Learning To Let Go

HIGH Great pixel art and a heartwarming story.

LOW The “recommended” control scheme.

WTF I love having literal trash as a shield.

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi everyone! Eugene Sax here with another review from Gamecritics.com.

Revita is a roguelite twin-stick shooter with some platforming elements. Players take control of a child with amnesia, eager to find their memories at the top of an ominous tower looming ahead of them. Each run will have players shooting their way through floor after floor of enemies, each section of the tower ending with some type of boss fight. Along the way, players will pick up souls from fallen enemies which are used to regain health, relics that will aid the player, or find trapped NPCs that will help unlock new mechanics and story beats.

Combat is dynamic, quick-paced, and fine-tuned to create a satisfying loop on each run. Players have the choice of different main weapons like a pistol, a shotgun, a charge laser, etc., and each affect the combat in their own way. For example, a pistol has good damage, range, and is easy to aim, while a shotgun has a wide spread, less accuracy, and knockback. Weapon choice also plays a part in movement, as players can shoot downward to get extra height or further distance on jumps if timed correctly. Paired with a simple-yet-effective dash, players will need to master both platforming and shooting to succeed when the upper levels increase in difficulty.

Outside of combat, players may stumble across secret rooms or shops where extra relics and power-ups may be purchased. In order to get these boons, players have to sacrifice health, and the only way to restore health is getting lucky and finding a health item, or by using souls collected by defeating enemies. Using souls to regain health while also using health as a currency gives the game a satisfying risk/reward aspect to see how far players can go and how long they can survive, and since each run is just a bit different from the rest, there’s plenty of opportunity to test out different relics to find a combination that will lead players to victory.

On that note, Revita doesn’t pull punches with difficulty. There’s a bit of a learning curve to this game, even for someone who’s played a lot of rougelites like The Binding of Issac or more platforming/shooting games like Cuphead. Personally, it comes down to controls for me. The combat controls in Revita — jumping, dashing, shooting — all live on the switch bumpers, and it took quite a bit of time to get used to the setup, but it starts to be more intuitive after a while since the control sticks are used for moving and aiming. As much as I hated it initially, it grew on me the more I played.

Despite the controls, there’s enough enemy variety to keep things interesting on each run, and there are never too many to be overwhelming. Plus, enemy patterns can be quickly memorized.

I also liked how much control I had over certain aspects of the experience. For example, an extra challenge can be added by talking with an NPC to spawn a miniboss that will give additional bonuses if defeated, and there’s an NPC to help increase the amount of souls obtained when defeating enemies. Is the game going too fast? Slow down the game until it’s easier to manage. Are characters hard to see against the background? Turn on the option for character outlines, both for the player and enemies. These are just a couple of the accessibility options that the game has to offer.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Revita and the gripes I have against it are minor at best.

While I love the sprite art and retro aesthetic, playing it in handheld mode on the Switch can be rough. The text ends up a bit tiny with all of the things going on screen, and the 8-bit font doesn’t help much. This can be turned off and changed to a high definition standard font, which does help. My other issue is the narrative pace. Context clues and an opening disclaimer about mental health gave me enough info to make me feel fairly confident on the ending, but the journey there is too slow and story chunks that move things forward are few and far between.

With that said, Revita is not one to overlook, especially for fans of this genre. Things feel perfectly balanced, the combat is satisfying and the platforming is smooth, the relics do a lot to keep each run fresh, and using health as currency all come together to make Revita sing.

For me: Revita gets an 8 out of 10.


Disclosures: This game is developed by BenStar, and published by Dear Villagers and Doyoyo Games.  It is currently available on Switch and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 12 hours of play was spent playing the game, and multiple runs were completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRBthis game is rated E10+ and contains Fantasy Violence. Players will be shooting enemies with soul bullets, where they explode into souls once defeated. A small smoke cloud and a skull pop up on the player character when hit, but there’s no gore to the game.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There is text in game, but text is not resizable. Audio mostly serves aesthetic purposes and is not needed for gameplay. Pixel and HD version of the text are available for legibility. The game is completely accessible.

Remappable controls: Controls are completely remappable.

Eugene Sax
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