Paradox Soul – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Paradox Soul
Paradox Soul is a gritty take on the Metroidvania genre. Can you get through the maze of the facility and discover the secrets within… Whilst defending yourself against the enemies inside.
The story to Paradox Soul is very simple, you are Doctor Allie Rose who is investigating a Test Facility with some dark secrets and monster held inside. Unfortunately that is as much story as you get which like most Ratalaika published games is not surprising and always something I find disappointing it would have been interesting to have a backstory for the character and for the facility.
Once inside the Facility you are greeted with the very ominous music with no weapons, your only option is to venture further in. Once you make your way through the tight corridor you find a door and you venture in eventually after a couple more doors and stairs very reminiscent of Elevator Action you will come across a gun and a map. Once you get the gun the enemies will start spawning from inside the Cryo-pods situated around the many rooms. Here is where you get to the first of the issues with this game. If you play this game on the normal difficulty your character only has one bar of health which means one hit and death. This means all engagements have to be thought through a lot more and this really breaks up the pacing especially if your running this game for the 1000 gamerscore. Lucky there is cover to be found in the shape of Boxes this allows you to hide from the 4 round bursts and fire back without losing that precious bar of health. Of course you can lower the difficulty which does then grant you four bars of health which can make this game a lot more tolerable. Also once dead your character respawns at the last door they entered (No going back to the start woo!).
The zombies are not the only menace to this game and the other main types are rabid dogs and drones these enemies can be dodged by dashing and jumping but can really drain your health if you get caught so watch out.
Once through certain parts of the game you are met with the boss battles, thankfully these battles are not to difficult and once you have worked out their pattern they can be dispatched pretty easily. To help you on your journey like in Super Metroid there are upgrades and items hidden in some of the secret areas. Thankfully once the map is found it shows you all the secret locations which does make the whole game a lot easier to navigate.
The controls are very simple (A) jumps, (B) is dash/Cover and (X) is shoot (Select) opens up your map. Whilst the controls are simply I did feel at times like there was a very small input lag and the movement did not always feel as smooth as you would like for this sort of game. Overall there weren’t bad and certainly does not detract from the game.
Like most Retro Inspired Modern games, Paradox Soul uses the pixel art style throughout. This is both a positive and negative. Positives first, Pixel Art in my opinion fits this style of game very well and does help create the right atmosphere, and all the pixel characters are well done and look like they have been thought about and worked hard on.
On the flip side I found at times this game seems to fill too little of the overall real estate on screen which does create issues when trying to dodge projectiles. Furthermore I understand the setting is a test facility but a lot of the assets are reused and can get quite monotonous after a while. Maybe it is time or these styles of games to get an upgrade and be modeled more on the newer 2.5D style games with a more modern graphic style whilst retaining the Retro gameplay.
Again like most Indie titles the music and sound effects are sufficient but not outstanding and I found myself turning down the SFX volume as the barking dogs can become grating.
I feel the game does have replayability if you are into Metroidvania games unfortunately this game has come out the same time as one of the greatest Metroidvania games has been given out for free to Xbox Live members in Castlevania: SOTN.
If you want something fresh and are not too bothered by repetitive asset usage then I suggest picking this game up for the £4.99 price.
Written by Boouya