Slave Zero was an old 3rd person action game from the Dreamcast era.

Having never owned a Dreamcast, I had never heard of this series. So I figured what better way to check it out than the new retro style 2D side scrolling prequel that just dropped on the Switch.

Shou is a warrior who belongs as part of a resistance group in a dystopian world held under the control of one big baddie.  Shou manages to get his hands on a prototype slave unit which is a suit. He pops it on and fuses with the suit and goes to help fight the baddies controlling the city. There is heaps of dialogue presented on the screen with some decent voice acting underpinning it.

Slave Zero X

When it comes to gameplay Slave Zero X is a 2.5D hack n slash that is shockingly complex.

The combat relies on you learning a lot of combos, and if you don’t learn them and resort to button mashing you can expect to get your ass kicked. In that way it is hard in the best possible way.

When you get a rhythm going you shouldn’t have too many issues with the bulk of the game, but if you just want to hit every issue with a jump or two, then you will definitely be punished, and punished hard. There is some light platforming which  is average at best and pretty clunky.

Slave Zero X

The art style is interesting. The lines have the janky edge to them like many PS1 era games did and that makes it uniquely feel like a game made back then. The backgrounds are nicely detailed but again, with that dirty PS1 era jankiness, that makes it both beautifully charming, and jarring at the same time.

This is all on the backdrop of an excellent soundtrack.  It feels like an amazing techno 80’s movie soundtrack.

Slave Zero X is a solid game, and a pretty awesome achievement for an indie team. It really feels like a game from 30 years ago in the best possible ways, and sometimes in the worst.

If you want some solid hacking and slashing and want a nice slice of nostalgia in a unique new game, then this is for you.

Slave Zero X
Slave Zero X (Switch) Review
Game details

Released: June 2024
Rating: M15+
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Poppy Works
Publisher: Ziggurat

Gameplay
Graphics
Audio
Replayability
Reader Rating1 Vote
3.5
Final verdict
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