The Good, The Bad, and the Free 02: Switch Galaxy Ultra

Welcome to part two of my relatively new series, 'The Good, the Bad, and the Free.' Everything about this new series will be explained in the FAQ section. So, let's get right into part two.

Obtained from: PS Plus. Asking price: PS4=$12, Steam=$10

Obtained from: PS Plus. Asking price: PS4=$12, Steam=$10

Switch Galaxy Ultra is an arcade space game that has you in a ship going from city-to-city dodging various obstacles on rails as you try to deliver as much of this material called Tantalum as you can. The story involves you playing as a rough yet charming pilot named Vince as he goes across the galaxy picking up Tantalum for the queen of Dakur Technologies named Bessie. The gameplay has you on one of multiple rails lined up next to each other dodging various obstacles and picking up Tantalum while trying to reach the next city with the fastest time possible and the most amount of Tantalum possible. The game also offers an endless mode and a multiplayer mode, though I cannot speak about the multiplayer aspects because there weren't any descriptions of the modes or anyone playing them.


The Good

I actually don't really have anything. Well, that's not entirely true. I wanted to talk about the story and the way it is presented under the Free part of this, but other than the story I don't really have anything positive to say. I like that you can upgrade your ship, that you can buy barrier passes at the beginning of the game to bypass certain obstacles you accidentally hit, and that the developers sold a DLC pack where the profits went to charity. That's about it.So, to fill this part up a bit more, I'll say positive things about the game that are (or at least should be) things that are in every game. The game wasn't glitchy, had decent controls, ran smoothly, and a decent amount of gameplay (which ultimately hurt me because that meant spending more time with this game). I guess one thing I can say that is pretty cool is when you are riding on the track and its twisting as you get towards the end, watching the city twist and turn is neat. 

If you read my description above and thought the game sounds boring, then you would be correct. The game is about as repetitive and dull as its description entails.


The Bad

The game doesn't pack a lot of good aspects to the game, but man does it have a fair deal of bad. The biggest issue I had with the game was the gameplay. Ultimately, its gameplay seems like it should be a rhythm game or an endless mobile runner, but its neither of those things. The only new things the game throws at you over the course of the game are different types of obstacles, and every single level plays out the same. The only new gameplay mechanic I can think of that they throw at you that isn't an obstacle is a ramp, which then throws you into a dumb balancing mini game. I didn't want to do that, so it wasn't long until the ramp became yet another obstacle. There are no unique levels they throw at you occasionally or anything like that; you are doing the same exact thing every single time. The best part (or rather the worst part) is how each level is structured and how some of it doesn't even matter. 

Is this gameplay ten minutes in or five hours in? In this game, it doesn't really matter because the gameplay never evolves past this.

Is this gameplay ten minutes in or five hours in? In this game, it doesn't really matter because the gameplay never evolves past this.

Every level is structured like this: You start on the rails dodging various obstacles (this is about 50% of the level), followed by a small part where you are off the rails in a small circular area picking up the Tantalum (about 15% of the level), then finishing off back on the rails until you finish (35%). Every, single, level is that. But it gets better. To progress to the next level, you need a certain amount of Tantalum. In the game, you can't die, but if you hit obstacles then you will lose Tantalum. But you only get Tantalum halfway through the level. So that means if you're goal is to just progress through the game, then you don't even need to worry about the first part of the level. You can't die, and you can't lose Tantalum because you haven't picked any up yet. So at times I would literally put down the controller and look at my Twitter feed while 'playing' through the first part. The only two reasons why to even try on the first part are to get through the level faster to get through the game faster (which I did) and to try to get under the time barrier which gets you some chump change and a gold completion strip instead of a green one. 

Some of the other issues include bad voice acting (something I felt they could've completely avoided by not doing voice acting in the first place), bad music that sounds like rejected space music for children's movies, super easy gameplay (remember when I said you can't fail?), gameplay so dull it made even the fastest and craziest moments feel boring, and the game not charging me for buying new ships. One last thing I want to talk about is this certain obstacle that involves a ship shooting you and reversing your controls while slowing you down. While I don't have an issue with the obstacle itself, I had too many experiences where those ships would line up on all of the rails and shoot at the same time, making the obstacle impossible to dodge. No matter how fast you are going, that ship will slow you down to a crawl, and the fact that sometimes they are impossible to dodge was infuriating. Overall, I would say that the game is weak and offers gameplay that needs something extra and is incredibly repetitive and dull.


The Free

For this segment I decided to focus on the story, which is hard because that is the best part of the game which left me very little to talk about in the Good segment. The best part of the story (and the whole game) is that the story is presented in a cool comic style. Also, I thought there was a bit of a chemistry between the Queen and Vince as for every comic you get involves them talking while Vince is somewhere new. The comics are dished out to you throughout the game. But kind of like Tuco in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the story elements also has bad elements to it. Every comic besides the first one and the last one are useless to the story. These middle comics boil down to Vince stopping on a planet and having an experience that doesn't play to the overall story. Also, I feel that a lot of the story elements felt copied from other stories. The character you play feels like a Han Solo type, there is a planet that you visit where you are large and they are small and you accidentally squish a dude but the dude was a tyrannical dictator so now you are a God to those people (Gulliver's Travel, Men in Black 2), and more. They just feel like recycled elements from other stories. Finally, I thought the story didn't end well. Upcoming spoilers (though does it really matter when the story is this basic?): you reach the planet with the queen, and you find that the two are good friends. You find out that someone much more sinister is really calling the shots and wanted the Tantalum for a nefarious reason. But without addressing that or anything really, the story ends with you taking the Queen to another planet. In the end, even the best part of the game is full of flaws.

What the hell kind of casino game is this?!

What the hell kind of casino game is this?!

Switch Galaxy Ultra is a game you should avoid. all the game offers is dull, repetitive gameplay and a basic story of recycled elements. It's not that I hate its style of gameplay, it's that it doesn't offer anything else to that gameplay. With all things considered, I believe that this game isn't even worth playing for free. 

That about wraps it up. Thank you for reading and tune in for part three whenever that happens.