Pronty (Switch) Review
Swimming in a Metroid-like is interesting because you can go anywhere instead of being limited to ground traversal
Using a pointy fish friend as your form of attack with twin-stick controls is something different
Memory Board features tons of collectable buffs to modify play style
Small text is difficult to read
The first hour is boring as it is essentially one long tutorial that isn’t necessary if you ever have played a video game before
There is a map but doesn’t contain detail or direction
Following the classic Metroid-like formula, Pronty is an action-adventure title set under the sea, but it separates itself by including a couple main gameplay tweaks, for better and worse.
You control Pronty, a sea creature that just started his duty of being a Protector when bad fishies start to invade. Even though you have not been properly trained, you are tasked with defending your land. It is strange because Pronty does not attack; the fighting is left to Bront, a pointy spear-shaped fish. Instead of attacking with a face button like in every other game, the player instead directs Bront by aiming the right stick and sending him to attack with the right trigger. While unique, this inaccurate form of attack gets mismanaged when trying to fend off a school of fish, forcing the player to button mash and hope for the best. Eventually, the player unlocks the ability to warm up a power attack and use the pointed friend as a shield. It is weird because Pronty gets all the credit while Bront does all the work. Sometimes the weapon fish gets blocked by the environment but can be recalled to your side by holding a button.
Since the player is constantly swimming, gameplay takes place in a 360-degree environment instead of being landlocked horizontally. Unfortunately, Pronty swims slowly so it often feels like moving through syrup. It isn’t until the dash ability gets unlock does the gameplay approach more tolerable levels. However, constantly tapping the dash button can get tiring quickly.
Speaking of tolerable levels, the first hour is a major slog as it is one giant handholding tutorial. There are so many pop-ups that explain how to move and attack, it is almost insulting to anyone who has ever played any video game before. Once the training wheels are removed, however, the game becomes much more enjoyable.
Visually, the game is basically a cartoon in motion. The hand drawn art style is nicely done and conveys a sense of dread venturing the deep ocean but without being a horror game. Without too much dialog, the player gets a sense of history by looking at details in the background along with a sense of venturing into the deep alone.
The 10-12 hour run time is mostly linear but the player is rewarded for finding those subtle alcoves and alternative routes. There are dozens of Memory Board items to find, trinkets that add a small buff to the player. Only a few can be equipped at a time so the player is encouraged to experiment with a loadout that will work best for the task ahead. You’ll need them too because bosses and even some common enemies can feel a bit bullet spongey. There is also a map feature, but it doesn’t contain the same level of detail in comparison to Metroid. There is also no indicator on where to go next; I didn’t play for a few days and forgot where I was supposed to go so sometimes you’ll waste time backtracking due to lack of direction.
For a $15 release, Pronty is appropriately priced given its flaws and slower opening pace. While there are other indie Metroid-likes that are designed more tightly, fans of the genre should put this on their wishlist.
Not As Good As: Cosmos Bit
Better Than: The Bounty Huntress
Don’t Forget About: Trash Quest
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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