A Character-Swapping Puzzler
Finding herself alone in a ship void of human life, our main protagonist, Vesta, must make her way through the interior of the ship and get to her goal. That mission being tracking down MUM, a system on board the ship that has the answers she is looking for. Developed and published by FinalBoss-Games, Vesta is a 3D Puzzle Adventure that has a little nod at titles like The Legend of Zelda when it comes to clearing a room and getting to the next. No, I am not talking about finding small keys, but instead pushing blocks to make a way where before there was no way.
Vesta is not alone in her journey through this derelict ship as she is guided by a mysterious floating moniter named “Bot.” A character who knows more than he is willing to share is “Droid” who at first has been turned off, but is soon switched back on by Vesta. Droid is the other character you will take control of as you make use of its skills and Vestas’ to solve the problems in front of you. With a mechanic that makes me think of Resident Evil 0 you’ll find yourself swapping back and forth to tackle obstacles that only one on the team can.
Together, Vesta and Droid make the perfect team. Puzzles aren’t the only thing the duo have to concern themselves with as they progress through the ship; there’s a collection of hostile robots that will do anything to stop the pair. Alone, neither can put a stop to the enemies they are confronted with, but by combining their skills they can take down foes with ease and keep moving. Droid has the ability to fire shots at enemies, and hit these enemies will be stunned and from there Vesta can run up and steal their energy source and put it to better use. That’s not the only difference the pair have. Droid can push blocks, carry Vesta, throw her, and take up to three hits whereas Vesta can only take one hit, access emails to get a bit more insight into what exactly has happened, and most importantly relocate collected energy to different areas to make their way through their surroundings.
Making use of the energy collected is the promary mechanic in Vesta. All other features orbit this idea. As mentioned it can be collected from enemy robots and that is the main method, but every now and then there may be a spot of the map offering some. Only being able to store up to three charges is where the gears in your head have to start turning and deduce what order they should be used. From opening doors, moving platforms, and starting conveyor belts there are a number of applications for the energy you have collected. Combining these features with the other abilities the pair possess and after a few levels you can see the puzzles being developed and growing in complexity. Now whilst they do grow in complexity that does not mean they are particularly difficult. Vesta walks a fine line of never being too easy nor too hard. Puzzle fans could very well be dissapointed in the difficulty present, but more casual fans will still have some fun.
It’s not just puzzles and basic enemies you got to watch out for in this ship. At the end of each of the four chapters you will find yourself faced with a boss. Sadly, aesthetically all the bosses are the same robot, but each fight is different as the arena or even the abilities of the opponent are changed each time. To take them down is simple. They’ve got three energy charges, but are only susceptible to Droid’s attacks after their own. Once open for attack Droid can fire, and if accurate, Vesta can then run in and snatch the energy until all three are taken.
Visually, Vesta is a lovely looking game. Its cel shaded graphics make the environments pleasant on the eyes. However, one issue is that the environments don’t actually change all that much. As you make you way through the derelict ship things do start to change a bit, but not until the final chapter does anything greatly change. Making it hard to even remember what level you were on if you want to revisit it. As out of the 30+ levels only the last nine look consideraby different visually.
One part of Vesta that took me by surprise was the story. I mentioned the title reminded me of Resident Evil 0 with its partner swapping mechanic, but another feature that makes me think of the Resident Evil franchise is the emails located on different levels. You can access terminals and read through conversations the previous inhabitants of the ship had which helps shine light on what exactly is happening. Whilst not overwheminglly brilliant the story did have me intrigued and the contrast between the art design and what was happening with the previous occupants on the ship comes out as a surprise and catches you off guard. Its suitable for everyone, but interesting nevertheless to read about the struggles they had as food started to run out and people started to get angry. Apart from optional emails the story is allso told through brief moments of dialogue and the start of levels and the begining of a chapter also has a nice little comic strip animation to convey the story to the viewer.
Possibly the bigger issue with Vesta is the apppeal of replayablility. The game roughly clocks up at about five or so hours and does have secrets scattered throughout each level, but what exactly these do, I do not know, as I most certainly got over 50% and that didn’t unlock anything. So if they do net you an unlock I have a suspicion it’ll be at 100% only. With no extra difficulites and and not much other reason to play I find it hard to picture myself going back to Vesta.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Vesta was provided by FinalBoss-Games.