Circus Reviews - Giga Wrecker

Full disclosure: I mostly play visual novels, or interactive fiction, or other sorts of games that don't require much input beyond clicking and reading. So reviewing Giga Wrecker was a different and somewhat tricky proposition, to the point that this will end up being more of a first impressions than a complete review.

Giga Wrecker follows nineteen-year-old Reika Rekkeiji, a girl imprisoned in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by strange robots that seek the extinction of the human race. After suffering a fatal injury in prison, the dying Reika is approached by the mysterious Dr. Kouzuki, who offers to save her life. In exchange, Reika becomes a cyborg with the ability to manipulate the debris around her into weapons, blocks, and more. With this power, she explores ruined lands and seeks to uncover the mysteries around the robot invasion, her own past, and more.

I had actually heard of Giga Wrecker during its early access period, from a video done by the awesome Cryaotic. The story seems to have been updated a bit since then, but not drastically so; it was recognizably the same interesting setting. Reika is a compelling character with an intriguing struggle: she isn't really a fan of being a cyborg, but over time realizes that she feels a duty to use her new identity to stop the robots that have killed her friends and family so that no one else has to suffer as she has. I'm interested in her arc enough to want to keep playing to find out what happens to her, at least. Dr. Kouzuki gives the impression of the typical mad scientist who cares about little else besides collecting precious data, but I get the strong sense that he's going to end up playing a bigger role in the story, and I'm curious to know more about him.

As far as gameplay, emphasis is on platforming and puzzle-solving, and it gets challenging pretty fast. You do have a map and a warp system that help with navigation, and progression throughout the stages is fairly linear. The controls and such are probably standard for someone who plays these sorts of games, but for me it was a bit of a challenge at first. If you play a lot of these kinds of games, though, they might be a bit more up your alley, and you are able to rebind the keys if you need to. The graphics are done beautifully as well, with expansive environments and occasional CGs that reminded me of the visual novel style in a good way.

As much as I earlier spoke about how invested I was in the story, I have to dock points for the way it's told, specifically the grammar. I don't know if this game was originally in another language before being translated to English, but it certainly seems like it; a lot of the sentence structure and phrasing is rather awkward. It's never unreadable, but it was enough to bother me.

Despite that flaw, and despite my personal lack of platforming experience hindering my progress, I keep on coming back trying to solve just one more puzzle. I feel like the challenge of the experience, while irritating at times, is more of a “Bet you can't solve me” challenge than a “I want to kill you and murder your family” challenge; it inspires you to want to keep coming back until you get it right, even if you have to take some time to breathe in between sessions. If you don't normally play puzzle-platformers, I would recommend either playing a few more before picking this up or coming in fully prepared to be a little slower at the game. If you're okay with that, or if you eat puzzle-platformers for breakfast, then Giga Wrecker makes a fun addition to the catalogue.

Giga Wrecker is available on Steam.

Final verdict: While the dialogue needs a few rounds of tightening and the challenging puzzles may frustrate first-time players, Giga Wrecker has a story and characters that draw you in and gameplay that, while challenging, entices the player to come back for more.

Giga Wrecker is developed and published by Game Freak, Inc. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I received a free copy of this game in exchange for my review. This review was originally written for Anime Backgrounds.

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