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Review: JYDGE for Switch/PS4/XBOX One

JYDGE ($10.99, 10Tons Ltd.) has been a long time coming for the console versions. I personally have been waiting to get my hands on it to see if it’s as good as it looked to be. So, can the actual gameplay live up to the standards that the marketing department claims that it can? Oh man, let’s find out.

The first part of their marketing was the description of the game, you know to get you pumped. Read it here:

‘Build your JYDGE. Enter Edenbyrg. Get out alive. 

Build your own cybernetic JYDGE in this lawful-but-awful rogue hate top-down shooter where you get to eradicate crime in the never-sleeping megacity of Edenbyrg. Create your own play-style by augmenting your JYDGE, modifying your Gavel rifle, and choosing companion drones to suit the tasks at hand. 

Will you be stealthy and lurk in shadows? Or will you assault the evildoers head on? Maybe you’ll brutally rocket them to bits from a distance? Or perhaps bring your own squad of reckless companions to solve the scenarios?’

The second part of their marketing was to dish out the features of the games, here they are:

  • ‘Choose your cybernetics, items, mods, and companions from over a BILLION different configurations. You be the JYDGE!
  • Deal ruthless Jystice with your Gavel. Fire lead, rockets, lasers, electricity, and other deadly tools of the law.
  • Find creative solutions to get extra medals for your heroic performance and unlock new equipment.
  • Break, enter, and confiscate as you please with vastly destructible environment.
  • Team up with your CO-JYDGE for local co-op.’

And the all too obvious piece of marketing was a trailer, see?:

Audio & Soundtrack:

This game is simply superb with the sound effects. It has an overabundance of destructible walls and glass and exploding barrels and so much more. All of which sound absolutely fantastic and you can tell that 10Tons LTD. learned from other games that they’ve done before it. So we don’t have to dwell too much on the sound effects for this review. Just know that you will not be disappointed, I mean come on, the Jydge even has his own spoken lines. They really, genuinely impressed me with this game.

With regards to the soundtrack, I don’t know if there is a better grouping of music on the Nintendo Switch at all. The PS4/XBOX versions have a lot of games to compare it to, so that would be a harder claim for me to make. The amount of tracks that exist on this game is more than I could keep track of feasibly. I also really like how they’re all so different, whereas some of the other 10Tons LTD. games have songs that are good and all, but have a similar feel between their in-game tracks. These songs are so good that I really wanted to focus on the music more than the game. However, lots of the levels in this game challenge you to complete it in a certain time frame, so the music is over rather quickly. Even if you have to restart the stage, the music is randomized, so you’ll be hearing a different track. Some of it definitely felt electric and some of it felt like a nice 70’s cop vibe played through a synthesizer. I’m so enormously impressed by this game and I really wish that they’d sell the soundtrack! The only caveat to the whole thing is that if you’re playing on a Switch, you’re going to want to wear headphones. The small speakers have a hard time with all of the gunfire, explosions, voiceovers, and music simultaneously and making it sound good. You’ll have a better sense of differentiating the sound through the headphones. 9/10

 

Visuals: 

The visuals are really quite impressive. I felt like they have a lot of on-screen assets to pull off. So yeah, they do a lot of stuff on screen well. But you do have to look everywhere quite often to keep an eye on bad guys and your hostages. The neons are a lot less in this game compared to other games that the dev team has made like Neon Chrome. It’s the future, but the future doesn’t have to be steeped in neon lights. The shadows are lit well enough that you can still see your character and all of the other people walking around. This helps in the game as there is a piece of equipment that you can enable that lets you be invisible when in the shadows.

I love the menu that exists between levels and replays of a level. It has everything built into it and is laid out in a nice, clean fashion. I don’t usually talk about menus and layouts when I’m talking about visuals, but I think the team did a great job here. There wasn’t any sense of confusion as to what I needed to do or how I needed to do it. There is an overworld map in the game, but it really isn’t anything that you need to worry about as it’s just there for show. So if you see the map, you can absolutely ignore it. It marks where your next jydgement will be but you don’t have to travel there, it just sends you there. As far as the level design, that is what I love the most. They have designed the levels so meticulously and decided against procedurally generated levels. This means that each level has style and also plays well. 8/10

 

Gameplay: 

I’ll tackle this section in two separate parts. The PS4/XBOX One/docked Switch part and then the portable Switch part. I believe that we need to talk about how it plays on the go first. After that, how it is on the go.

In terms of how this plays on console and in docked mode for Switch, I would say the following. First of all, this game is not a sequel to my recently reviewed Neon Chrome, but it is set in the same universe. So there are some of the same gameplay mechanics. They improved the melee attack with the L button, since you’re a robot of sorts, you can hold the melee button and hit an enemy for several times the average melee damage. Instead of a loadout like in Neon Chrome, we can attack weapons and what not to our bodies via an equipping screen. We can even equip our gun, the Gavel Mk I, with additional appendages. Other than that the only other similarities the games share is that you move with the left stick and shoot with the R button and have a special attack on LZ. The core concept of this game is sort of the same as the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. You have objectives, like taking out baddies, collecting money, collecting evidence, opening crates, finishing in a certain time frame, etc. After you beat all of the levels in an Act of the game, you then unlock its harder difficulty, like THPS, and you can do even more in those levels. You start to unlock all of these attachments for your bodies and it changes the gameplay and tactics of levels that you played earlier when you didn’t have said equipment too. It’s always fun to go back and do the harder objectives with newer attachments.

With regards to playing it on the go, I think it definitely suffers if only for a little bit. As mentioned before it is in the same universe as Neon Chrome. So in some ways it’s the same, but in terms of how small the items on screen are, it’s identical. It’s less of a top-down shooter and more of a strange cockeyed 3rd person shooter. The objects on screen are just too small to comfortably make out what is what on the 720p Nintendo Switch screen. As I talked about in Neon Chrome’s review, it does not make it an automatically bad game. You’ll just have a harder time having fun with it. My same suggestions arise in this review as Neon Chrome’s as well. If you’re all about portable games and that’s the only reason that you own a Switch, you can probably steer clear of this game. If you don’t mind playing in docked mode, this is definitely a good purchase. 7/10

 

Replay-ability: 

As I mentioned in the Gameplay section, there is a lot of gameplay available for your money. However, the game seems to be a very offline game. There isn’t a multiplayer mode where everyone just runs around Deathmatch style and killing each other with their combinations of unlocked attachments. There is, however, an offline co-op that can be played. It pits the level of baddies and the respective inclusion of objectives against you and your friend. I think that the amount of bad guys in the level stay the same, maybe when you’re playing co-op their assets improve. It definitely seems like they’re a little smarter, reload a little faster, shoot a little better, and live a little longer. The main point I’m trying to make here is that you have a ton of gameplay to work through here. It doubles if you and your friend team up and tackle it. You definitely get your money’s worth and it’s such a fun game to keep going back to. Does it have a lot of replay-ability though? I would say that it does, the story alone is quite fun as well. Is the game infinite though, no and rightfully so. 7/10

 

You want JYDGE for the PS4, simply click here.

If you’re wanting JYDGE for the XBOX One, click here.

Want to play JYDGE on the Switch? Click here.

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