Water ranges don’t precisely have a stellar fame in video video games. They’re notoriously arduous to get proper and have persistently appeared in lists of the worst ranges ever or in rants on Reddit. However for some insane purpose, the builders of Pronty determined to set all the factor within the depths of the ocean, and by some means they’ve made it work. Pronty is an amalgamation of many trendy Metroidvania video games, not doing something new as such however executing all of it with verve. Though it was first launched again in 2021, it has made the lengthy swim upriver to the Nintendo Switch, giving me the right alternative to dive in.
You’re Pronty. Properly, you’re really a clone of a Pronty, a type of genetically engineered life type meant to guard the underwater metropolis of Royla from threats by stabbing stated threats with Bronty, a robotic swordfish that’s immediately linked to Pronty’s thoughts. Consider me, I’m conscious of how insane this sounds however I let you know nothing however the reality. Royla is clearly the stays of what was as soon as presumably our personal Earth, humanity little greater than a distant reminiscence. Maybe not even that. Huge statues, reactors and extra are all now simply a part of the underwater panorama.
The storyline is essentially saved to the background. Some very brief cutscenes fill in sufficient of the element to get a common overview of what’s happening and you may undoubtedly deduce plenty of it simply by the visuals alone, however many of the narrative meat is present in varied collectables that may be learn by you probably have the endurance. The overall gist is that the world is now underwater and varied mutated aquatic lifeforms are inflicting issues, so an A.I. sends you out to search out and kill some huge boss monsters, with the last word aim being a hulking behemoth of a fish/factor.
Pronty is a beautiful sport to take a look at, with all types of lovely backdrops swimming into view as you plunder the murky depths. There are darkish, dingy corridors, shiny open areas and wonderful background particulars that assist flesh out what the world will need to have been like earlier than catastrophe befell it. Enemy designs are simply as spectacular, incorporating acquainted aquatic life with bio-mechanical components to create unusual hybrids like exploding fish, large squids product of extremely arduous bricks, starfish using unusual wheels and extra. Every one is exclusive and simply recognized, all the time making it completely clear what you’re going through and what it could actually do, and each single one among them simply seems to be freaking cool.
In true Metroidvania trend, the map is a sprawling internet of rooms, corridors, shortcuts and discoveries. The story does present some common path however the way you get there may be the meat of the sport. Many chunks of the map will want new skills to entry, so that you go off on an journey to seek out an improve and wind up battling one of many cool bosses, like an enormous shark whose disguise is pierced with a whole bunch of giant blades. Though Pronty doesn’t break any new floor, the execution of its traditional Metroidvania design is great. All the pieces comes at a pleasant tempo, the format isn’t overly advanced however has heaps of room to get misplaced and discover, and it’s satisfying to lastly attain your aim after spending quarter-hour swimming round, on the lookout for the way in which ahead.
There are bases scattered round, too, offering a second of respite and opening up quick journey factors throughout Royla. Extra importantly, right here you possibly can apply new upgrades to Pronty by inserting particular mod chips which might take up a number of of your restricted slots. There’s lots to seek out on the planet, supplying you with purpose to poke round, and there’s freedom to seek out mixtures that work greatest for you, like possibly focusing extra on boosting your speeds and the way rapidly Bronty can cost up. However truthfully, what I really like most is that the gap between these save factors is properly judged. I benefit from the Metroidvania style as an entire however can discover the punishing nature of them turning into increasingly more of a adverse, particularly after I don’t have time for lengthy periods and danger dropping a bunch of progress as a result of I didn’t stumble throughout a save time limit. The builders of Pronty have struck an outstanding steadiness right here, and I usually discovered myself respiration out a heavy sigh of reduction after I got here throughout a sanctuary simply as my well being was low and my endurance was waning.
The fundamental fight has a twin-stick shooter vibe since you management Bronty, you’re dwelling spear, with the correct stick and order him to assault by hammering away on the suitable button. Supplied you possibly can preserve your goal true you possibly can whale away on the assault button to maintain up the Bronty assault, leaving you to focus on transferring Pronty and performing dashes utilizing the ZL button. However earlier than lengthy you get a pair extra tips to make use of: Bronty can grow to be a dwelling grinder/defend by holding down ZR, and by releasing the set off he might be fired off as an influence assault. A faucet L can lock Bronty into place, and holding it is going to summon him again to your aspect, useful for any moments he will get caught up someplace. Which he’ll.
At first, it felt a little bit awkward to familiarize yourself with however as soon as I discovered the rhythm the fight turned vastly pleasant. That’s doubly true in the course of the boss fights that are the spotlight of Pronty. Every one brings with it distinctive assault patterns and mechanics that cease them from feeling too samey, like an electrical hydra that fires off bolts of lighting water or an enormous squid that will decimate the world with blasts of water and robust currents. These battles are robust however honest, making them an actual pleasure to finish and the highlights of the entire sport.
If the fight and chip system sounds considerably acquainted, properly, that’s as a result of they’re. Pronty does borrow fairly closely from Ori & The Will of the Wisp and from Hole Knight, however I view that as a praise to each of these video games and Pronty’s underwater theme and visible fashion assist set it aside from its inspirations.
Let’s get into some specifics about how this Switch port performs. For probably the most half, it’s nice, clipping alongside steadily, however there have been a number of hiccups the place the framerate would drop all of a sudden after which decide up once more. Not game-breaking, however noticeable. Hopefully, an replace or two can clean issues out a little bit extra. The hand-held mode doesn’t fare too nice as a result of the textual content is difficult to learn on the smaller display with no possibility to extend the scale, though there isn’t an excessive amount of textual content to get by, and through occasional moments the digicam pulls again which triggered me to utterly lose monitor of my character. That made boss fights in handheld mode just about unplayable for me, however for common exploration it’s effective.
Pronty is a reasonably typical Metroidvania sport in most regards, drawing closely from among the style’s huge hitters after which mixing in a few of its personal distinctive components. The consequence isn’t watered-down, it’s stronger for it. The underwater setting is gorgeous and Pronty is a pleasure to regulate, particularly in fight and in opposition to the enjoyable bosses. If the Metroidvania style hasn’t gained you over I doubt Pronty will change your thoughts, however in the event you love getting misplaced in an enormous map and stumbling throughout an improve that opens up new doorways, Pronty is fantastically designed and plenty of fishy enjoyable.