Console Saga - A good reason to find a long bus ride

Console Saga the new game by one of the most prolific developers on Playstation Mobile (PSM), Thomas Hopper. By my count Console Saga is his 10th release on PSM and also one of his most mature and polished releases to date. For those unfamiliar with PSM it's an app store for mainly Sony devices such as their phones and tablets but most importantly the Sony Vita. If you are a commuter/gamer like me and are constantly looking for the type of game that fits a good bus ride then this fits the bill perfectly.

The game is a platformer shooter with a central hub world connecting all the levels together. One of the major gameplay elements is your swinging arm attachment. If you are familiar with Bionic Commando then you will know what this is about. You can shoot your arm at an upwards 45 degree angle and it will attach to any surface it connects with allowing you to swing back and forth.

It's possible I overlooked something during a tutorial but I did not at first realize that when you fire your weapon while you have your bionic arm deployed you are pushed in the opposite direction. Figuring this out made getting around levels a bit easier. Holding down R also allows rapid fire which can help when swinging.

I'd say it took me about 4 levels to get comfortable with the arm but once I did it felt pretty natural. Since the levels have many collectibles becoming good with the arm allows you to be able to comb the undersides of platforms for various collectibles. This is important if you are a completionist.

The game looks quite nice with a few visual references the majority of gamers will easily recognize. The protagonist of the game looks very much like a legendary handheld console I remember fondly. The game is a mix of 3D and 2D elements taking place in a 2D platformer world. The 3D elements are mainly just the player and bosses while everything else is in 2D.

The music is also well done. Sound effects are good outside of one I found a bit grating (specifically the Mario-esqe Thowmp/Dossun type enemies). It's especially impressive when you realize all these different elements were all made by the same person.

There is a "glitch" visual effect in the game which sort of looks like a noise pattern made of tiles. I found this to be distracting and made the game more difficult to play. Fortunately there's a option to reduce or disable the effect. I personally found the game more enjoyable with the effect turned off.

My theory is that the effect is too constant. I think I wouldn't mind the effect if it happened in response to game events such as the player taking damage. The screenshots in this article are taken with the glitch effect turned off. The following screenshot shows the game with the effect turned on.

After progressing further through the game you gain access to a random challenge level where you can enter a word or phrase as a seed to generate a random world. Similar to minecraft. The levels I generated were quite good, I didn't run into any impossible situations so far. 

There is currently no official website for the game but if you want to play it you can purchase it by logging into the Sony Playstation store on a Sony Vita or other Playstation Mobile device. Of course I recommend the Vita because of it's excellent input scheme. Most other PSM devices involve touch screen gamepads. 

You can visit the authors website at but there is not yet a specific profile page for Console Saga.

Console Saga is easily one of my favourite PSM titles released to date.

Article by Alex M

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