The Nintendo Switch may not have been around quite as long as the mighty PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it hasn’t taken long for the little handheld powerhouse to catch up in terms of quality with many games covering all genres, shapes and sizes. That said though, it does also house some of the more unique titles when compared to its opponents, and if one of the latest titles to join the Nintendo line-up is anything to go by, that doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon – Welcome, Leopoldo Manquiseil.
If I were to mention super hero games, chances are that besides last year’s Spiderman, and the beloved Batman Arkham series, there would be very few that you could think of that have ever done a good job of mastering the whole super hero malarkey.
Upon booting up Leopoldo Manquiseil, that was the first thought that crossed my mind as the message ‘A new Super Hero is coming’ lit up the screen. With hope in my heart that super hero games could finally be great, I jumped into the world of Leopoldo Manquiseil.
The game you can expect to be getting stuck into here is a 2D platformer, and your role is to step into the shoes of David, or at the least Leopoldo Manquiseil, his alias, and the very super hero he must become overnight.
The story here is a unique one to say the least. It tells the tale of how the videogame industry is in danger thanks to a dishonest organisation by the name of A.M.E, as they set out to monopolize the industry and control the minds of the very players who enjoy the delightful gaming experiences. Developers and distributors are being left with little option, jump onto the bandwagon of A.M.E, or face destruction under the feet of their corporation.
With creative freedom having all but disappeared, the last remaining independent studios have banded together to bring one last push of resistance.
This is where our hero David steps in. After living the stress of his daily life at BadLand games, he goes home to bed and suffers what we hear is an accident, only to wake feeling vastly different, vastly stronger. He feels like a hero, and thus comes the transformation to Leopoldo Manquiseil. Please, stick with me here guys.
As he leaves his home to head back to the office to help in the development of six games that are still yet to be finished, David notices that his home city of Madrid no longer resembles what he once knew. Instead, the darkened city streets – or platforms in this case – are now full of death inducing traps that he must avoid in order to get to work.
I told you it was unique!
Whilst the story is certainly rather specific, the gameplay on offer is vastly similar to that of which we’ve seen in many, many platformers before it. Players have just a few things to be worrying about control wise, with jump, dash, and shoot the key actions, whilst wall climbing also comes into play.
There are 24 levels to play through, each of which are split into three groups of 8, with each group resembling your typical world, with a boss fight the culminating factor of each, and multiple characters stepping in along the way to voice their side to the argument being covered in the overarching story.
Now as far as the actual gameplay goes, Leopoldo Manquiseil is exactly what you’d expect to find if you mixed Super Meat Boy and Mario together. Each level has a collection of gold coins to collect, as well as three harder to reach collectibles in the form of a Star, a Heart and a Clover – so far so Mario. On the other side of things though, each level is tracked with a time showing in almost identical fashion to the aforementioned Super Meat Boy, whilst the traps that are littered throughout are also highly reminiscent of everyone’s favourite brutal platformer.
Sadly though, as epic as a Mario/Super Meat Boy mashup sounds, Leopoldo Manquiseil only really achieves the basics with the game mechanics throwing few surprises into the overall experience. Sure, it’s got multiple levels of increasing difficulty, it has a timer to pave the way for speed runners, it has a story that somewhat links it all together in some strange way, and the movement and controls certainly feel fluid enough to achieve a successful route through the many traps and hazards that populate each level. But it’s hardly original in terms of gameplay, and with so many platformers on the market to choose from, this isn’t something that’s going to live long in the memory given the gameplay style it’s going for has already been mastered elsewhere before.
Another notable issue with the game is that technically, it’s not the best you’ll find in the platform genre, with sound issues on show throughout and the game often forcing a lag-like slowdown on occasions, particularly when fighting the boss characters. It’s not something that persists for too long, but it’s more than enough to get the player unfairly killed and noticeably affects not just the performance, but in turn the overall enjoyment you can get out of it. This makes Leopoldo Manquiseil on Nintendo Switch feel like nothing more than a minimalist effort to cash in on previously established gameplay tropes.
Release date: December 2018
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)
Massive thanks to: BadLand Publishing