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 Review: Ballpoint Universe: Infinite (Wii U eShop)

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Professor Clayton
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PostReview: Ballpoint Universe: Infinite (Wii U eShop)

Looks a lot better on Paper


Ballpoint Universe: Infinite is one of the most unique games to hit the Wii U eShop yet, most noticeably in its hand drawn, completely inked art style which sets it apart from every other title on the digital platform. Another rather unique feature of the game is the slightly odd combination of Platforming and Side-Scrolling Shooting, though the penmanship on the gameplay isn't nearly as remarkable as the animated artwork itself.

Throughout Ballpoint Universe: Infinite, you'll be in control of an absolutely adorable bird-like creature (for the platforming sections) as well as a customizeable ship (for the shooter sections). While the gameplay is focused on the shooter aspect, you'll actually spend a near equal amount of time in both sections, with platforming serving to essentially take you from level to level and to briefly explain any story.


While this sounds like a great way to keep gameplay fresh and interesting, the platforming sections themselves simply do not hold up at all. The way your character handles is slightly uneven and not natural at all, and while seeing your bird slide down a hill or trip can be adorable, it shouldn't get in the way of the actual playing of the game.

Along with these odd movements, the controls themselves feel very awkward- quite the accomplishment for only having controls for walking and jumping. To add to the issues on hand, the platforms over which you traverse are often spaced apart at oddly tricky distances, or even rotating, causing countless falls and failed jumps. The constant misjumps would be understandable if the platforming itself was challenging, but when the controls are half of the problem it can begin to feel frustrating and tedious.

Once you reach a shooter section, you'll get a chance to see where this game shines the brightest, though they aren't perfect by any means either. Your ship itself is customizeable with two main attack weapon slots, which hold either guns or melee weapons, with room for smaller custom options and a special attack slot. You can spend Ink, the in game currency, in order to upgrade your ship and more easily defeat enemies, with a large enough number of attachments to choose from to satisfy anybody.


With weapons for your ship comes the option of guns or melee weapons, both of which behave differently in battle, and one will likely fit your play style better than the other (thankfully, you can equip two of the same weapon type if you so wish). We personally found that while guns could attack enemies at a wide range, doing so resulted in minimal amounts of damage, and we were simply better off using melee weapons. While using these meant we had to get up close and personal with every enemy, it also resulted in a much quicker and easier death for almost every enemy we encountered. Playing the game with both weapon types is possible, but it isn't necessary, which is a nice touch, and allows you to play how you most enjoy yourself.

Once you beat the main story of the game, which should only take a few hours once you get around the annoyingly inaccurate platforming sections, you can venture into Infinite mode, where endless waves of enemies rush at you, waiting to be defeated. While this adds some extra content to the experience, the premise grows old rather quickly. You can also head out to gather up some Golden Sketches, extra collectables hidden throughout the platforming sections, but you'll likely be too annoyed by the slightly inconsistent controls or jumps to be bothered to do so.


If a unique art stlye is something you really enjoy in a game, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite has you covered, as the game is a true pleasure on the eyes. Unfortunately, the rest of the game ranges from good to near annoying at times, and whether you enjoy this title or not is likely up to how interested you are in side scrolling shooters. While the gameplay is by no means bad, it certainly could have been polished and refined a bit more and been made into something truly great. As it stands, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite is beautiful, yet imperfect, and with a bit of revision could have been a true masterpiece.

6.5/10

Review copy provided by Arachnid Games
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