Rogue Singularity (Switch) Review
It’s not every day that the fate of the galaxy relies on your 3D platforming skills. In this offering from Considerable Content and Nnooo, it’s up to you to save the galaxy from a very heavily-accented Australian evil robot and a Rogue Singularity from tearing it all apart. To do so you’ll have to run and jump around worlds already ripped apart, turned into perfect platforming fodder. It all sounds pretty simple, but saving the galaxy is anything but.
Ok, so everything I’ve told you about the story of the game so far you don’t really have to worry about. In fact, the game doesn’t even tell you this much. You play as an unnamed robot that has been challenged, running a gauntlet of floating levels by the said evil robot. If you’ve played any 3D platformer in the Mario 64 era, or even PS2 platformers, you’ll be familiar with the platforming challenges in Rogue Singularity.
The main goal is to just keep pushing forward. You can collect coins and items along the way, though there’s no counter keeping track of it. This is quite freeing. Each world consists of three stages until you get to the boss. Given that stages can potentially be cleared in less than a minute, it is possible to blaze through this game. But if only it were that simple! When you run out of your five batteries/lives, you’re sent back to the beginning – a reason Rogue is in the title. When you start again you’ll find no two levels are the same, every one of them is procedurally generated. This leads to tons of possibilities, and it also means you can never get too comfortable or complacent when replaying earlier worlds. Although for all the random elements that can occur in any level, familiar layouts do appear.
Sometimes you’ll get more straightforward levels, other times its clumps of deadly obstacles blocking the way until you get creative with the wall jumping. While it can look like there’s a lot going on, I often found a lot of tricky areas can be avoided by simply ignoring the intended path, jumping across to a platform that would be out of reach if not for the triple jump and hover ability.
With a game that calls back to such an early time in the 3D platformer, Rogue Singularity highlights the good and the bad. When you get a feel for the running and jumping and how best to traverse the floating levels it feels great. You feel accomplished as you deftly dodge traps and wall jump up to the higher ground. It can take a little time but it helps to master the movements of your vulnerable robot friend, but there’s the rub.
The tight controls almost feel too touchy at first. Every slight movement could fly you off the edge. Combine this with stages that contain lots of small and sometimes moving parts, without a good sense of depth perception or decent camera. It can be easy to just miss a landing, or just not have a clear view of where you’re going to land. In a way, it could be considered part of the throwback to that older era of gaming, because cameras in most third-person/platformer games were renowned for being bad even then.
There are also Daily challenges available. If you’re tired of just taking on the Evil Australian robot, you can take on the leaderboards and show everyone else up. You only have one shot daily so you’ll need to make it count. Ultimately this is all for leaderboard bragging rights and an opportunity to get more coins. Thanks to the constantly randomised nature to the levels, there is a lot of replayability for as long as you enjoy the gameplay.
As you take on run after run, it may get a bit boring seeing the same old robot every single time. Considerable Content has your back here, with heaps of unlockable items to customise your robot. There are collectable robot parts, robot limbs and colours are found randomly amongst the out of the way path. If you have enough coins you can also buy a random limb or colour. Fortunately, it’s easy to build up a collection of then by taking the more difficult path. Even better is that you can customise individual limbs, and your colour scheme is only limited by what you have unlocked. Brace yourself for lots of metallic options. Customising your robot doesn’t have any actual change other than for cosmetic appearance, but it gives a nice extra incentive to keep playing. Just as a heads up, it’s also good to save 2000 or more coins to purchase world shortcuts so you don’t have to start right at the beginning.
Along with the customisable there are also purchasable upgrades. Some include the panic button, grappling hook, and hover. It doesn’t take long to purchase the majority of the upgrades, but you can only have one equipped at a time. Initially, I used the grappling hook as it gave me a bit of security if I undershot a jump. However, it also started to get me stuck in platforms which were less helpful. I wound up settling on the panic button which allowed me to be respawned back to the start of the stage without it costing a life. Each upgrade is best suited for different worlds and different obstacles. At the beginning of every level, you have a chance to purchase upgrades you don’t have, or just change what you’re holding. There are also handy one-use items that can help make a run less daunting. Whether it’s a checkpoint to place in case you die, a shield, or even just an extra life. Strategic use of these items can really make a difference.
Rogue Singularity isn’t filled with bugs, but when they happen they stand out. Whether it’s the level music running out, or the grappling hook trapping you in walls and forcing you to start over. There’s nothing that bad, but when you’re making great progress or doing a daily run, getting stuck in a platform sucks.
Rogue Singularity is a very specific callback to a point in 3D platform gaming. For those familiar with this era, you’ll get a big hit of nostalgia. It also plays just like those games. For better or worse, bad cameras are still bad. Just like back in the 90s, 3D platformers can be fun. Think about how groundbreaking Mario 64 was. Rogue Singularity captures that fun and distills it into a focused challenge that’s not a bad way to spend some spare time.
+ When you get a good run, it is a great time
+ Captures the early days of 3D platforming well, including how fun they could be
- When you get a bad run it’s usually because of badly placed, procedurally-generated elements
- Bugs can spoil a run