riostarwind's Iconoclasts (PlayStation 4) review

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The story of the little robin that could anything with a wrench was captivating from the start to the conclusion

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With all the 2D Metroidvanias it takes a lot to stand out these days. I certainly wouldn't have played this one without the fact it was on PS Plus. While this game relies on some concepts from this genre it takes the main focus off of fast paced action and makes it more about puzzles.Which certainly makes it stand out more and kept me wanting to come back for more especially since the story is quite uh crazy?

This game never lets up on the drama. Our heroes have to work for a good ending.
This game never lets up on the drama. Our heroes have to work for a good ending.

It stars a mostly silent protagonist named Robin who only cares about one thing. Helping just about anyone that comes within 10 feet of her. No matter if they are vaguely evil or a rebellious pirate. Normally that wouldn’t be a bad thing but she lives in a time where everyone is ruled over by a figure named Mother. If you even slightly do anything of value other than farming then it is considered heresy and her cyborg agents get sent in. This starts the ball rolling and soon Robin is confronting aspects of the world she didn’t know existed.

My synopsis of what is going on the game is correct but this game really throws a lot of ideas at you in between boss battles. It tries to do so much with what is going on that it can be rather overwhelming and nonsensical sometimes. Feels rather Metal Gearish with the plot it is trying to get across. Just thought I would mention that since not everyone likes that style of storytelling.

Being able to side along a rail is used for some puzzles and a bit of fast travel as the game goes on.
Being able to side along a rail is used for some puzzles and a bit of fast travel as the game goes on.

The gist of what Robin gets to do in the game remains constant throughout. Her trusty wrench can be used as a blunt object and with a quick spin it can parry certain attacks. It can also be used to gain some height via a bolt jump. Almost every section of the game is set up in a way to teach you how to deal with enemies using the new thing you got. New weapons are the main upgrade that changes the type of puzzle that shows up next.

For example once Robin obtains the bomb gun platforms that could only be pushed by a explosive will require some creative thinking as the game goes on. The way each boss is set up in a way to use each new weapon well was fun. Since it was a good check to see if I got used to using them. Also while Robin is the primary character you do get to use some other characters like the shotgun wielding Mina a few times too. Breaks up the gameplay during some pivotal moments and so you don’t get tired of using a similar playstyle the entire way through the game.

Almost all the bosses present a unique new challenge that must be overcome.
Almost all the bosses present a unique new challenge that must be overcome.

Yet the main flaw in this game is the collectible stuff. It is used to craft updates yet only 3 can be equipped at a time. With very little variation leading me to use the similar load throughout my playthrough. Being able to dodge roll, take a extra hit and spin the wrench longer just seemed to useful to give up for something else. Especially when it’s mostly the same stuff like having 3 extra hit points. So while solving some of the trickier puzzles to find a hidden treasure is fun to do the thing inside is really pointless. It gives me zero reason to go back and collect em all since the reward isn’t worth it. Some hidden bosses are worth seeking out for the challenge.

This entire package was much more compelling knowing very little about this game before going into it. Whether it was presenting a cool boss battle or some silly philosophical debate it fires on all cylinders even if it comes off a little stilled plot wise. Gameplay holds up the entire time thanks to all different types of puzzles encountered with some timing based boss battles scattered throughout it as well. If any of this sounds like a game you might like then I suggest checking this one out.

Other reviews for Iconoclasts (PlayStation 4)

    A fine and charming little game, in a big genre 0

    Iconoclasts is a 16-bit 2D Action-Platformer, focused on puzzle and exploration. It has a really cool look to it, very charming, having a lot of dialogue, with some character to its design. The game has a Metroid-like map for you to go around and explore, in a futuristic setting, where you are placed in the shoes of Robin, a young girl who is a mechanic, and lives in a alien world where the authorities despise that line of work. The story is actually pretty deep, but it loses itself on how deep ...

    6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

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