Towaga: Among Shadows (PC) Review
Gameplay looks better than cutscenes
Moments of repetition
Towaga: Among Shadows follows in the long line of games before it, as a twin-stick shooter of shorts it has many, many titles to compete with. From Geometry Wars to Robotron, the genre has countless entries–all trying to do something to distance themselves from one another just enough to be noticed. For better and worse, Towaga manages to do this in ways that the player won’t forget after they are done with it.
The first thing that will be noticed is the graphical presentation. They are smooth and insanely stylized. The entire title feels like a living, breathing animation while it is being played. This is something that, sadly, can only be truly experienced when playing the title, as it won’t sink in until the controls are in the player’s hands. The in-game graphics are oddly so good, that they make many of the pre-rendered animations look worse by some bizarre magic–something that most games have to wait several years and two generations of video cards to do.
But not everything is roses as the beauty is just about skin deep. Many of the sections are ground based, meaning that the player literally stands in one place, “defending” a spot without moving. This removed the entire “twin” from the twin stick shooter, as only aiming is used; as such it feels overly difficult and annoying at times. These normally transition into flight sections where movement is allowed, but they are never long enough, and almost feel like a reminder of what was given up in the other sections.
Towaga: Among Shadows is an amazing looking game, and sections of it are very enjoyable. The problem is that some of the mechanics are dependent on not getting hit, which is difficult when rooted in place. This is an interesting concept, for a level or two, but it grows very old, very very quickly. There are other small gripes against the game as well, but nothing truly worth mentioning. The title is worth a look if it ever drops to a decent enough sales price, simply for the visuals alone. The mechanics are sound, even if they are unreasonably handicap.