When I started playing Fractured Soul, I started playing the wrong way. I took my time, analyzing puzzles and enemy placement to see what the best path is to take.
However, this isnít a game to leisurely walk through. Fractured Soul wants you to be quick for the best scores, and may challenge your patience in the process.
For those that donít know, the biggest draw to the game is its use of the twin screens. Your character will be solid on one of the screens, while the other screen will show a shadow of your character that doesnít exist in that dimension.
This is where the puzzle aspect of the game comes into play. As you progress through levels, youíll notice that there are plenty of traps waiting for you. Force fields can result in instant death on one screen, yet not be there at all on the other screen. Enemies can rain bullets at you or have a shield on your top screen, but a vulnerable weakness may easily be exploitable below. Youíll also start noticing that a platform or ladder may be available on one screen, but another one may need to be jumped to on the other.
In the beginning, youíll want to see each challenge the game throws at you and figure out what will work best. However, the game wants you to make changing dimensions as natural as platforming or shooting enemies. Fractured Soul wants quick decisions and rewards you with more stars for doing so.
However, you wonít be able to get the max amount of stars with just quick time, though. The game also features a number of hidden objects in a level that you have to collect to get five stars. If you miss some objects, though, donít worry, you can always replay a level and try to find them again.
As you progress through the different worlds, youíll start finding that challenges get ramped up fairly quickly. What used to be an enemy that just shot bullets now can reflect your own fire on a screen. Plus, the platforming can become pretty tricky in some areas as well. While you donít have to worry about lives, you will want to just restart levels to try and get the quickest times possible.
Sprinkled throughout the game is also some shmup levels as well that still use the two dimension style to avoid enemies and find the easiest path. Fortunately, the levels donít feel just thrown in there. Theyíre actually a great change of pace for the game and some of my favorite levels to play.
The worlds also change as you go through them. Worlds can put you underwater, in lava worlds, and can even shift the gravity on you, meaning youíll have to be on your toes to really understand whatís going on. Itís these changes that help the game from feeling like itís becoming stale as you go through the levels.
For replay value, Fractured Soul includes something that many 3DS games donít: a leaderboard. In a game all about getting a high score and the best time, this would seem like an obvious addition, but with handheld titles itís not always added in.
Graphically, the game features quite a few polygon styles in the background and sharp edges. They seem to fit the futuristic style of the game nicely, though, and build the background nicely
Shmup levels are good break in game.
Dimension gameplay is fun.
Different worlds add variety to game.
If you donít care about leaderboards, you wonít find much replay here.
Some platforming areas can get annoying.
Need near perfect runs to get all stars.
Overall, Fractured Soul has some interesting mechanics and elements, but youíll lose interest after beating it unless youíll big into the leaderboards. Still, for $12, thereís a good amount of fun to be had here. If youíre looking for something to play on your handheld, why not check it out.
The graphics are nothing amazing, but they fit the style of the game well.
The dimension shifting ability and platforming works well, and shmup levels are entertaining.
The techno music is alright, but nothing memorable.
There are 20 levels to go through, but not much to do afterwards unless youíre interested in the leaderboards.
I enjoyed most of my time in the game. However, some areas can get frustrating quick.