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77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

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  • Summary: Skillfully pilot the Graceful Explosion Machine, a fighter ship armed with a ludicrously overpowered quad-weapon array! Lost in deep space, you'll shoot, dash and combo your way through jewel-hued alien worlds, fighting crystalline enemies to find a way home. The GEM fighter is the mostSkillfully pilot the Graceful Explosion Machine, a fighter ship armed with a ludicrously overpowered quad-weapon array! Lost in deep space, you'll shoot, dash and combo your way through jewel-hued alien worlds, fighting crystalline enemies to find a way home. The GEM fighter is the most advanced single pilot fighter in the galaxy, offering precise controls, nimble movement, and devastating firepower. [Nintendo.com] Expand

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Graceful Explosion Machine - Nintendo Switch Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Apr 10, 2017
    90
    Graceful Explosion Machine is the perfect arcade style shooter, and one of the best Switch games available right now. Its fluid, addictive gameplay and flashy yet minimal visuals pair well with a variety of challenging enemies, and it’s great for sessions lasting for a few minutes or a couple hours.
  2. NF Magazine
    Jun 23, 2017
    85
    For what Graceful Explosion Machine aspires to be – that is, a stylish high score-focused shoot-'em-up – it excels in spades. [Issue #28 – July/August 2017, p. 21]
  3. Apr 18, 2017
    82
    Graceful Explosion Machine is arguably the go-to arcade game that every Switch owner should definitely consider buying. It mixes pleasing visuals with great gameplay to make it one of the best arcade shooters I've played. You can beat the four worlds in around four hours, but you will find yourself playing these over and over again as you chase down those high scores!
  4. Will the lack of punishing difficulty turn away the genre’s more hard-core fans? I doubt it. The prestige they crave can be had via leaderboards. By the end I was scoring a D on pretty much every set of levels, with low marks for style, time, hits taken, and lives used. These are the sorts of things genre devotees can master and brag about and hold over the heads of we lesser shmuppers...More serious players might, however, take some issue with the overall simplicity of design.
  5. Apr 10, 2017
    80
    Graceful Explosion Machine builds an intense, addictive shoot-em-up around a satisfying weapon-juggling system and smart enemies. The Switch’s HD Rumble adds a unique feeling to every explosion in this colorful shooter, and earning a good spot on the leaderboard is an intense challenge thanks to dense swarms of enemies. But even when a pesky foe slapped down my scoring run, I always had the urge to jump back into these crowded corridors and try again.
  6. May 12, 2017
    75
    Wonderful Explosion Machine brings the Nintendo Switch back to the good old days of Defender. Colorful environments and tight gameplay make for a great debut for the Shoot em Up genre in a machine more than suitable for the classics. It just doesn't match the outstanding quality of certain shooters available today, but it´s a solid game after all.
  7. Apr 6, 2017
    60
    Graceful Explosion Machine is the gaming equivalent of empty calories. It's pretty to look at, super smooth, and has some interesting weapons, but there's no real hook to keep you sustained beyond the act of moving around and blowing up aliens.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Apr 22, 2017
    10
    Game looks great, ignore the 1 score review.
    Disgruntle co worker, perhaps?
    Perhaps a jealous fellow pupil... When all ither reviews are 7
    Game looks great, ignore the 1 score review.
    Disgruntle co worker, perhaps?
    Perhaps a jealous fellow pupil...
    When all ither reviews are 7 or more and there's one review with a 1 score and a novel saying just why they thinks... you know something's not quite right. Hopefully this will go some way to normalising the score.
    Expand
  2. Apr 8, 2017
    9
    Man, this game is just so much fun to play. It looks beautiful, the controls are smooth and responsive, and while the core concept is alwaysMan, this game is just so much fun to play. It looks beautiful, the controls are smooth and responsive, and while the core concept is always the same, each level is always different enough to keep me interested. If you have a Switch, this is a must-own. Expand
  3. Apr 14, 2017
    9
    Good game, Good art direction. Its like someone combined Geometry Wars with a Side Scroller. The only thing i wish is that the control schemeGood game, Good art direction. Its like someone combined Geometry Wars with a Side Scroller. The only thing i wish is that the control scheme was twin-stick (one for movement and one for firing weapon). it uses ZR to flip directions and "A" to fire and can feel clunky. Otherwise, amazing game, especially for the price. Expand
  4. Apr 7, 2017
    9
    This is the kind of game that works very well on the Switch. I wouldn't bother with a game like this on PC which is where these games haveThis is the kind of game that works very well on the Switch. I wouldn't bother with a game like this on PC which is where these games have lived primarily to this point but the ability to play it on the go in short bursts is great.

