Title: Null & Peta: Invasion of the Queen Bug
Release Date: January 30, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: 2D Action Platformer
I’ve never been one to shy away from projects that I don’t really have a background on and the Tokyotoon-developed 2D action game Null & Peta: Invasion of the Queen Bug definitely falls into that category. After experiencing the game and introducing myself to the anime series that it’s based on, I can easily say that the anime is good, but the game, not so much.
Null & Peta: Invasion of the Queen Bug doesn’t take too much time setting up the story as Null ends up needing help with a program that she wrote and sends Peta into the virtual space to do it. Evidently, that’s pretty much all you need to start an adventure because before you know you it you’re in a 2D world fighting cyber enemies. The story itself is delivered in small bits and never really leaves a lasting impression. The more memorable moments are the secret CG scenes found within the level that you’re exploring, which have nothing to do with the actual main story and are more just comical moments between the characters.
Let me get one thing out of the way; there are a few issues with the programming the English text into this game as it doesn’t fit in the boxes. This happens during every story scene, and it’s incredible to me that the game even released in this state. There are event times when part of the text runs off the screen, so you miss a couple of words. If the developers plan to patch the game, I will start here.
The gameplay is of your basic 2D action variety. Players have access to a variety of weapons that seem only to be cosmetic since they all deal with the same amount of damage. The only difference that I found between them is that some are slower than others. Over time you’ll find upgraded versions of the weapons, but whether or not they do extra damage is beyond me. The more exciting elements of the game are the items that can be found, which allow you to do a thing like push boxes and walk on fire. However, just having these items isn’t enough; players need to equip them from the menu screen each time they want to switch.
Enemies in the game are soulless cyber goons who roam the levels and attack at your position. I did appreciate the variety of enemies offered. Still, sometimes the difficulty of the game increased just because they decided to put ten enemies on one screen who are all firing projectiles at you. While the game isn’t too hard, there are some moments where any skills you’ve gained will come into play if you plan on getting through the level alive.
Each stage ends with a boss battle that is only accessible after you’ve found specific items hidden in the level. Most of these bosses can be cheesed through by attacking, and you’ll probably never die while playing them. This ends up being a good thing because dodging or merely trying to avoid situations is met with a slow-moving Peta who moves at one speed.
Level design is themed, but each level is pretty much the same. However, some stages have you run through a maze-like area looking for the boss items while others are more straight forward. The worst thing that can happen is if you make it to the boss door without finding all the items, which means you have to go back and look for them. The character animations themselves appear very stiff. While some attack animations are cute given that this little anime girl is wielding a Gatling gun, there’s nothing here that will impress anyone.
The best part about this game is CGs that you can find around the map. They are adorable and well-illustrated featuring the character designer and voice actors from the anime. However, if you aren’t already a fan of the series, I doubt this will be enough to hold you over.
Before you know it, Null & Peta: Invasion of the Queen Bug will roll its ending credits, and your time with the game will be over. Now, you’ll have a moment to look over the CGs you unlocked, and you’ll never open the game again. This game pretty much does the bare minimum of what a 2D action game should do, and even then, they couldn’t get the text to fit inside the boxes. I adore these characters and their adventure, but there is just too much lacking in this zany adventure for me to recommend it.
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