December 29, 2011 4:00 PM | John Polson
Gravitational switching platformer VVVVVV began 2010 with a bang, and it looks to end 2011 in a similar fashion for 3DS owners. IndieGames has an in-depth review of Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV already, so this will focus on Nicalis' 3DS port and its options.
Most notable is the use of the two screens, with the bottom screen conveying helpful information such as missing crew, player stats, and a big map I used often. Controls feel spot on, and players can use the analog or digital pad to steer Captain Viridian. VVVVVV on the 3DS also has some considerate accessibility options, where players can toggle on or off backgrounds, screen shakes and flashes, invincibility and a slowdown mode.
The 3DS version also includes time trials, easy access to the intermission levels, a no death mode (seriously?), a flip mode, and the secret lab (which contains the bounce and avoid survival stage "Super Gravitron"). All of these play modes can be unlocked early, without paying one of those pesky DLC fees or in-app purchases that many games require.
VVVVVV also contains 18 user-created levels outside of the main quest, including vvvv 4k by Minecraft's Notch. Most levels I found too frustrating, but I particularly enjoyed Pyramid of Doom by Robson, Roadtrip to the Moon by Roger Svanlund, and Michael Brough's scenic Seasons.
SoulEye's excellent chiptune collection complements the action quite well. However, I would have thoroughly appreciated an option to mute Viridian's death cries so that I could hear the music uninterrupted.
The 3D effect in the game, even when dialed up completely, didn't really add any great sense of depth for me, but it didn't spoil my experience. VVVVVV on the 3DS is missing its level editor, though Nicalis has stated that the editor and online leaderboards could come in the future.
VVVVVV is $7.99 on the eShop. While almost half of the 2010 PC release price, 3DS players are getting all the twitchy platforming greatest that has made VVVVVV a sensation.