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Right here Comes Niko! – Destructoid

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I might definitely do with extra Good-looking Frog

Right here Comes Niko! made me query why I play video games. That’s not a knock towards it, both. It payments itself as a laid-back platformer; a “sport for drained individuals.” I’m drained just about consistently, however I actually don’t know what it means by that.

The idea is evident, nonetheless. Right here Comes Niko! is a platformer the place you simply soak it in. You do the identical factor you do in any platformer — accumulate stuff, discuss to individuals, accumulate extra stuff — however there’s no actual threat of failure. You possibly can bounce, swim, leap from excessive locations and survive; simply do your factor.

For those who’re like me, you may’t assist however ask, “What’s the purpose?” What’s the purpose of any sport? The purpose is within the description: it’s only for enjoyable. A platformer to calm down with. I’m undecided I can try this, however I’m keen to attempt.

Here Comes Niko! Adorable

Right here Comes Niko! (PC)
Developer: Frog Vibes
Writer: Gears for Breakfast
Launched: August 3, 2021
MSRP: $24.99

The plot of the sport entails Niko, who simply moved away from dwelling as a consequence of some household points. They’re trying to land a job as a “skilled good friend,” and must go a sequence of challenges earlier than their software shall be accepted. Type of.

The precise level of the sport is to make individuals completely satisfied in order that they’ll provide you with tokens for the prepare. Not likely for the prepare, however to maneuver issues out of the best way of the prepare. Which is completed via tokens. I’m getting off message right here.

I’d name it a joy-maker, nevertheless it’s actually extra akin to Banjo-Kazooie. Individuals have repeating issues from stage to stage, and it’s important to assist them with issues like planting flowers and catching fish. I by no means actually felt a reference to any of them as a result of their issues are so video game-y. Nicely, I suppose I join with the individuals you commerce cassette tapes to, however that’s solely as a result of they’re so cute!

Here Comes Niko! Cargo Container

The artwork model usually is lovable. Simply my favourite a part of the sport. Nearly everybody you work together with is a few type of critter, which is sweet as a result of people suck. Their designs are vibrant and distinct. The whole lot has a cheerful, poppy model to it. It fits the sport properly, serving to carry out its relaxed demeanor.

The world design is a bit much less thrilling. You hop alongside a set of islands, every with its personal theme. The primary few appear like they may have been cobbled collectively via borrowed property, although the later ones, particularly the towering Japanese onsen, are somewhat extra pleasant. General, it’s nothing offensive, the environments simply don’t pop practically in addition to the characters.

All of the characters, your self included, are utterly 2D towards the 3D backdrops. This works higher than you’d anticipate, however nonetheless causes extra issues with regards to depth notion. A picture in your display screen could make it troublesome sufficient to discern distance, however when the characters are all flat, it turns into close to unattainable. Largely, the sport is forgiving sufficient that isn’t a difficulty, however on among the volleyball mini-games, it may be extraordinarily irritating as you attempt to place Niko underneath the ball.

Here Comes Niko! Virtual Pet

The most important issues I bumped into got here down to shine. Much like the theme of the sport, a whole lot of issues appear lackadaisical in Right here Comes Niko!’s design. A few of the challenges could be bypassed by the sport’s motion system. Others require you to benefit from its eccentricities to achieve greater areas. The environments themselves have some oddities and may really feel a bit thrown collectively.

Tokens are collected to advance — the first MacGuffin — however on some ranges, I might seize greater than the signboard that tracks your progress mentioned I might. It will definitely evened out as extra quests grew to become out there, however on the finish of the sport, I nonetheless had 9/10 cassette on one stage and 11/10 on the opposite. Not the tip of the world, however somewhat awkward.

There’s additionally a digital pet that you would be able to carry up by sitting on a bench that… complains. It’s cute, however there’s no actual threat of it dying and it doesn’t tie into the primary sport, so it feels somewhat fluffy. I suppose it helps with the laid-back aesthetic, however the very last thing I need once I’m attempting to calm down is one thing reminding me of my tasks. You possibly can ignore it, nonetheless, which I finally did.

I bumped into additional bugs all through my playthrough. The sport’s developer, Frog Vibes, appears to be laborious at work squashing any remaining glitches for launch, however I hit fairly various them within the pre-release construct. I don’t suppose any of them are so dangerous that they will’t be addressed, however together with quirks in its aesthetic and gameplay, it provides Right here Comes Niko! a reasonably tough feeling.

Volleyball

I get that the event mindset was to create a sport that wasn’t imagined to be taken significantly, however that begins to really feel like an excuse. There’s a subplot to the sport the place Niko offers with the fallout of working away from their household, nevertheless it’s all taste and no substance. Niko’s beginning their new life on their very own and what’s previous is previous. It by no means creeps into the continuing narrative and appears to have little objective. It definitely doesn’t get resolved, so whereas it may be relatable, its inclusion appears nearly prefer it’s attempting to seem deeper than it’s.

Likewise, the dialogue is fairly flat. It’s quirky in that casually irreverent type of method, nevertheless it doesn’t get put to a lot use. Not one of the characters are terribly properly developed in a method that makes you need to get to know them higher. They don’t quantity to a lot. Some introduce their backstory as you play their quests, however they, too, ring hole. You possibly can introduce same-sex {couples} all you need, however they’re not very impactful once they’re simply random individuals asking for summary favors. Worse but, they’re often the identical favors time and again.

Caffeine

I’m possibly doing precisely what Right here Comes Niko! tries to guard itself from and taking the sport too significantly, however should you put a sport on my post-mortem desk, I’m going to dig in with each arms and pull it aside. What I discovered didn’t precisely horrify me, however didn’t impress me, both. It’s 5 to seven hours of “yeah, positive, no matter.”

Actually, I really feel like a curmudgeon. Possibly I simply hate enjoyable.

However what about you? Do you’re feeling like you may do with some positivity? A sport that challenges however by no means judges? A story that doesn’t put the burden of the world in your shoulders? One thing that doesn’t ship bosses that hate you for no motive? Then Right here Comes Niko! is likely to be an excellent match. However look previous the brilliant soundtrack and wonderful character artwork and also you would possibly discover that there’s no chocolate heart.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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