GAME NAME: Ultratron
DEVELOPER(S): Carbon / puppygames
PUBLISHER(S): Curve Digital
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): May 14th, 2015
Curve Digital is back in their conquest to rule the Nintendo Wii U eShop with a new title developed by puppygames and carbon called Ultratron. Now I know this sounds similar to a Marvel movie’s villain that was released in the box office recently, but I assure you that’s where the similarities end well except there are evil battle droid robots that just annihilated mankind. Alright then, let the arcade co-op twin-stick shenanigans commence.
Somewhere in maybe the not so distant future in what I would guess is a Smash TV-like atmosphere for battle droids, you control the last (or is it last two for co-op purposes) battle droid that is set to avenge the human race after it has been wiped from the galaxy. Why a robot would want to kill all the bots of the Apocalypse to avenge mankind escapes me but I digress. There are 4 sets of ten different waves of enemies to shoot through with each of the 4 ending with a boss battle against the likes of Ieiunitas, Bellum, Lues and Letum! One of the best parts of this arcade mayhem is that after you defeat a boss your progress is saved and you can start at the beginning of the next wave instead of having to plow through all 40 levels in one sitting.
The gameplay is super simple which helps with anybody new to the genre be able to pick up the game and play right away. The left stick controls movement, the right stick shooting and the R2 trigger handles the smart bombs. Don’t worry though experts, Ultratron packs a challenge. As you progress through just little droids walking toward you in packs, enemies will start firing back, moving faster and coming at you with some armor. The boss battles are a welcome change after the 9 grueling levels. There are also challenge levels and action levels sprinkled through to mix it up. Challenge levels has you trying to get a perfect 30 for 30 in destroying high speed bots that are zooming past you on the screen while the action level has you scrambling for your life as shots are coming at you in a ridiculous quantity.
Between rounds is where the game really fleshes out. Using in-game currency that is collected from destroying the enemies and picking up the left over coins up (be hasty as they disappear) players can level up your character as well as add some interesting additions such as a pet or a sentry. The pet will stick by your side adding extra fire power and the sentry can be set in the field of play and shoots in whatever direction you’re aiming. Other upgrades can help you manage your shields or smart bombs as well as making the AI on your pet and sentry smarter in the sense that it can fire on it’s own a la a tower defense unit.
The graphics have a simplistic look and also takes from the style of puppygames’ other title Titan Attacks!. I like the nice updated HD look of the arcade set up, but the explosions and constant flickering of the screen become really distracting and almost turn you off from wanting to achieve a high score. Speaking of high scores, the game includes online leaderboards for both single player and co-op. I enjoyed the arcade bleeps and bloops in the soundtrack as well as the robotic voice-overs to announce your items or levels.
If you are looking for a Smash TV style arcade high score-a-thon then looked no further. The game does what it does well and the fact that it has checkpoints after each boss helps the replayability. I also love the inclusion of the shop before each round as it makes you dictate how you will improve your skills going into the next round. While not the best game I’ve played from Curve Digital it is still enjoyable for fans of old school arcade titles.