4cr Plays – Abyss HD
The year is 3024, and Earth’s natural resources are very scarce and the whole existence of the human race at risk. With no other viable options, a new robot is built to search the depths for an energy source than can save humanity. Nep2No is sent on several reconnaissance missions until it finally stumbles upon a new energy source which is called Gaia. This sets up Nep2No to go on specific missions to areas rich with Gaia, so enough energy can be gathered before it is too late.
Some of you might remember that this game was originally released on Nintendo’s DSiware service, and this is an updated take on the original. What is different this time around? The music and sound effects have been remixed and improved, and now fit much better with the moody setting. The graphics have also been revamped considerably which makes for a smoother experience. There are also some tricky levels added after you’ve completed the main 12 missions, and they feature some interesting elements that I hope to see in an eventual sequel. Finally, a 2 player mode is available so that you can race against opponents as you try and secure as much Gaia as possible without dying.
While seeking Gaia, Nep2No must travel over several missions, searching for 6 Gaia stones per level before making it to the exit. Controls are easy to understand but do take a few minutes to get used to. The good news is that if you crash into one of the walls, there is a small window of opportunity for you to regain control of Nep2No in order to keep him away from danger. If you manage to stabilize the ship and do not hit another wall, Nep2No will fully recover instead of crashing and burning.
The antenna on Nep2No is also the only light source aside form the Gaia Stones that you can use to view the paths you must take. Grabbing a Gaia stone will briefly increase the light’s strength and bumping up its range in the process. This only lasts for a short period of time and crashing into a wall will immediately negate this bonus.
Off-TV gaming is a huge plus for me and it’s what initially sold me on the Wii U, and I’m happy to report that Abyss makes great use of this feature with no delay in the signal being displayed in the TV and on the Wii U Gamepad. I played half the game on the TV and the other half on the Wii U Gamepad and I had no problems navigating each of the levels on the big or the small screen.
I mentioned the Dark mode levels that are unlocked after you finish the main 12 levels, and I wanted to elaborate on what you can expect there as well. In the main game, the caves and walls are your main enemy since you can easily crash into them if you’re not careful, though you will find the odd hazard here and there. In Dark mode the difficulty is increased considerably, as is the number of hazards that will get in your way. Falling debris, spinning blades and mines will prove to be worthy opponents, and will require you to move slowly through each section as you learn the layout for that particular level. It’s a great bonus to have and it doubles the duration of the game since the levels are longer and you need to collect 8 Gaia stones instead of only 6.
Abyss on Wii U is a short game that has greatly improved on the formula set by the original DSiware release. The cost is only $2 for 20 levels that will test your skills, and it will take you a couple of hours to see it all. The improved soundtrack and graphics, the extra content, cool gameplay mechanic and low price make this an easy purchase on Wii U.
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