Blazing Beaks (Switch) Review
Smoothly animated pixel art
Challenging but fair gameplay – if you die it is often your own fault
No bots in multiplayer mode
Random level generation can create some unfair scenarios
A twin-stick rogue-lite, Blazing Beaks is a simple, straight to the point action game that carries hours of play-die-repeat entertainment value. Gameplay-wise, there is a lot in common with games like Mana Spark with one of the biggest differences being all action takes place on a single screen giving more of a winner-takes-all arena vibe.
Each playable chicken carries unique skills to ensure each play through is different with encouraging experimentation. While the goal is to make it to the end of the enduring gauntlet, players will have to start over upon death, learning from their mistakes as a player. Along the way, artifacts can be collected then traded for perks and gold can be spent to buy new weaponry. My only complaint with this system is that there is no try before you buy option making expensive, new weapon purchases a gamble as you might not like it. Luckily, the main quest can be played cooperatively which makes reaching the end of each stage that much easier. However, loot will need to be divided among all players so there is some balance to the gameplay. The other side of this coin is that solo players will be set for a more difficult outing.
Since all playthroughs are different, replay factor is high. However, there are some annoyances that come with random generation such as item drops in correlation to door placement. For example, there were times when the second screen presented a locked door but there was no key to be found in screen one or in screen two. Luckily, even though it is not perfect, it is still playable.
Boss battles are huge too, each requiring a gimmick to complete. Although the game could have benefitted from a few more enemy types, it is rather enjoyable seeing monsters react to one another. If an enemy exploded near another enemy, both will be destroyed. If you lure an enemy over some spikes, they will take damage. This gives the player the freedom to get creative in battle. These tactics can also be used in the local PvP mode. Just keep in mind that at least two human players are required for battle mode as there is no option to compete against bots. Battle mode also features many options to toggle.
The reason the charming pixel art looks so great is the fluidly smooth animation. Personally, I had to uncheck the box for the screen shake option but glad the devs still provided this feature. Having the ability to tinker with the aim-assist is also welcomed. The soundtrack is a minimalist ambient theme but works well here. It is recommended to play this twin-stick shooter with a Pro Controller over the JoyCons due to the taller analog sticks; playing with the JoyCons feels a little crammed and inaccurate.
Blazing Beaks is a treat of a top-down rogue-lite. The twin stick mechanic is just as fluid as the visuals and the gameplay remains “just one more” type of addicting. The added co-op feature makes the campaign a solid option and competitive multiplayer is good for a few rounds if you can gather enough bodies on your sofa. If you enjoy a good sleeper hit, then there is a lot to like in this $15 Switch eShop download.
Also Try: Dungeon of the Endless
Don’t Forget About: Spelunky
Wait For It: Diablo IV
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com