Gaming Review: Bezier Second Edition

Review: Bezier Second Edition

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Twin-stick blaster Bezier is more than the mindless blaster its store pages claims it is. The unique visual style, immersive soundtrack, and captivating combo technique give a more engaging feel than most pick up and play arcade games you will find on the switch E-shop.  Its multiple modes allow you to play for minutes or hours in an attempt to rack up a new high score. Even if the its story is convoluted and hard to follow.

Gameplay choices help keep things fresh.

In Beziers’ primary play mode, you have to destroy a specific amount of shields per level before choosing what area you want to move onto. Each area has different enemy types and changes up how you have to destroy shields. Some will have you shooting from different colored squares while others have you killing specific enemies first before you can damage the shield. The different ways that you have to take down the shields had me constantly thinking on my feet and forcing me to come up with new strategies. And having the ability to pick my path towards the final boss was a great addition and increased replayability of the main mode as each area offered something new. After a few runs, I knew the areas I wanted to avoid and those that could give me a better score and tried to perfect one run to the end. The game even shows you in the options what areas you have explored and how many times so you can track your favorite path as well as see the areas you have not yet ventured into.

As you choose between which area to explore, the game tries to explain a narrative based around the principal’s escape from a “Noah’s Ark” gone wrong inside a vast computer. As well as exploring more in-depth narratives about his relationship between evolution and god.  Personally, the story flew over my head and added very little for me. It was hard to follow and understand what was going on even once I read the synopsis from the store page. Fortunately, I was able to look over it and continue choosing my path based on gameplay factors rather than story ones. 

Satisfying combos keep you coming back for more in a variety of modes.

As well as aiming manually with the right stick, you are given the option to use auto-aim with the face buttons. Using auto-aim will cause you to overheat, and your fire rate and damage will decrease. It was great to have the option to switch between the two, when I’m trying to push up the score, I could use manual aim, and when I found my self overwhelmed, I switched to auto-aim. Being able to swap between auto and manual aim, alongside the multiple difficulty options, does a great job of lowering the bar for entry without taking away from the experience.

One of the more exciting mechanics in Bezier is the ability to chain together enemy kills and increase the score multiplier. This rewards using the manual aim as with the auto-aim, you might shoot something away from the chain, breaking it. It felt rewarding watching a circle of enemies linked together explode as the announcer exclaims, “MEGA CHAIN.” This combo mechanic kept me wanting to focus on getting better at using the manual aim as the pay off is both satisfying and rewarding with the amount of extra score you gain and the cool effects on screen.

As you fly around and destroy shields, you will pick up stars that’ll build up several special abilities in Bezier and increase boost and blasters as you level up. I found the special abilities to have little effect on the gameplay, and it was not clear what each was doing other than those that made it very clear to me with large visual effects and invulnerability. I often found myself just forgetting to use them and focusing on using the primary blasters, and when the mega power up happens, it was just a bonus.

Bezier has a couple of additional modes for you to try out alongside the primary story mode. Endurance has you taking on waves of enemies to increase your score, and daily mode gives you 4 minutes to get as high a score as possible on a leaderboard that resets daily. I enjoyed having these extra modes as runs in the main mode could take a while, so it was nice to have something to drop into for a quick session. 

Entrancing presentation from visuals to the soundtrack.

The visual style of Bezier is terrific. Everything on the screen is vibrant and exciting to look at, from the enemy designs to the explosion effects. It all helps keeps you locked in on the experience paired with the music that builds in scale as you explore through the later areas resulting in a joyful track once you beat the boss at the end. The presentation here is all spot on and does a great job of immersing you in the world, which is no small ask for an arcade twin-stick shooter.

I enjoyed my time with Bezier way more than I thought I would after quickly skimming over the description on the store page. The visual style and soundtrack kept me entranced as I fought my way through the multiple levels and modes on offer to rack up that high score. Even though it’s got a slightly odd story that is hard to follow, and most of the weapons felt ineffective, I kept finding myself coming back for one more run over and over to explore the different areas and pull off some satisfying combos.

SUMMARY

+ Engaging presentation and mechanics
+ Player choice drives the experience
+ Multiple modes allow you to play for minutes or hours at a time
+ Accessible controls and options for all skill levels
- Story hard to flow
- Weapons have little effect on the gameplay
(Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Thomas Dacombe
I've been playing videogames for as long I can remember and am always looking for something new to play. Lover of 3D platformers and an easy platinum trophy (looking at you "my name is mayo"). Been studying game design for the past 4 years and am now ready to share my passion with all of you. Check out what I've been playing here: https://ggapp.io/TomDac99 Twitter: @TomDac99
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