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Fractured Soul (Nintendo 3DS eShop) discussion [game]
 
7/10 from 2 user ratings

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I picked up Fractured Soul on the eShop on friday. Its a nice little platformer / shooter with some puzzle elements and an online leaderboard. The entire game is viewed optically in 2D with polygonal 3D graphics.

The graphics are nice but the art style is very generic of the mecha / shmup game genre. It reminds me a bit of faster paced Mega Man (or linear Metroid) with the veneer attempting to clone Target Earth or Cybernator Assault Suit series games. Well done but not breaking new ground.

This feels like a great game to pickup and play at any time much like a Zen Pinball. The upper and lower screens are almost the same but have some variation between them such as obstacles, platforms to jump on, and enemies. The overarching mechanic has you toggle between upper and lower screen with R/L buttons. Once you get the hang of it you'll attempt to speed through levels and toggling along the way. It feels like one of those arcade coin-ops that put you in the zone multitasking challenges in real time. While you don't have a countdown clock there's something to be said for a sense of urgency if taking on the timed leader-board.

There's also varied character control between these screens. On one level the upper screen pits the protagonist underwater and adds float to your jumps while slowing down your character in contrast to the bottom screen's normal speed and gravity. You'll have to jump on the upper screen, quickly toggle, and to make it to a platform you wouldn't otherwise be able to reach on the lower screen. The level design so far has you traveling a linear and obvious path which is great for speed runs.

If you've played Mighty Switch Force and VVVVVV are looking for a game with an innovative toggle mechanic or a fan of Zen Pinball and looking to leaderboard your way onto a new title check out Fractured Soul.

Anyone else pick this up? What are your thoughts? Scores?

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Posted: 09/17/12, 16:41:05  - Edited by 
 on: 09/17/12, 18:49:47
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I'm just a little hesitant of picking it up because of the price tag. Is it true that 3D is disabled on the top screen?
Posted: 09/17/12, 16:58:08
Hmm, I had a DSiWare game that was very similar to this... now what was it called?

Oh yeah, Chronos Twins!

Posted: 09/17/12, 17:08:51  - Edited by 
 on: 09/17/12, 17:30:30
There's actually ANOTHER DS game that's also similar. Divergent Shift, maybe?
Posted: 09/17/12, 17:39:57
@Anand
Oh yeah, I thought that was just the name for Chronos Twins in a different region, but apparently it's a different game, this dual-screen platforming thing is a whole little sub-genre!
Posted: 09/17/12, 17:44:11  - Edited by 
 on: 09/17/12, 17:53:31
It's a cool concept! Fractured Soul seems to have some Mighty Switch Force in it, too.
Posted: 09/17/12, 17:56:39
@anon_mastermind Yes no 3D on the upper screen BUT the whole game moves pretty fast so visually adjusting between the jump from bottom to top could have been jarring (ie I see why the developers decided to leave it out)

@deathly_hallowsI remember reading about Chronos Twins ages ago. Looks like one worth grabbing too. I'm not sure if it was metroidvania but it looks more like a traditional almost SNES platformer. Fractured Soul is more of an arcade inspired game. So far I can pick it up and play a level... return to it months from now without feeling like I'm missing anything.

@Anand Whereas Chronos Twins reminds me of an SNES game, Divergent Shift reminds me of an earlier PC platformer.
Posted: 09/17/12, 18:48:39
Developer interview

Apparently it was meant to be a retail game and the dev would have liked a higher price tag than $12. I might support it eventually, I dunno. Some of the "meant for retail" DSiware was really good and definitely worth their price. There is often an obvious jump in quality, more content, smarter design, etc.
Posted: 09/17/12, 20:30:56  - Edited by 
 on: 09/17/12, 20:32:02
@vids
Alright. It's a bit disappointing, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for disabling 3D. I just love 3D in games - I put it on max whenever possible.

@Guillaume
That makes me feel better about spending $12.
Posted: 09/17/12, 22:54:21
So I donwloaded this last night. Took forever on "download later" option (I think it's >2500 blocks). Played some this morning, and it's quite fun and challenging. The art style leaves a lot to be desired though. It's definitely in the same league as Mighty Switch Force, let's see if it proves itself worthy of the higher price tag.
Posted: 09/19/12, 17:21:53
Sometimes I can't wrap my head around switching to grab some of the bonus items. My brain goes then I fall down a pit.
All in all though I'm quite enjoying it.
Posted: 09/20/12, 18:21:57
@ploot It is a fun little game that lives perfectly on the system to pick up and put down in short intervals. Glad to hear someone else enjoying it.
Posted: 09/20/12, 21:48:33
I hate that I can't see my time while I'm speedrunning. Also, I have no idea if I press restart, does it restart the timer as well? Is it just me or are there some ''secrets'' that can't be had on the first run?
Posted: 09/20/12, 21:51:28
So, this game turns into a shmup after 10 or so stages. Pretty cool
Posted: 09/26/12, 23:33:26
@anon_mastermind
Hmm, I have yet to get to that! I shall try for it tonight.
Posted: 09/27/12, 03:05:57
@anon_mastermind

Ooh, that sounds cool!

I just got the game for free and I was kind of immediately turned off by the presentation. It doesn't help that I feel I've played the game before, with Chronos Twins. But I'll stick with it.
Posted: 09/27/12, 03:20:32
@Guillaume
Yeah, the presentation is blech and a half. They needed somebody with a little more imagination on the graphics side.
Posted: 09/27/12, 03:29:31
I'll have to give this game a serious look sometime in the future. I enjoyed what I played of Chronos Twins and Divergent Shift on DSiWare, so I'd be down for some dual-screen gaming with this one.
Posted: 09/27/12, 06:25:36
Finished the 35th and final stage. Overall, I'm satisfied with the game. It has a bland art style and looks/sounds ugly (though the music is good, but volume is too low!). The game introduces some gameplay gimmicks here and there, and some are better than others. But the gameplay is pretty solid, and creative use of the two screens is a win in my book. I'll probably try to 5-star all the stages everntually, but for now I'll check out the bonus stages I've unlocked.
Posted: 10/25/12, 23:01:03
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