[Review] AVICII : Invector – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kevin Orme
  • Developer: Hello There Games
  • Publisher: Wired Productions
  • Price: £15.99 / $19.99 (Encore Edition: £25.99 / $29.99)
  • Release Date 08/09/2020
  • Code provided by Wired Productions

Introducing the AVICII: Invector Review for Nintendo Switch

I’ve got to come clean folks. I’ve never been a huge AVICII fan. It’s not like I don’t like his music, per se, it’s just that I never really go into it. Unfortunately, I learned too late that AVICII had passed away, ending a pretty great music career and leaving thousands of fans and family members brokenhearted with the news. Something that came out about this time was the fact that a few years before his passing AVICII and a team had been working on a game that was planning on transforming his music into mystical soundscapes. I was interested immediately when I saw the trailer, and maybe for a reason, you can guess if you have been reading reviews that I have written in my few months here at Nintendad: It’s a rhythm game.

There are a few things you can say to get my interest immediately, but if you mention that you have a rhythm game I will always give you the time of day to check it out. I love them! So, what better way to learn about an artist’s catalog for me than by pushing the right buttons on the right beats?

Let’s jump into AVICII: Invector.

Hey Brother

AVICII: Invector has a little bit more story than most rhythm games. See, usually, when you’re jumping into a game like this you’re generally looking for the cool songs and how fun it is to play. The story always takes a back seat, but it’s nice to see it given at least a little bit of love and care. The story of the game follows a pilot who is trying to get home as she pilots the ship you control in the gameplay. you follow her as she comes to some important realizations regarding family and bonds to those who we love. It’s not really the most important thing, but it’s a nice touch especially with the circumstances surrounding the making of the game.

Now I am by no means hyper knowledgeable about the history of rhythm games but I can say that I have played a TON of them in my years. Invector takes a lot of nods from a few of the pioneering games of its genre. I bring this up because there are three very distinct sections of every level in regards to playing style. In terms of increasing difficulty, you’re going to be dealing with flying sections, flat sections and, lastly, triangle sections. Flying sections have your ship flying freely as you go forwards as you aim to fly through giants rings to continue the combo for the song. Flat sections are much more like Guitar Hero or Rockband and have you pressing the buttons corresponding to the ones that come down the lane. The main difference here is that the pathway ahead of you is not in one static position. Instead, the highway ahead of you bends and turns with the landscape around you. Lastly, there are the triangle sections. These are easily the craziest sections of the entire game because it takes a lot more effort to wrap your head around. These sections are similar to the flat sections (and Harmonix’s early 2000s hit ‘Frequency’), but the notes can be on any of the three different sides of this triangular prism that you are progressing through. Now, getting these sections right is pretty friggin’ satisfying, so it’s a big payoff but it’s also the main source of frustration for most stages. More on that later.

There’s also a “star power” style score multiplier ability you can get as well by perfectly hitting small series of glowing notes. After hitting two of these sequences you gain the ability to activate the multiplier as it blasts you forward at Mach speed as you try to rack up a massive score bonus. It’s crazy, but dadgum is it fun.

True Believer

Again, with what I said before about not knowing a whole lot of AVICII’s discography prior to playing this: I had only heard a few of the singles that had shown up on the radio as well as the few commercials that had his music. The soundtrack of this game showed me 25 songs that spanned the entirety of his life, and with it, I learned that AVICII has some real bangers hidden in all of that time. Sure, I looked forward to the songs I knew like “Hey Brother” and “Heaven”, but I got to find new jams like “Pure Grinding” and “True Believer”. This game does a marvellous job of celebrating all that AVICII did during his brief time here on earth and that’s saying something from a guy who knew like… TWO whole songs before he came into this.

Also, this is a really pretty game. Each new set of songs takes place in a new… I wanna say biome, but it’s really just a new backdrop. Even though you’re usually not focusing on the background as you’re mashing away on those notes, I can say that the world around you is worth taking a good long look at. It’s especially nice during the flying sections, so do enjoy the scenery when you get a chance.

Tough Love

Now, as a guy who loves playing rhythm games, I can tell you that there are some things that are pretty frustrating. Specifically, in this case, I want to talk about the little “helper markers” that each button prompt has. When things start getting fast, mainly in the triangle sections, those markers can block other markers and make you drop combos. It’s REALLY frustrating, but not entirely game-breaking. The game runs well for the number of visuals on-screen at all times. The lights are bright and things are constantly moving at your face at a breakneck pace when things get moving.

Personally, I prefer this game in docked mode though the handheld mode is perfectly fine. Mainly it’s so you can max out the volume instead of being limited to whatever you headphones can pump out. I love blasting these tunes when I’m really getting into it. I recommend the same for you.

Fade Into Darkness

I came into this game expecting a fun rhythm game with some alright music. What I got out of my playthrough was a pretty solid game with a pretty solid soundtrack. I had a great time and I was glad to hear that there were more tracks to download as well. For just a few bucks each, there are DLC packs with some really great tunes. While not required to get full enjoyment, I do recommend the DLC packs as a good way to extend the variety that this game offers (you can enter the Konami code during the menu of the Demo for a taste).

I forgot to mention that there’s a multiplayer score battle mode. It’s alright. That’s about all I have to say about that.

Pros

  • Great soundtrack and great energy
  • Variation in each stage keeps things lively and fresh
  • MASSIVE value for 20 bucks.

Cons

  • I hope you REALLY like AVICII
  • Hard mode is a kick in the face
  • The button markers can block upcoming notes and break your combo

Verdict
AVICII : Invector got me moving to the beat in a way I didn’t expect. This is some serious bang for your buck.

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