Dolores Entertainment really do thrive on publishing the most diverse range of short-form games on the Nintendo Switch. Whether it’s gambling with waifus, obeying a sinister robotic mother, or blasting things with an elephant trunk, there’s something here for everyone.
And now we have Low Story: a run and gun platformer starring a wild west version of Sackboy.
Obviously I had to give it a try.
Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.
A NEW LOW?
Low is a small little creature who finds himself suddenly thrown out of the window by his creator, discarded like literal trash onto the grimy streets below As you can imagine, he isn’t best pleased about that so he dons on his best cowboy garb and heads on a journey of revenge back up to the top to hurt the ones who did him wrong.
There’s very little to the narrative here beyond that initial premise, although the game does attempt to expand on the lore slightly at times. I can’t say it’s necessarily successful though, as I just couldn’t find myself caring about the world beyond the base aesthetic. It certainly has moments where it hints at something noteworthy, but there’s quite a lot here that doesn’t gel well together and had me losing interest.
Thankfully it’s held up slightly by the gameplay – even though I have to admit that I wasn’t really sold on it initially, mostly due to how badly the cowboy sackboy controls. His jumps are pathetically small and when combined with the unwieldly dash it just makes manoeuvring around all the more awkward. Things aren’t helped by some areas being a tad too dark for comfort sometimes and the charming 2.5D aesthetic that can make it a little hard to distinguish where certain platforms are. Both of these latter problems are thankfully infrequent enough to be considered a major issue, but they certainly are noticeable.
As for the combat, Low soon gains access to a pistol with unlimited ammunition, a near-useless uzi, and a homing bazooka – as well as a few other handy special items and upgrades that can help bolster his moveset. Few of these prove particularly useful, however, as the standard enemies are easy to beat with your basic pistol and boss enemies seem to be largely unaffected by your bonus abilities. That being said, I still had fun using these abilities to help clear out enemies with more numerous foes – even if they were absolutely inessential.
Levels themselves are mainly straightforward, although some of them do focus on a certain gimmick to help set themselves apart from the rest. The second stage’s use of locked doors allowed for some neat – if simple – puzzles, and the middle section’s lightbulb gimmick proved to be my own personal highlight. It’s hard to say that any of the level design is amazing, but I still found it enjoyable nevertheless.
And that pretty much sums up the entire game as a whole. It’s hard to praise any one aspect of the game: the visuals are mostly fine, if a little dark; the music is mediocre; the controls are dreadful; the additional items are clunky and largely pointless; and the level design is pretty much fine at best. However, despite all those issues and all the jank that the game has, I found myself playing through the whole game in a single hour-or-so long session and walked away feeling satisfied. And really, I suppose, that’s the important thing.
It’s unlikely that Low Story will win any Game of the Year awards as it fails to do anything particularly well. However, I did find myself enjoying the game all the way through despite its problems. Perhaps a little more time in the oven could have made it a good game, but I’d at least say it’s good enough.