[Beyond PlayStation] Hover Review
Hover from Midgar Studios, Fusty Game and Plug In Digital is a colorful fast-paced parkour game that you have to check out. Find out why in our Hover review!
Hover was taken to Kickstarter way back in April 2014 as Hover: Revolt of Gamers. The campaign reached a stretch goal that would originally bring the game to the Nintendo Wii U, but due to the long development cycle and the fact that Nintendo’s previous console unfortunately had a premature dead, the game was ported to the Nintendo Switch, which is the version that I got a chance to review. You play in the year 4214 in world ECP 17 (also known as Hover City), which is now under the control of the Galactic Union. The population is closely monitored, and all type of leisure is now forbidden, which makes a group of rebels form up to resist the oppression. They’re The Gamers.
You get started by creating a team to play as. Once you’ve selected the team’s name you will get to start at Rank 0 as a new character that you can customize a bit from the two available male and female options – with more options you can unlock. Once you’ve named your character and selected a male or female avatar, you will get to select his/her height as well as a combination of colors for your character’s look, one section of his/her outfit at a time. Your character will start with low but balanced stats that you will get to improve on as you level. The six stats for your character are speed, jump, grind, strength, hack and energy, so be sure to use your upgrade slots wisely!
Once you’re in the game, you will be taken to an area where you can dive into the codex to learn the basics of the game. You can scan and interact with elements with the A or L buttons, as well as start conversations with characters. Jumping is set to the B or ZR buttons, and the longer you hold down the button, and the more momentum you have, the higher and longer your jump will be. As you go through each area you will automatically hang onto any edge. If you are near a wall, you can jump and then press the jump button again to do a wall jump.
Grinding is a big part of the game, and this is done by holding down the Y or ZL buttons. If at some point you end up making a mistake, you should make the most of the rewind which is set to the X or R buttons, which will send you to a previous position – this does not rewind time so be sure to keep that in mind! You can pick up items, such as a ball, by walking near it. When you’re holding an object you will be slowed down based on the item’s weight. When you want to throw the item, press the A or L button.
Something to consider if you want to stay alive is that security cameras are also your enemy since they will alert any nearby secureboxes or ecops if they spot you. If you’re sloppy and get caught, you will be sent to the closest rehabilitation platform. Because of this, you should always be careful when near security cameras, so you should press and hold the Y or ZL buttons to crouch and walk slowly towards your objective. And if you want to make the most of your time with the game, you should also be aware of the three view types available, which can be changed by pressing down on the D-Pad. There is a third-person view, a first-person view, as well as a mixed view that allows you to play in first-person, while the game automatically changes to third-person as needed.
You will get to unlock slots for your character so that you can insert hexagonal badges that will boost your stats. For example, you might get a Cheap Pulse Generator that will enable you to boost your jump and bounce by a set percentage, which will definitely help you at the start as you get the hang of things. Be sure to pay attention to Otello and Watabax so that you can learn more about the game as you play since getting some much-needed hands-on experience as you go is a must.
As you play you will get to take on several missions that will include objectives such as racing to beat your opponent(s), hacking a specific target, capturing spydrones, or playing a match of Gameball which, as the name suggests, is a game that involves a ball. In Gameball you are split into teams and must grab the titular ball and try to keep it with you until you can lineup a shot that will send it into the opposing team’s goal so that you can score a point for your cause.
Completing a mission will let you know how good you did, as in seeing your score and what your best score is, as well as checking out the medals you could unlock by reaching certain milestones. For example, if you’re in a race mission your objective will obviously be to go through each of the checkpoints as you try to get to the finish line as fast as possible – with races that can include one or more laps. You will, therefore, be graded on how long it took you to finish the race, and you can try again to find ways to cut down on your overall time so that you can get those medals I mentioned before. You will also get some experience points, and you might also get some new upgrades or new graffiti for your effort.
The game features a nice set of songs that will complement the action, from moody sci-fi tracks, to more upbeat and charming tracks. Most of the soundtrack has been composed by Cédric Menendez, who has also worked on the soundtracks for A Normal Lost Phone, Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, and Edge of Eternity. But along with Cédric’s work there are also some tracks from Hideki Nakamura, who you might recognize from his work on many Sega games such as Sega Rally 2, Sonic Rush, Sega Rally 2006, Super Monkey Ball, Yakuza and, in particular, Jet Set Radio and its sequel Jet Set Radio Future.
Hover is a bit of a slow burner type of game. The first hour or so will go very slowly as you get the hang of things and get the story going, but after that you will be going from mission to mission with ease, always finding something to do in the very colorful neon-styled city. Other than a couple of issues with textures not loading up fast enough and the games framerate taking a dip when there’s too much going on (which is more evident when playing on Portable mode), this is a fun release you should check out on Nintendo Switch.
This Hover review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Plug In Digital.