Giga Girl creator Invisible Tile describes the game on it's Steam page as a “retro run 'n gun platformer heavily influenced by, and paying homage to, the original NES Mega Man games.” So obviously, comparisons to the recent flop that was Mighty No. 9 are going to be made, even if these two games took their homages into wildly different directions. You see, like Mighty No. 9, Giga Girl was made by someone who loves the original Mega Man series and feels the world needs more games like it, however instead of trying to update the look and style of Mega Man, Giga Girl tries to completely emulate the original...whether or not that is a good thing depends on your definitions of homage and rip-off.
Invisible Tile makes no secret that Giga Girl started off as a Mega Man 2 remake and it shows in the way Giga Girl beams into a level, explodes when she dies, and has life and power meters that refill from big and small power-ups. Invisible Tile differetiantes these obvios nods to Mega just enough not to get sued, but probably not enough for fans of the Blue Bomber to hold back their screams of knock-off! Honestly, a cheap Chinese knock-off is exactly what Giga Girl feels and looks like, in fact Iwould expect to find it on one of theose 150 Games in 1 Plug and Play machines they sell at the little kiosk in the mall.
With the Mega Man knock-off issue addressed, let's get into the meat of Giga Girl's problems. First and foremost Giga Girl looks more like a 8 bit game then the 16 bit one it touts itself on it's Steam page description. Actually, 8-bit might be too generous, as Giga Girl herself looks more like clip art than a pixelated heroine. The second problem Giga Girl faces is its lack of story. Well, to be fair there is a story, told during the skippable and easily missable intro. Even if you don't accidently skip the intro the story is your basic robots revolt story with little to no intrigue. The art and story can easily be overlooked, however the lack of customizable controls is a huge problem if you're not using a game pad, which really is the only way Giga Girl is halfway playable. The last gripe I have with the game is the lack of names for the bosses and stages. Me and my daughter just called them Green Guy, Blue Guy, Yellow Guy, Vacuum Face, and Fireball. Actual names would have been nice, but probably wouldn't have got the giggles from my Eleven year old like our names did.
So, with three paragraphs like those you would expect me to end this review by telling you to avoid Giga Girl, but you'd be dead wrong. Sure, it's a pretty much a Mega Man rip-off, but Mega Man was a great game so by ripping it off Giga Girl starts off on great footing. Once you get past the flaws of Giga Girl, which really are just minor complaints in the grand scheme, you'll find a challenging, fun, retro style game. My daughter and I had loads of fun dieing and replaying the levels over and over again, trying to get the patterns and jump timing just right. The music, although not written by Invisible Tile AKA Markus Latvala but rather by Jukka-Pekka "the Machinist" Lyytinen, is fantastic and never gets annoying no matter how many times you are forced to replay a level. Giga Girl may not be original, it may not be pretty, but for $2.99 it is one hell of a deal that any fan of retro style gaming would be glad to have in the game collection. I can not recommend it enough and look forward to spending more time with my daughter playing it and trying to unlock all of the secrets.As always. feel free to comment, like, share, tweet, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.
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