Wii U Quickies: PONCHO, Meet Severed

With the Wii U seemingly in its final year of being a viable console to some pundits and players, it’s very important to note the console has in fact been the recipient of a number of incredible indie games over the past few months, most recently through the eShop Nindies selection.

Sure, first party titles are always key and should be on any console worth its salt. But the indie scene on Wii U is chock full of cool titles that Wii U-only gamers have either gotten in the past, are getting now or have been popping up as improved ports over versions previously released on PC or other consoles. Most are well worth an instant buy for those who want to support both Nintendo and the dev teams that cook up these gems. Here’s a quick look at two of the best you can buy (in no particular order, of course):

poncho-screenshot06 poncho-coverPONCHO (Rising Star Games, via Nintendo eShop, $9.99): Delve Interactive’s gorgeous, highly challenging side-scrolling platformer’s best tricks are the unique gameplay that has you hopping between different planes to progress through levels, and how surprisingly tough yet slyly meditative the game can be.

While a nice retro vibe is indeed here to be felt by nostalgic minded gamers, the lovely pixel visuals get kicked up into the modern age thanks to plenty of tricks older hardware couldn’t pull off so fluidly. The open world mixes in plenty of surprises to discover, with no lives system in play to drive you batty. That said, prepare to leap of faith your way in some cases where you have no other options but to cross your fingers, toes and anything else save for your eyes because you need to kind of stick that landing.

Jumping like mad through foreground, middle, and background elements like a champ, chatting up cute to not so cute robots who have a lot on their metal mind cases and overall, spending a good long time in this rich, intriguing game world learning what’s what makes this one a keeper of a sleeper. And yes, the music is pretty much perfect, emulating and enhancing its 16-bit inspired tunes that drive the action onscreen.

Score: B+ (85%)

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Gallery: SEVERED


In Severed you play as a distraught warrior, who is lost in a fantastical world. She is tasked with the challenge of knitting together pieces of her story from both the past and the future. Our heroine will embark on a journey through a surreal non-linear world using a gesture based combat mechanic to defeat enemies in this first person adventure. Unlock new abilities, discover secrets of the land, and grow in power as you master both offensive and defensive techniques. Let Severed be your mystery to unravel.


Despite not being the biggest fan of touch screen or gesture-based games on the Vita (why can’t I use a stylus on this handheld?), Drinkbox Studios’ SEVERED caught my eye (ow!) with it’s gorgeous stylized visuals and overall “not for the kids” plot. Memories of a few arcade games and the Super NES sleeper Shien’s Revenge also came to mind, which means I’ll most likely have a blast playing this. Granted, I wasn’t so fond of Guacamelee (fun to play as it was), but I never judge a developer by ONE game (I just judge my taste in games I should have liked more when I first played them). Anyway, this new Vita title should be out digitally on PSN at some point this year. It’s screaming for a Wii U/3DS port, but we shall see what happens over time, right?

Some lovely screens below:


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The gameplay looks smooth enough and those graphics sure are easy on the eyes (unless you’re that poor sap in the tree above), so it looks as if Drinkbox will have another hit on their hands (and in my hands as well).