Transistor – Nintendo Switch

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Title:   Transistor
Developer:   Supergiant Games
Publisher:   Supergiant Games
Websitehttps://www.supergiantgames.com/games/transistor/
Genre:  Action, RPG
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Audience:  Fans of Bastion and also Action RPG fans that like their genre with a bit of strategy involved.
Release Date:  01/11/2018
Price:  £15.49 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.

What the Developers say

Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites you to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as you fight through a stunning futuristic city.

Transistor seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling.

Fight your way through the streets of Cloudbank, and piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as you pursue its former owners.

Introduction

First time seeing Transistor from Supergiant Games I bet I was not the only one thinking that this game looks absolutely gorgeous. With visuals and an art style this pretty, I was curious if the rest of the package could actually hold up.

Red is a stunning character and reminds me of myself from time to time, back when I used to have bright red hair. The game starts with you wandering through a dead town – Cloudbank. Our main character finds a sword stuck in a man… And it is, in fact, talking to her!

By working together, both of them discover the secret behind the organisation called “The Camerata”. This group is responsible for the death of various high profile individuals of Cloudbank and were even after Red herself… But why? That is for you, Red and the titular Transistor, her sword, to find out.

Looks and Sounds

If every game would look this good, I would never complain about that in my reviews. The town is beautifully designed and it just does not stop there. The character design in this futuristic steampunkish environment is a treat to look at. So amazingly beautiful in detail and originality, I only can applaud the developer for it. Everything got a massive amount of love – from cutscenes and even the upgrade menu.

The entire soundtrack is written by Darren Korb who was also responsible for the other games by Supergiant Games, Pyre and Bastion. The developer stuck to their guns with the lovely vocalist Ashley Lynn Barrett for this soundtrack as well. Red might have lost her voice, but she is able to hum along with the song that is played at the moment. A cool and unique feature that I haven’t encountered anywhere before.

All tracks are a joy to listen to. The sound effects are on point, but the most praise should be left to Logan Cunningham. He is the voice for the sword and the storyteller. Supergiant Games “recycled” his voice in Transistor as well. I like that consistency of quality like that.

In total, the bar is set high for quality besides the gameplay itself – which I am glad about. A good soundtrack enriches the experience of Transistor so much more and makes it more than just nice to look at.

Gameplay and Replayability

The way the combat system works in Transistor is interesting and should appeal to any gamer out there that likes to build their own set of skills. You can lay one skill onto one of the face buttons and equip each attack with upgrades. These passive abilities enhance the attack itself an can be quite useful. Mix and match to your liking and I am sure you will find something that suits your taste!

Over your abilities, you can see your health bar. Just like any other game it will go down with every hit and once it reaches zero, one random ability will be lost (I often had the impression it is the one you use the most). They will be repaired after you stop at access points (your skill set workbench if you will). New ones will mostly appear directly after a boss fight and early on in the game to get you started.

To make the game less easy, your sword has some sort of capacity like a computer. The prevents you from equipping all of the great things at once and be overpowered. You level up after every battle, allowing you to equip more.

Another cool function of Red is her being able to freeze time in fights. With that, every move counts. You have a bar on the upper half of your screen and every skill uses some of that. It makes you have to plan ahead like any strategy game and challenges your own intelligence.

Sometimes during the battle the controls were a bit flimsy when attacking a row of enemies. Which come in a rich variety, by the way. Those issues with the controls were not that bad, but sometimes surely a bit cumbersome to perform a fluid battle.

I am not going to lie out of false proud here, but the combat can be overwhelming with all the possibilities of skills you can equip and how to plan ahead. The game is greatly balanced in that, though. It never gets too complicated that you want to throw the towel and give up on Transistor.

At some point, you will reach an area resembling a beach where you can test certain skills of yours, like the ability to plan ahead. It is a nice little addition that is not required for you to clear to end the game.


Unfortunately, Transistor is outstanding – but a short tale. You can end the experience within a few hours. Thankfully the developer included a New Game+ mode after the end credits, called Recursion. Your progress will be carried over to the new file and you can also see some differences in the environment from the start. New challenges await for you “at the beach”.

Conclusion

Lovers for ARPGs will enjoy this title for sure. The whole package of Transistor is exquisite; if you can forgive its length and that it can be overwhelming in short bursts. Thankfully it is highly forgiving, so even strategy newbies like me will like the title. The added rumble feature works like a charm and Transistor is a great experience that everyone should see for themselves!

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

4.5 out of 5

You can purchase Transistor on the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Transistor-1438524.html#Overview

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