Fractured Soul Review

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Developer(s) By: Endgame Studios
Publisher(s) By: Endgame Studios
Rated: “E10″ for Everyone 10+
Price: $11.99
Release Date: September 13, 2012
Platform(s): 3DS (e-Shop)[/show_hide]

For almost 8 years, Fractured Soul has been and gone through development hell. Previously slated to release retail, it was nonetheless cancelled, resurrected, but demoted from retail to the e-shop where it was now self-published by Endgame Studios. The game received high appraisal of criticism from gamers who took the game as something entirely different and an obvious candidate for the dual screen handheld, the 3DS. In the end though, Endgame Studios succeeded in bringing a fun, “on the go”, arcade game with elements from games since our past generations. Fractured Soul will bring nostalgia on the handheld device taking you back to the days of a child, playing a video game because it’s fun and not because it’s hyped or glamorous in visuals.

Fractured Soul brings homage to old-school platforming by taking on the same simple mechanics of a side scrolling game. Extraordinarily, this side scroller has gamers play across both screens, at the same time! The premise of the game, which isn’t really told well or at times at all in the game, is that you play as a spaceman stranded in space and who has no recollection of who he or she is. All that you can remember is how to use your ability to shift between two parallel dimensions. With that, you must escape the base in both dimensions from the danger that resides in well, both dimensions. The overall premise of the game is fun and obviously different. It offers something for those who enjoy the old school-side scrolling games while also giving a fresh new twist by utilizing both screens on the 3DS. With over 5 different zones and up to 30 levels, Fractured Soul offers a lot in variety when it comes to level designs.

Even though primarily, you’ll fight the same enemies and shoot the same weapon, the game does offer variety within its levels. You’ll be taken underwater, in the snow, through extreme heat, and battle in inverse gravity. For example, you’ll find yourself in an underwater level and have to utilize the fact that the air pressure is different meaning you jump higher but fall at a slower speed. Other neat features to certain levels are those that will have you running quickly through a level as a laser wall comes towards your character, or the level where you’re character has to go at a required pace to follow a single platform as it moves through the entire level. Things really change when your required to maneuver a spaceship taking out the foes in what feels a lot like Galactica. Essentially though, Fractured is truly similar to Mega Man in combat, which is a good thing. Fractured Soul is even at times challenging with some levels. With leaderboards, The game quickly earns itself replay value for those of you who like to beat others scores.

The game does suffer some faults in its mechanics nonetheless. The lack of checkpoints really makes Fractured Soul feel repetitive after you’ve fallen to your death many times. Some levels in particular make you restart all the way in the beginning, which can get a bit frustrating. Another disappointment is the lack of enemies. They all look the same, they all take the same damage, and aside from boss battles, they all mostly make you feel bored. I would have liked to see more varieties in enemies as I progressed through the game. The one weapon option isn’t crucially bad, but I would have liked to see additional weapons in your arsenal.

Visually, Fractured is a bit on the boring side. Designs are “blocky” and similar in style. The game does allow for a broad range of colors, which is great for when looking between both screens. Fractured Soul is one of the few games that doesn’t support 3D, but at a reason. Since you’re required to rapidly look between both screens the better visuals and 3D support wouldn’t be the best solution. The game does a good job conversely of assembling what’s on the screen easily when promptly looking up and down. The sound design is also a bit on the lacking side. Although it’s take you back to the golden years, it would have been nice to see a game stuck in the past try to at least push itself a little forward into the future. The sounds and music are just bland and eventually you’ll find yourself switching to what’s on your MP3 instead of listening to what’s in the game.

Fractured Soul is a good game; it’s fun and entertaining for those of you who need something on the go. There’s no real intended story and each level varies in design to give you different courses with the same objective. You must complete a level to move on to the next. It’s a simple arcade game made specifically for the 3DS, but is it worth the $11.99, which may be a bit on the step side for those of you. Obviously, yes! Fractured Soul has its flaws, but it’s still something to check out if you haven’t already. The game itself brings joy in a small but big, in content, game.

Written by: Joseph Caballero

I've been a gamer all my life and nerd4sure is my offspring =) Yea ok that's weird...anyways post as you'd like. The site is now open to anyone who registers, which is free!

  • Jared Z

    Can’t really ask for much with a sidewards shoot-em-up. But it sure does look like Starfox and Contra had too much to drink together XD

  • Michael Martin

    I really am into old school styled games like this one… The tragic part is it’s too hard to find these gems… I’m going to get this game, thanks for the honest review, I’m sure I can live with the short comings… can’t go wrong for 12$