LadiesGamers Two Parsecs From Earth

Two Parsecs From Earth Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Two Parsecs From Earth
Genre: 2D. Platformer, Action, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PC, PS4 and Xbox One)
Developer|Publisher: ABX Games Studio | Ratalaika Games 
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £7.99 | EU €7,99 | US $7.99
Release Date: October 16th, 2020

Review code provided with many thanks to Ratalaika Games

Crash Landed

You play as Robot Z3-L1 and on your trip to Earth your ships crash lands on the planet Dimidium, home to two enemy types and a lot of spikes. To return home you need to collect three batteries as well as 30 cargo collectables to repair your ship and continue on to Earth. To do this you need to explore the map as well as unlock new abilities along the way.

Z3-L1 is a rather self-aware 4th wall breaking robot as he often makes jokes about the game in which you’re playing. In the beginning, he congratulates you on figuring out how to move and jump all by yourself and later even makes some passing comments about game design. I’m guessing this was supposed to be harmless witty fun but often it came across as bitter and sarcastic making Z3-L1 a hard robot to like. Doesn’t matter too much I guess since you will spend most of the game seeing the robot collapse in a robotic mess since this is a title where a single hit means death.

LadiesGamers Two Parsecs From Earth
The mission objective is very simple

Take Your Pick

The main stand-out feature of the game is the ability to choose which abilities you unlock. After a short initial period of exploration, you’ll find a computer terminal and you’ll be able to choose between the ability to double jump or dash. Whichever you choose means new routes will be open to you but some will be closed. This will be repeated for two additional computer terminals. You’re given the impression and even the incentive that the game will be different if you replay it again later. Unfortunately, this felt very superficial. The game doesn’t generally play much different regardless of what abilities you choose. The game still simply breaks down to find the collectibles and reach the ship. Only you’ll do it slightly differently. After about 3 hours I finished the adventure only to be offered a New Game Plus mode where you return to pick up the collectibles you missed and try and achieve 100% completion. Here you re-enter the map, return to the computer terminals and unlock the ability you didn’t choose. This design kinda made the incentive to replay the whole game sorta mute as you’ll experience every avenue of the game through this second playthrough.

LadiesGamers Two Parsecs From Earth
Decisions didn’t make as big an impact on the game as I expected

Robotic Controls

A lot of my above criticism probably would not matter if the game controlled well. After all, if a game is fun to play, there’s plenty of incentive there alone to replay anyway. Sadly that’s not the case here. Jumping and moving feels robotic and clunky, it’s not fun and death happens constantly. Checkpoints are tied to the beginning of the area which are not too far away but exploration then felt more like a grind than entertaining.

There is no combat in this game. You simply have to avoid various spike pits and only two enemy types. There’s a fly that tries to hone in on you and a spike-like monster that simply moves back and forth. When you collect a battery you enter a boss area where a giant fly chases you and you have to outrun it. If you die, you have to start the encounter all over again. An encounter that isn’t really that interesting to begin with, in each sequence this is the same and then slightly extended so I soon managed to memorize the patterns.

LadiesGamers Two Parsecs From Earth
This is a very spikey planet

Mysterious World

The graphics are pretty good, I like the design of the robot particularly when it shrunk down to a head and two legs provided you unlocked the appropriate ability. The level environments reminded me a lot of the start of a Metroid game. Mysterious and ominous. But there’s really not that much variety. Just the same cave system only different shades of colours. Backgrounds looked nicely drawn though.

LadiesGamers Two Parsecs From Earth
Sometimes you come across cute moments like this

Far From Home

Two Parsecs from Earth feels more like a blueprint to the start of something bigger. Maybe it was budget restrictions who knows. All it really ends up being is a simple find the collectibles title with clunky controls. I know for myself how hard game development is but it’s hard not to point out that there are other Metroidvania games out there that feel more rewarding to play and cost less. It’s not bad by any stretch but it does easily sit in the realm of mediocre.

 

Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure

 

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