral to you as being unprofessional was due to you linking to this review saying I was mad at you, which is far from the case. I'm not even sure where that came from. To me it just felt as though you found it amusing that a developer would comment, and wanted to draw more attention to it. In any case, it seems an odd thing for a reviewer of a reputable site to do. Personally, I don't see it as being professional in the slightest, but you may feel that action was very professional indeed.

Like I said, I appreciate you taking the time to review my game, but you describe one other game as "crummy" and two others as "boring". I'm just wondering why you're being given these titles if they're clearly not your kind of thing. Most sites reviewers review games in the genre they like, so that they can share thoughts for other like minded gamers.

You're entitled to your opinion, for sure, but I'm just as entitled to point out things that I feel you may have missed. It just struck me as odd that a positively reviewed game scored so low on your site.

I do not mean to get on your bad side in the least. Frankly, I would rather be able to converse with you in the hopes of making the game even better... but judging from the review, I can't even see what you DID like about the game, and so I wouldn't even know where to start. If you are interested in helping me out with advice on the update, it would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to make contact with me on Twitter, and we can see what we can do about making Internal Invasion more your kind of thing!

SKTTR

#15

SKTTR said:

Sometimes simple amateurish unpolished games are overrated, and sometimes fresh original content-rich games are underrated.

Some reviewers don't mind drops in the framerate, they don't even notice. And some reviewers find those things gamebreaking ala "Hey! It's a Wii U! It can run Mario Kart HD at a smooth 60fps so Everything should run at a smooth 60fps! (Especially a 2D puzzle game)" I see it on Miiverse all the time, opinions and preferences.

Most people don't just look at the score and go "skip that a crappy game". Only blind followers do that.
If consumers are really interested in your game they'll have a deeper look, check Miiverse, watch videos, and read more than just one review.

I agree though, that reviewers should only review genres they like...
and I guess Ron isn't the type who has cannonball shooting physics puzzlers in his top 10 genres. ;)

Anyway, I watched a firstlook vid, didn't notice any slowdown at all, and I'm interested if this is around 5€, so are there plans for a EU release?

AnD4D

#16

AnD4D said:

@SKTTR - Thank you for your kind words! The slowdown doesn't happen all the time, so it's a hard nut to crack, but so far it is the single and only 'bug' that's been reported, so I'm pretty pleased about that!

Unfortunately the EU release is purely based on how well the game sells in the US. I'm from the UK, so it's bizarre to think that I can't even download the game onto my own retail console!

ESRB don't charge anything for indie games. PEGI and the other European rating boards on the other hand charge quite a significant amount. They're not the only ones! If I want to release my game in Australia, for example, they charge approximately $1200 just to rate it, apparently. That means I'd have to sell around 300 copies just so I can afford to release it.

In any case, I keep saying that I truly hope Internal Invasion will be my worst game. I have a great title in the works at the moment which will be (and only can be) a Wii U exclusive ;)

It's going to be epic!!!

SKTTR

#17

SKTTR said:

I know that it's difficult for indies to release games in a territory with such overpriced, inconvenient, industry-growth-damaging rating boards. Especially in Australia. But lately it seems Germany (USK) follows in their steps as not every EU release is available on the German eShop (Gravity Badgers, My First Songs, Blok Drop U and Ittle Dew all skip Germany)
What are the prices for the PEGI and USK ratings?

Is it a possibility to use Kickstarter to get the funds to release your game in all main territories?
If not there should be an initiative to help small indies out. I will look into that and hopefully start my own "Indie Publishing Company". ;)

AnD4D

#18

AnD4D said:

@SKTTR - I've only heard from other developers regarding the prices of the other ratings. I believe PEGI is around about £400. Not sure about USK, but heard they're extremely problematic.

Maybe one day soon, but for now I'll focus on adding extra content to Internal Invasion and working on my newest project!

Let me know when you start up your own publishing initiative :)

ThomasBW84Admin

#19

ThomasBW84 said:

@Emblem You are wrong, there were certainly no first impressions. As for an interview, I don't recall one by me, but I'd have to check if one was conducted and I proofed and forgot.

Even if we interview a developer, as an example, that doesn't mean that game has a pre-review recommendation, to be clear on that. If we do a first impressions article, those are the impressions of the writer who may, or may not, actually review the game.

TG1

#21

TG1 said:

I'd hate to see the NL comments section turn into a place where we can't calmly disagree. I know my own issues with this review aren't even so much the score, but the lack of detail. It reads rushed and incomplete, unlike most of Ron's reviews.

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