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July 2019

Cosmic Defenders

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Genre: Action
Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Fiery Squirrel
Release Date: 2019

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


Switch Preview - 'Cosmic Defenders'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on June 17, 2019 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Cosmic Defenders is a 2D fast-paced revolving shooter about a group of unconventional heroes using the power of nature to stop chaotic aliens from taking over the universe.

Cosmic Defenders was a surprise out of the Natsume booth at E3 2019. The game is the first indie title that Natsume is publishing, and it's being developed by just one person. It is a sort of whimsical sci-fi where you play as an embodiment of one of the four elements, and in each level, you must defend a set of planetoids from waves of colorful invaders. It was simple enough to pick up and play, and as a unique title on the show floor, it was a bit of fresh air.

The first level serves as a tutorial of sorts and goes over the basic controls. You navigate around a planetoid by moving your stick in the direction you wish to walk on its surface. Later in the levels, additional planetoids appear, and you can teleport to them by pressing a button on different portals on the surface of the planetoid. In my experience, I only had two to deal with, but later levels can have up to five.

Each of the four characters has elemental themed attacks and different speed, strength, and defense stats. For my session, I played as the water elemental. One button is a horizontal attack in the direction you are facing, while another attacks directly upward. The horizontal attacks follow the curvature of the planetoid for a short distance, so you can easily attack enemies at a fair distance. You can also double-flick the control stick to roll, which allows you to dodge enemy attacks and roll through enemies without taking damage. Finally, another button serves as a shield above your head to block vertical attacks, as you can simply jump over anything coming at you horizontally.

There are a variety of enemies to deal with. Some that I saw were enemies that crawled along the surface, and others hovered above while shooting down. These were interesting in their own way, as a shot dodged from them proceeds to hit the planetoid, which has its own health pool. Your job is not only to keep yourself and your small base object alive, but also the planetoids themselves. As such, it is usually better to use your shield to actively block those shots. Other times, I found myself physically picking up and carrying my base to reposition it away from rolling spiked enemies, only putting it down and blasting them once they got dizzy and stopped rolling.

Cosmic Defenders is a small game made by just one man, but it is quite well done. The obviously small scope is coming together quite well, and though the levels I played were simple, I can only imagine the complexity when the game starts asking you to defend multiple planetoids simultaneously. Cosmic Defenders is coming out this fall on the Switch.

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