Matt Makes Games
we dropped MAME into an electric beater.
turned it on.
Hmm, let’s see what we’ve got here. We can see bits of
Joust, Bomb Jack lumps and perhaps even the odd
chunk of Wizard of Wor. But mostly we can see Super
Smash Bros in Castlevania clothing. How’d all that
Nintendo get in there?
TowerFall Ascension manages
to pull off the rarest of feats. It looks like a classic 1980s
arcade romp, it plays like a classic 1980s arcade romp, but it’s
actually a new thing that gleefully shouts its influences from the
The basic idea is to shoot things with arrows, or
to crush adversaries’ heads. You can raid occasional treasure chests
for power-ups, ranging from shields and wings (who needs Red Bull?)
to extra arrows. Yes, you have a limited supply. So much so that
you’ll spend heaps of time yanking them from walls where they’ve
gone all stuck so as to replenish your quiver.
In many ways
TowerFall Ascension is two games. If you’re going it solo
there’s a ‘quest’ mode whereby you’ll face all manner of
PS4-controlled greeblies, each with different assault patterns, but
all requiring an arrow to the knee (or any other part of their
anatomy) or a head crush.
The real fun comes in multiplayer
though. Two to four players get down to it locally – none of this
new-fangled online stuff - for last-pixelated-character-standing
bouts. Run and hide, go gung-ho or mix ‘n’ match. There’s much to
consider when trying to avoid deathliness – not least of all that
aforementioned arrow ration. Still, you can pinch those of your
TowerFall Ascension is hardly a
showpiece for the PS4’s power, but if you dig frenzied local
multiplayer joy with your mates then it may never be beaten.