Review: Cybertrash STATYX (Nintendo Switch)

With Cybertrash STATYX, I thought I was getting another retro-visual platformer with plenty of obstacle course action and lots of shooting the bad-guys. And I did get that. What I also got was not exactly what I had hoped for.

As our regulars already know, I have mixed feelings about all the games for the Nintendo Switch which lean toward the retro, 8-bit graphics look. This game does it fairly well, so it is at least not annoying. There is good enough use of form, color, and definition that it looks OK. Cybertrash STATYX is a 2D platformer, so it uses plenty of timing-dependent jumps, runs, slides, etc., to keep your fingers moving at a pleasantly frenetic pace.

There is a story to be had, but it is nothing to write home about. The audio goes along with the visuals—20 years out of date, but it’s a tolerable package.

Cybertrash STATYX offers a tutorial with an interesting element. To help you learn how to run, jump, slide, etc., you start the game by following a friend who will give you advice (text bubbles) and tell you to try to keep up. It’s not the most sophisticated tutorial, but it does a fair job. Since you only have a 2D world to explore, the game relies on setting up some tortuous paths to navigate by using the aforementioned running, sliding, and jumping. (Anybody got “dodge, duck, dip, dive, dodge” stuck in your head yet?)

You have to jump on things, execute a higher jump for taller things, slide to get under things, run and pause at just the right moment to not get shot by things, and so on. You get the obligatory shooting bad guys and working your way up to take on the boss rounds, as you would expect.

By now, you may be saying, “Hey, David, this is all well and good, but the review is sounding a bit lack-luster.”  I’m afraid you are correct in your assessment. Something bumped the table on which this house of cards was built, and it’s the movement controls.

Everything seems perfectly normal at first. The left analog stick moves you left and right. To slide, pull the left stick down and press the B button.

With me so far? Because now it gets interesting. To jump, press the B button (easy peasy); but to jump high, you will need to be moving and then pull the left stick down, press B to slide then press ZL.

And this is where things fell apart for me. I thought to myself that perhaps I am just not comfortable with this particular combination. Then I thought to myself that of all the platformers I have played, this is about the most awkward way to execute a high jump—or double-jump—I have ever used. Most other games keep it as easy as pressing the jump button twice, so I’m really at a loss as to why this game uses such an unnecessarily complicated way of doing something so important to the gameplay. This effectively spoiled my experience with the game.

I really wanted to enjoy Cybertrash STATYX, but it didn’t work out that way. The game feels like a solid “meh.” If you think the movement mechanics will annoy you, there are plenty of other similar games out there, and you should probably find one of those.

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