Green Phoenix | Nintendo Switch Review
Updated: Nov 19
Developed by Broken Simulation and published by Zerouno Games, Green Phoenix is an on-rails 3D space shooter mixed with a narrative experience which explores the concept of ego and the meaning of freedom. You take control of the spaceship Green Phoenix’s AI as it remembers its dead pilot Dana and you set out to exact revenge on the SCyMo corporation. It is available on Windows PC and Nintendo Switch from 26th August 2021. For the purposes of my review, I was playing the Nintendo Switch version.
Your aim is to get through each chapter by shooting objects as you fly through the environment to collect the mineral “Heligium” while you try to avoid various obstacles, at the same time listening to a deep narrative from the spaceship AI. Green Phoenix’s AI narrates a backstory and recalls memories while you navigate the different environments; however personally, I found it difficult to pay attention to the narrative and the storyline while flying through the environments shooting and dodging all the obstacles. I also found the volume of the narration to be lower than that of the explosions when you destroy things using your guns, which means it is tough to hear what is being said whilst using the weapons. There is no option to change volume levels in settings so I found myself having to play through a second time, only using weapons when absolutely necessary in order to grasp exactly what was going on and why I was there.
The controls are limited but they serve their purpose and do the job well. It’s a basic up, down, left, right with the stick and any of the trigger buttons to fire your only weapon. The Green Phoenix feels nice to fly around with the option to invert the X and Y axis in the settings if you are that way inclined. Due to the camera not being directly behind your spaceship, it can be difficult at the start to judge exactly where your weapon projectiles will hit but for me this is a good thing and adds something a bit different to the gameplay.
After completing the very short, slow paced Story Mode, which to me felt weak and unnecessary, you unlock the Arcade Mode. This is where the fun begins and the game really comes into its own. Facing waves of asteroids, mines, lasers and gun turrets which, as in the story mode you must destroy in order to collect Heligium, you must try to get to the top of the leaderboard. This competition really adds a much more fun and exciting aspect to the game which was lacking in the story mode.
Overall I would say that this is a decent little game but this is only down to the extra Arcade Mode which has spared its blushes. The story mode feels shoehorned into the game which serves no real purpose and in my opinion adds nothing to the experience, if anything it acts as an unnecessary hurdle to get to the real fun of the Arcade Mode. I would have liked to see some kind of upgrade or customisation available for the Green Phoenix and its weapons in order to give the Heligium collecting some kind of purpose. The game lacks any real depth and has minimal replayability factor. That being said, at its relatively low price on the Nintendo Switch, it is hard not to recommend this as a fun and addictive on-rail space shooter to take with you on the go in order to pass some time.
PaultheBrave09's Rating: 2.5 Heligium crystals out of 5.
For more information on Green Phoenix use the following links...
Broken Simulation - Developer | Twitter
Many thanks to Zerouno Games for the Review Key.