More old-school brutality on the Wii U
Review written by
February 26th, 2016
The Wii U has often been criticized for having weak points in certain genres in terms of available games. For instance, there are not many first person shooters, and there aren't many true sports games.
Fortunately, the system has quite a few RPGs (thanks to indies and Virtual Console), tons of platformers, and a vast plethora of fun multi-player games. Elliot Quest helps fill the action-RPG gap on the Wii U. It's another 2D platformer / RPG that features pixelated graphics and harsh difficulty.
While playing through the game, I didn't take much time to focus on the story. It's about a young fellow who looks much like Pitt from Kid Icarus, who loses his wife and tries to commit suicide. The suicide isn't successful, and he travels about the world to save it from destruction. You'll meet characters along the way that add color to the story, but the action still takes a back seat to the gameplay, much like Zelda 2 did back in the eighties.
Anyone who enjoyed Zelda 2, or other games like it in the NES and SNES days, will see familiarity almost instantly. Elliot Quest features an overworld, on which you can enter various temples and caves, and there are roaming monster-sprites on the screen that will take you into optional battles if you choose to run into them.
Though the overworld is from a top-down perspective, the action is purely two-dimensional. Timing is everything here, as enemies have strict patterns that will often force the player to jump or fire in a split-second. There are pitfalls and spikes abound, and there are plenty of puzzles involving lighting lanterns and shooting triggers in the correct order.
There are quite a few boss fights, and some of them can be very tough. These bosses can be taken out using a variety of strategies, and if you find yourself unable to take them out after multiple tries, you can purchase potions, or go out exploring to level-up Elliot.
Speaking of leveling up, it's not easy to gain levels. The experience bar doesn't build up very quickly, and if you perish, you lose a good deal of your experience. You may find yourself grinding more often than you'd like, but the system also forces you to play well and avoid death as much as possible. You also get to choose how you level up: You can increase your shooting distance, your range, vitality, and other attributes. Which ways you choose to level up will have a great effect on how you play the game, and this adds replay value. You may become more of a fighter the first time around, while on the second play-through, you may want to focus more on magic ability, or even make a "balanced" Elliot.
The music used in EQ is pretty cool, and the tracks seem to fit the levels. The graphics are nothing impressive, and since Elliot Quest is a throwback game, it's hardly a major complaint. I doubt that many players will really approach this game for its graphics or visuals, but to each their own. They work well enough for this type of game.
Inventory management is also an important skill for this title, and one can make use of the GamePad to select various items. It's not necessary for conquering the game, but it's a nice touch. In addition, there are collectible stamps for use on MiiVerse.
There are also multiple endings that depend on which choices you make during the game, such as choosing to return the bomb-bag, and choosing whether or not to open chests in the houses of villages.
The gameplay can feel slightly buggy at times, as there will be a "hiccup" on occasion, when the game seems to freeze for a second and cause Elliot to walk forward further than the player intended. It's a minor complaint, and the game runs smoothly most of the time.
All in all, Elliot Quest is a solid and entertaining action RPG, that hits most of its targets. It's worth its salt, and if you're one of those players who loves games of this genre, then I say it's a safe bet for purchase. Though, if you're a Wii U owner and haven't played Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, then go for that one first, since it is arguably both one of the best games on the Wii U and the best action RPG on there as well. Elliot Quest is still a unique and welcome addition to the Wii U library, and a generally enjoyable game with high replay value.
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