Fractured Soul is simply one of the most innovative experiences available through the Nintendo eShop, and, having said that, I’ve inevitably set a precedent for the words that will now follow.
Having begun life as a Nintendo DS project deteriorated market conditions saw developer Endgame Studios look to upgrade the game for Nintendo 3DS – the result of which seeing a visual overhaul and the inclusion of online ranking leaderboards.
Now, several years after its creative concept was devised, Fractured Soul has slammed onto Nintendo’s digital store and requires your attention.
You play as a forgotten entity, stranded on a derelict outpost left drifting in space and with no recollection of who you are. With hostiles patrolling all corridors your only objective is to escape, and thankfully you have a unique power at your disposal.
Fractured Soul will immediately be familiar to those that have played classics of the side-scrolling platform genre, such as Mega Man, or Metroid. You’ll run, jump and shoot your way through each stage, incurring increased complexity as you make your advance.
At Fractured Soul’s core is the ability to switch between parallel dimensions, seeing the player flit between the dual screens of the Nintendo 3DS. This mechanic, so simple to explain, is deftly executed throughout the entirety of the game, and immediately activated through simply pressing either L or R.
Shifting dimensions becomes an immediate necessity, allowing you to pass blocked doors, laser fields, hop between platforms and even dodge incoming shots.
It’ll feel alien at first, yet through multiple attempts, you’ll soon adjust your coordination to a point where previously tricky moments will be of relative ease to you. So much so that par times, coupled with online rankings, will encourage speed runs from those wishing to take the plunge.
With the outpost in a state of disrepair and drifting through space, adverse conditions begin to affect it. Corridors become partly submerged, the cold of space freezing sections, seeing dimensions soon differ from one another with additional surprises ensuring that it feels fresh throughout.
If the sound of an entirely platforming-orientated game doesn’t appeal, then space shoot ’em up levels may provide the interjectory differentiation that you seek. These again retain the separate dimensions, with players switching between screens as they blast approaching enemies into oblivion.
Not since Saturnine Games’ Nintendo DSiWare release, Antipole has a game caused such a stir, which is all the more credit to the talents at Endgame Studios.
Some may be deterred by the game’s overtly hardcore design, yet those seeking a challenge will find Fractured Soul a particularly rewarding experience and amid the very best that the Nintendo eShop has to offer.
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
Review copy provided by Endgame Studios