Dark Void Zero started out as an April Fools prank by Capcom. A trailer was released that showed an NES era style Metroid action platformer. However, Capcom decided to actually make it into a game available for download from the eShop on the 3DS or DSi. I recently downloaded this game, which is now almost two years old. For $4.99 this game is definitely worth my money.
The plot behind this game is very forgettable, but these types of games don’t require too much story since it’s all about the action. Basically you are fighting an alien race in a post apocalyptic universe. Your goal is to destroy portal X and defend Earth. Immediately after the opening cinematic you are put right into the action. You start the game with a simple machine gun. Later on in the game you can obtain a multitude of different weapons including a laser cannon or a rocket launcher. Your guy, named “Rusty”, can also obtain a jetpack that allows you to fly through the level. However in certain areas you will lose your jetpack. In those cases you will have to rely on your platforming skills to navigate the treacherous halls that lie ahead.
The game has a couple objectives for you to complete as you traverse each level. Your primary goal is to find key cards to locate and defeat the boss at the end of the level. There are also secondary objectives for each level. For example, level one has you searching for five journals that reveal critical information on how to defeat the alien enemies. Another objective is to collect all 100 yellow orbs in each level. By defeating enemies and completing these objectives you can rack up a high score that will be saved onto your SD card.
The controls are pretty good. Rusty is able to shoot in multiple directions and is easy to control when jumping and flying around. The levels themselves are very cleaver and the enemies become increasingly difficult to defeat as the game goes on. There seems to be a fairly good variety of enemies to defeat, however I do think they could have expanded a little more. The levels themselves are not the most pleasing to look at as they are NES styled, which in some sense gives it a more sci-fi feel.
The game is pretty difficult, even on the medium difficulty. The enemies become stronger as you progress, however not to the point of becoming too overwhelming. The game does not take very long to beat, as it only took me a couple hours to go through it. If you are looking for a quick action packed game reminiscent of the old NES days, then this is a safe bet. Even though the game is short, there is a lot of fun to be had with this new-classic!