Hyperparasite Review for Nintendo Switch

Hyperparasite review

The crazy idea behind Hyperparasite looks like a sure recipe for success that will make it a benchmark for future roguelikes. However, several elements of Troglobytes Games’ production stand in the way of this ambitious goal, preventing it from climbing to the very top of the represented genre. Want to know more? Read my review of Hyperparasite for Nintendo Switch.

We will try to conquer the world!

An arcade-style roguelike with a top-down view in which you can take control of dozens of characters inspired by video games, movies or comics. This is how Hyperparasite can be defined in a nutshell to a person who has never heard of it before. This, of course, will be a very simplified description that omits many important aspects of the game.

The plot premise sounds interesting, as we take control of an intelligent parasite from outer space, which has the ability to take over people’s bodies. Its goal is to reach the President of the United States, take control of him and trigger a war that will end all civilization. So, aware of the threat, the country’s leader declares a state of emergency and allows every citizen to stand up to fight. Thousands take to the streets to hunt down the invader.

Thus, the tempting prospect of possessing a whole range of personalities with different traits, skills and weaponry opens up to players. This is one of the greatest strengths and distinctions of Hyperparasite, because the authors did not hold back their imagination, and more than once showed off their humor.

So at first our parasite can continue his journey towards the White House in the body of a homeless man fighting with a shopping cart, a policewoman with a revolver, a basketball player or a fireman with an axe. With time and progress, it encounters much more interesting and powerful “hosts” on the way, many of them clearly inspired by such characters from the world of film and games like werewolf, John McClane from Die Hard series, Raiden from Mortal Kombat or Rocky Balboa. The plethora of characters, each with different attacks and special abilities, keeps the gameplay fresh, and gives the player a lot of freedom in shaping the ideal way to go through the areas in the following acts.

Hyperparasite Review Nintendo Switch

Strategic element

Adequate body management is key, as the parasite itself can drop dead from the first hit it receives, unless you add a few lives as part of the upgrades you can find on the levels. These are divided into three types. One increases the aforementioned alien creature’s lifespan, allowing it to save its skin when it earns an accidental blow while jumping between human hosts. The other two affect the attack capabilities and defensive qualities of the possessed bodies and the alien itself. This adds another layer of pleasing complexity to the game, allowing you to create different strategies.

And planning your steps is essential, as Hyperparasite does not forgive mistakes and sets the difficulty bar really high. The title is designed in such a way that successive repetitions are here just a normal thing. To keep player entertained with new tries, developers build the complexed mechanics of collecting new hosts for our adventure. Every newly discovered body to snatch needs to be acquired in the form of brain that is randomly droped by supered version of that enemy. Next our parasite needs to adapt to it and buy-out the body key from fellow alien in a shop that is also our main base during the campaign. All of that is supposed to invite gamers for another re-runs, tempting with more advanced and stronger hosts to collect. Sounds fun, but it has one major flaw. It’s just…

Hyperparasite Switch

Too much grind

The requirement to grind and laboriously collect resources is a tad too tiring in Hyperparasite, and the sense of progression is just too slow. The high level of difficulty, which is especially felt during clashes with bosses, means numerous replays, and these quickly become tedious as we start to get further during our subsequent attempts. Mediocre graphics and a soundtrack that is annoying on prolonged contact don’t help either in building the tempting experience.

After a dozen hours spent with Hyperparasite, I’m even inclined to write that it’s the first production I’ve encountered that is hidden behind a “skillwall”, where a ton of excellent content is faintly visible in the distance, and the player plods along only on a certain part of the production, unable to jump over the too highly suspended bar.

This doesn’t change the fact that Hyperparasite in smaller doses is a lot of fun. It is unique, funny, and at the same time offers a lot of excitement during the subsequent duels with the overwhelming enemy forces. At times, when you confront with bosses it even looks like bullet-hell shooters! It’s just a pity that you you can’t feel the strenght of all that weaponry on your disposal. Shotguns, grenades and axes don’t look and sound that powerful compared to many other indie shooters. More explosiveness would certainly not have hurt the game.

To complete the review, I will also add that the title works well on Nintendo Switch, without any hiccups or performance issues. Although I would advise getting a Pro Controller or other classic controler before starting to play, because Hyperparasite can cost the life of your Joy-Cons.

All in all, what we have here is an imaginative, interesting and challenging roguelike that will reward the patient and skilled gamers with a variety of characters and a multitude of options for overcoming the obstacles encountered. However, if you lacks time or skill or just doesn’t feel so inclined to repeat the same levels over and over again, you won’t discover the magic of Hyperparasite. Instead you will be dying repeatedly in the quickly boring first act and end up uninstalling the title with a sense of frustration.

Is it worth buying? If you are a fan of roguelikes with patience and time to spare.

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