    The controls are tight, the aesthetic is pleasing and it doesn't get cluttered which is a pitfall (or boon, depending on your preference) for the genre. The gameplay is 'fun', for want of a better word and it keeps interest for long enough for a quick play session.

    For the game alone it would be an 8 but given the price and the use case (Switch handheld mode) it deserves a 9 in my opinion.
    Expand
  5. Aug 10, 2017
    8
    I've had such a fun time with this game. Once I got used to the controls this game just pulled me in and i couldn't stop playing. All theI've had such a fun time with this game. Once I got used to the controls this game just pulled me in and i couldn't stop playing. All the different abilities and enemies keep it interesting and the scoring system is nice so you can compare with friends. Beware this game is NOT easy it can be pretty stressful but if you get good enough at the game you will have a fantastic time with it. 100% would recommend. Expand
  6. Jul 22, 2017
    6
    Bem divertido e algumas vezes desafiador. Precisa de certa estratégia para passar de certas fases. 4 mundos apenas é pouco. Deveria haver maisBem divertido e algumas vezes desafiador. Precisa de certa estratégia para passar de certas fases. 4 mundos apenas é pouco. Deveria haver mais mundos e/ou mais desafios para valer nota maior. Gráficos legais, trilha sonora meio fraca, mas passa Expand
  7. Apr 8, 2017
    1
    High school game designer finds a unity programmer and a very good artist.

    Game design is extremely poor. Too much unnecessary resource
    High school game designer finds a unity programmer and a very good artist.

    Game design is extremely poor. Too much unnecessary resource management that doesn't really add much, mechanics are not that coherent, and I swear the entire game's AI uses the following one line of code:
    vec3 findNextMovementPos(vec3 player) {
    return rotate2D(normalize(this->pos - player) * randrange(10, 20)), randrange(-0.3, 0.3));
    }
    I serious cannot find a non-stationary enemy that doesn't use that movement. Stanford AI course. Behaviour trees. Learn it.

    AI blandness aside, the biggest problem here is very incoherent game mechanics, which is very bad game design. Examples:

    1. Why does blaster have a cooldown? What purpose does it possibly serve other than just slow down gameplay?

    2. Why does player have to actually go pick up energy crystals? Why does energy crystals disappear so fast? If the player has to go pick up energy crystals, then why design literally EVERY enemy in the game to not facilitate that in a interesting way? The only way to reliably go pick up crystals fast is energy shield and probably dash out. That is a one trick move, one and only option players can take, which is bland and boring.

    3. If dash and mobility is a core mechanic, then why do they not work on environment hazards or bullets? If you're going to make dashing not work on bullets, then there needs to be a good way to play around that limitation. Examples of adding mechanics so players can play around that limitation is telegraphing of shots (nope, not in the game), clear visual distinction of shots (nope, not in the game) and/or directly affecting the shots (only possible with energy shield). I would telegraph shooting enemies + make bullets more visible + make laser weapon also kill bullets.

    4. If left / right horizontal shooting is a main mechanic, then why does LITERALLY every single enemy in the game move in a zigzag line towards you? This creates no interesting interactions whatsoever. I would add enemies that do vertical things (shoot lazers but only up/ down), enemies that only do left/right stuff...etc to make interesting use of the left/right horizontal only shooting mechanic.

    5. If the game mechanics revolve around not getting hit even once, then why are missiles so freaking unreliable??? I fire missiles in general direction of stuff and hope 1 (one) (ONE) of the enemies doesn't seep through or I have to mash the energy shield button ASAP and hope things work out. Not very coherent mechanic.

    And many many more examples of completely incoherent mechanics.

    Art and music are amazing. Give whoever worked on that a thumbs up. Could go into detail about how I think art and music are amazing, but going to eave the negative details here instead in the hopes of being constructive. Please imagine I wrote 2000 more words about the good points of this game, ie. presentation art and music. Too bad as a player I'm playing the gameplay, im not playing the sound or visual assets.
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See all 24 User Reviews