Psyvariar Delta
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : City Connection
Published By : Dispatch Games
Category : Action, Arcade, Shmup
Release Date : July 11, 2019

Back in the early 2000’s this game’s first form was released into arcades in cabinet form. Now, I was never big on the arcade scene, so if this was a more popular game when it came out, it went completely by me. However, nearly two decades later Psyvariar Delta comes to the Nintendo Switch with some new life breathed into it.

There’s not much story to involve yourself in before you dive into the game. In fact, if it exists at all, it’s very well hidden. But hey, you’re not here to have your heart-strings tugged by some deep and emotional narrative, you’re here to blast some crap out of the sky! And that’s something that this game can definitely deliver on.

The game operates simply, with easy controls for a fast pick up. Movement is controlled with a few simple buttons to fire your primary weapon, trigger your bombs that will wipe everything off the current screen, moving your ship and a button to perform a barrel roll.

As is the norm with this sort of game, shots from your enemies are going to pollute almost every pixel of the screen, but the only area you’ll need to worry about defending is the very center pixel of your ship. What’s unique to Psyvariar though is it’s BUZZ system. Getting yourself as close to the shots without blowing yourself up will trigger a buzz, which is basically a near miss. This system is your main way of earning points, both for your score and for experience to level up.

The main mode in the game allows you to customize a few options before you dive into the bullet hell madness. You’ll be able to choose your ship, the game style itself, and the background music. At a glance, it appears to offer a ton of variation to the game, but from what I noticed it didn’t really do that. All that differed between the two ships were the look of it, and a slightly different firing pattern, but nothing ground breaking. And changing the music..well changed the music as you would expect.

Of these three options, the only one to offer anything really substantial and different was changing the game. The choices are Delta, Medium Unit, and Revision, which are all basically altered version of this same exact game. Medium Unit is essentially the original version of the game, with Revision and Delta being later versions that added more intense firing patterns from enemies, the ability to see boss’s life gauges, and a few other things to spice up the game.

Visually the game is quite beautiful. I loved the background images of the different levels, they made things more appealing and enjoyable while zipping around shooting and avoiding being shot. Coupled with the music, it brought a little extra livelihood to an otherwise very simple game. But still, it could only do so much.

Psyvariar Delta is a game that is clearly built around replaying it a ton, rather than giving you a full-hearted one-go experience that drags you back in and makes you want to play more. Why do I say this? My first run sitting down with the game took me maybe ten or fifteen minutes, and again, there’s really no story woven into the levels. Furthermore, there are two additional game modes that seem to promote this idea of replaying…and one of them is literally called Replay+. This and Score Attack are focused on either replaying specific boss fights, or the entire game with the intent of building up the highest score possible and comparing yours to those on the leaderboards.

If you enjoy short and sweet games that you can (ideally) play over and over and over, then you will absolutely love this game. Looking for something with a little more substance? This might not be it for you, especially for the price tag. While it’s not a game that I could constantly play in back-to-back-to-back playthroughs, but it’s a lot of fun for a short run and extremely enjoyable. But, if it sounds like it strikes your fancy, head over to the eShop and grab your copy today!


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