Phantom Trigger Is Death By A Thousand Stylish Cuts

first_img Controller Patent Teases SNES Games on SwitchPlay These Nintendo Switch Games Before ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield&… Stay on target If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.Phantom Trigger is a very cool Nintendo Switch Game That Isn’t Zelda. It’s a much cooler game than you’d expect from folks known as Bread Team (not to be confused with Game of the Year award-winner I Am Bread). A lot of its coolness seems inspired by very obvious recent influences, and it doesn’t pay off all the potential those influences could have allowed for. But it is cool enough to remain worth playing.The first, most striking thing you’ll notice about Phantom Trigger is its absolutely stunning art style. It’s easy to compare it to last year’s Hyper Light Drifter, and while that game arguably has a more cohesive color palette, I found Phantom Trigger’s gorgeous pixelated aesthetic to be slightly more fluid and detailed. Just cracking your neon hair(?) whip creates a hypnotic visual. But there’s an upsetting harshness to the glowing beauty as well, which is a perfect description of the game as a whole.The purposefully vague and disorientating story maybe has you playing as an everyday husband suffering some kind of neurological illness intermittently slipping into a hellish techno hallucinatory fantasy world. You learn this in brief minimalist cutscenes that warp back into your consciousness like glitches. It’s a great effect. I would get chills whenever another moment of lucidity was imminent.But the vast majority of your time in Phantom Trigger is spent dashing through top-down dungeons and wiping out all enemies in your path, again like Hyper Light Drifter or even tinyBuild’s previous Switch action game Mr. Shifty. The brief arena battles are a great fit for portable Switch play.Soon enough you’ll gain access to three primary melee weapons: a long-range whip, a mid-range ice sword, and close-range fiery fists. The game is all about mastering your use of these weapons individually and in tandem.To deal with enemies that explode into toxic clouds, maybe whip a rock into them to safely take them out from a far. Meanwhile, the best way to deal with weird TV-headed grunts that shoot powerful lasers is to get up close and personal with your fists. Sometimes enemies will even cycle between phases when they can only be harmed by a certain weapon.Using a weapon also increases its level, and higher levels unlock more combos and spells like fiery auras and dashes that freeze foes left in your dust. The game’s difficulty demands you make use of all of these combat options.Phantom Trigger’s melee system is super smooth and satisfying with room for varied expression, but the game overall too narrowly focuses on exploring this mechanic at the expense of everything else but aesthetics. The game isn’t quite a roguelike because you do save progress but outside of boss battles, combat encounters blur together in a way that makes the game feel randomly generated.Meanwhile, most non-combat gameplay boils down to “fetch a trinket and fight through enemies to get to it.” The game’s monotony threatens to make the difficulty boring and frustrating instead of thrilling. But co-op play on Switch alleviates this somewhat, and maybe surreal crushing tedium is just the right way to put players in the protagonist’s trippy, troubled head space.Phantom Trigger’s stylish and mechanically complex combat is worth checking out for its own sake. It’s also a fine piece of pixelated eye candy. I just hope one day we see these great qualities in a less flat, more robust overall game.Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch.Buy it now!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesView as: One Page Slides1/51. Phantom Trigger is a super stylish action game for Nintendo Switch.2. Master three different melee weapons to survive in a hellish hallucination.3. The game’s purposefully vague and disorientating story seems to involve an everyday husband suffering some sort of neurological illness.4. Level up your weapons to gain new spells and overcome the game’s brutal difficulty.5. Phantom Trigger cares a lot about its combat and style, but unfortunately that leaves the rest of the game a little flat.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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