There have been few games that I’ve played in my life that have made me want to literally leave the safety of my own house for one reason or another, and Bezier: Second Edition is one of them. I know that sounds like a negative thing, but in this case I can honestly say it is quite the opposite.
This twin stick shooter is, in a lot of ways, exactly what comes on the box with the genre in that you control a character represented by a shape (in this case, a triangle, believe it or not), and you have to engage enemies of various shapes, sizes, and abilities in combat. There are some fun differences from other games I’ve played of a similar style.
Bezier: Second Edition is set inside a computer, and as you play through more and more stages, the story becomes clearer as to what is going on. To sum up what I got from the story path I chose, it seems that people’s consciousness ended up being put inside a computer as a way to safeguard the human race. However, things went drastically wrong.
What really stands out to me in this game is the absolutely phenomenal soundtrack. The game boasts nearly an hour and a half of music, and none of it ever got boring. For a game where the developers could have easily decided to get an extremely repetitive loop that plays over and over again, they knocked this aspect out of the park.
So while you fly around and shoot, and while bright colours are flashing on the screen, you get some interesting dialogue that fills you in on things. The voice acting felt like the kind of thing I would expect to hear plenty of at an arcade, and the overall combination of noises and lights in the game made me nostalgic for the overwhelming sensory overload that comes with going out to put coins in cabinets.
Again, I may have worded that like it’s a bad thing, but it is absolutely the opposite. I really did find myself wanting to take the next train into the city, wait for the sun to go down, and explore the old arcade that has managed to survive the decades since the decline in popularity here in Australia.
The game has three difficulty settings, being your standard easy, medium, and hard levels. The differences between the difficulties are numerous but can all be boiled down to buffs and nerfs to you or your enemies based on which difficulty you choose. As someone who is generally terrible at arcade style games, I chose easy mode.
Even though easy mode didn’t end up being very challenging for me, it was a really great way to explore the way the game works. The special weapons and the upgrade system are quite fun, as you can’t exactly choose what you upgrade or which weapon you will use, but you can wait until the game highlights the part that interests you if you really want to try something out. All of them are satisfying to use, and the visual effects of each one will have you wanting to play again and again just to enjoy the visuals of everything.
The story itself is relatively short, with around 5 levels from start to finish. However, you would need to play through the story 5 times all up to play every path. But if that’s not your thing and you’d rather see just how long you can shoot enemies before being overwhelmed, Bezier: Second Edition has you covered. You can play Endurance mode, where the ultimate goal is to stay alive as long as possible to push your score as high as it will go.
Once you’ve completed a run of any mode, you can even see where your top score compares to both the entire player base as well as see who amongst your friends has the highest score. After my run, I managed to hit 400th in the rankings, despite spending the first two of five levels trying to figure out how to play (As I said, not great at arcade games, so that’s my fault, not the developer’s).
The game controls extremely well and is honestly satisfying to play. The gliding around feels smooth, and I never once felt like I lost control for no reason or that there was anything in-game that was working against me. To master this one would be pure skill, you aren’t going to have to prepare for a whole lot of unexpected RNG situations.
Another point worth noting is that generally, when I play games on the Nintendo Switch, I am lenient towards one or two crashes every now and then. It seems to be a plague on the Switch, that games will run into random errors that will send you back to the menu. There was not a single crash or laggy moment throughout my entire playthrough of Bezier: Second Edition, which for me says a lot about how tightly developed it is and how optimized it is for the console.
One thing I would have loved to see would be some accessibility settings included, especially in the form of colour blindness options considering the wide variety of colour on the screen. Will Heath wrote a brilliant article on accessibility in video games for Nintendo Link that covers more about where such features should go if you need a better understanding of why I think we should generally keep an eye out for those kinds of features.
Overall, you should definitely give this game a shot. The perfectly emulated arcade style, interesting plot, smooth controls, fantastic audio, and a brilliant inspirational quote from everybody’s favourite rockstar Bruce Springsteen has been made with passion, and it really shows.
Good for short bursts of play or long sessions
Lack of accessibility settings
A lack of even basic tutorials