Shütshimi: Seriously Swole PS4 Review
Publisher: Choice Provisions Developer: Neon Deity Games Genre: Shooter, Side-scroller
Players: 1-4 Age Rating: 7+ Other console/handheld formats: Vita, Wii U
Ever wondered what Rambo would look like as a fish? No? Me neither, but Shütshimi: Seriously Swole gives you some idea, as you take on the role of a muscle-bound fish with human arms that unleashes a flurry of ammo upon enemies in 10 second bursts of gameplay. That is the gist of the game, but it offers much more insanity than that.
For me, what makes a game truly special is the tiny, smaller details and here is no different, making for addictive, fun and very unpredictable gameplay. A retro-style game with 8-bit style music, the game is played as a side-scrolling shooter and, as mentioned, gameplay comes in waves lasting 10 seconds – the length of a fish’s memory – with the player shooting as many enemies as possible, avoiding damage, and racking up their score. The only word that can describe the gameplay is random, as you shoot sharks adorned with starry spectacles while shooting lasers; underwater, spinning bears; people disguised as fish as they try to impale you; seagulls that target you with eggs; and sometimes there will be no enemies – just butts, lots of butts to shoot. That pretty much sums up the humour the game offers, and Shütshimi: Seriously Swole is certainly a crazy little gem.
After the first wave that gives you a chance to see what it is all about, easing you in to the craziness about to ensue, you are given 10 seconds to choose one of three possible upgrades, be it a bar of chocolate, anchor, windmill, diamond, doughnut, hotdog; just many random objects and items that can help or hinder you in the next wave. Depending on what you choose determines the weapon you will use and/or the gameplay itself. One wave you could be using a shotgun and sinking; another time you could be using three guns, wearing a silly hat, and playing in an upside down level; another wave might see you receive help from a little school of fish, with friction issues to cause you trouble. One level has you rocking out at a party, with a light show display in the background, another time you could be jumping about on a bouncy castle and need to physically hit the enemies as though you are in a pinball machine. Controls can be inverted, gameplay sped up. You could be given extra advantage by attaining a fish bowl that gives you extra hits before you die and you can even wear a cat on top of your head to target at enemies and blow them up. The game messes you about in any way possible, and each wave is able to keep you on tenterhooks and leaving you wondering what on earth is coming next.
The game can be completed, with 3 bosses to defeat, though you may not defeat them within 10 seconds and will have to wait until they show up again to try and completely diminish their life bar, completing more crazy waves in the meantime. The weapons that can be used include shotguns, machine guns, cannon balls, spiked balls, amongst others, and depending on your chosen upgrade even these are affected and can be slowed down, sped up, charged up, used all at once and so on. You can also play the game alone, or with up to 3 friends, competing to see who can rack up the higher score, with even more randomness influencing gameplay depending on how many players there are, such as being tethered together, or switching sprites at random.
You can also play Boss Rush mode set against a timer. Before you begin gameplay, you can choose one of four fish, with each having humourous statistics, such as their toilet paper usage, music taste, dancing ability, words per minute and so on; just some extra added humour that enhances the appeal of the game. Once you begin, you fight against the three main bosses, trying to defeat them in the quickest time possible.
There are optional challenges for you to complete also and these can be unlocked depending on the fulfilment of certain requirements during gameplay. You can complete such challenges as No More Bald Spot, which requires you to attain your first hat, or Pacifish, in which you survive 10 waves without hitting any enemies. There are many challenges to unlock, though most players will probably ignore these and will just want to go into the game guns blazing and unlocking them without realising. You can also become a figure of opulence by unlocking various types of head wear; these also affect gameplay and some can be used in an amusing way by pressing the square button.
Pure madness is all that can be said about this game – fast paced, random and zany madness, but addictive fun nonetheless and a game that will have you coming back to try multiple times to get through as many waves as possible. With it’s simple pick-up-and-play controls and many quirky unlockables, Shütshimi: Seriously Swole is a great little time waster and if you’re looking for something truly different, then this is well worth a look! As the game is also available to download on PlayStation Plus for no extra cost at the time of writing, then there’s absolutely no excuse for not trying this crazy game if you a subscriber to Sony’s online service.