It has wit, fun visuals, a good soundtrack, and a lot of personality. The story isn’t super deep, but it’s not trying to be. This is a fun take on a villain doing what old-school villains have always done, and the thought process around that. If you’re into simpler platformers that don’t eat up a lot of time, and want some charming characters, Nefarious might just be for you.
This is a great indie title! The music fun and memorable, the cartoon graphics are charming, the game play was great and even challenging in some parts and the characters were just great and I actually cared for them. However the game did crash once or twice but it hasn't happened since.
By putting the player in the place of the villain, many of gaming's usual conventions are seen in a different light. Unfortunately the game's level design is so linear and unadventurous that it ends up harming the experience more than it should, and its exaggeratedly difficult jumping doesn't let this promising work rise above a mid-level threshold.
Other than the amusing boss battles, Nefarious is barely competent. Controlling bosses from various genres is a novel spin on the concept of the boss battle and if this was just a series of battles, like Cuphead, there could have been something worth playing here. Everything else, which is about 90% of the game, is just soul-crushing. It is the kind of title that feels like work, and continuing is just exhausting because of how poor the playbility is.
An homage to platformers, but with the twist of playing from the bad guy's perspective, Nefarious gleefully brings an easily accessible yet challenging game. The music, art direction, game play, and level design all tip their hat to the past, with notable nods to Megaman, Sonic, among others. My kids wandered in as I was playing and immediately were drawn to it, despite normally being disinterested in retro/platformer games, and began to binge on it. Is it perfect? No, some of the level design coasts a bit (notably in the spiked balls of death level), and there is a JRPG themed boss battle that was good for a laugh but challenged none of us. Even so, the humor is buoyant and plentiful, and the character interactions and dialog serve not only as periodic rewards, but as the real motivation to move on and play the next level to see what happens next. Lastly, the mechanic of playing as the villain, driving the giant death machines, absconding with princesses, and thwarting the heroes... it is every bit as satisfying as it should be. As an inexpensive title it can be forgiven for not being terribly long, and it does make up for it's brevity by successfully leaving the audience wanting for more.
Are you tired of being the good guy who always saves the princess? Do you want to access the power of evil? Look no further! Nefarious is a fun little indie game where you play as the not-so-bad bad guy. With its supprisingly interesting story and its witty humor, this game is quite an enjoyable experience. The game takes inspiration from many platformers, notably Mega Man, and makes a very fun game. Although this game is a little short, I would reccomend it to people who are into more casual platformers and have a couple of hours to kill.
a really fun adventure with controls that are a bit wonky but easy to grasp
lots of humor and character building
levels are fun to explore, with a excellent art style
however!, the final boss is really annoying, i legit have to call it quit, give up & never face it again, which really sours my review
if you want a indie platformer with similar mechanics but easier controls & final boss, go with Shovel Knight instead
(Full disclosure: I backed this game on Kickstarter.) Nefarious is a fairly competent decent little platformer in the vein of Mega Man, and it has some interesting ideas. The soundtrack is pretty solid, and the character art is good enough. The "reverse boss fights" are generally good, and it's a concept I'd like to see explored further. Level design is what gets Nefarious in trouble. The first two-thirds of the game are pretty straightforward, with basic and uninspired stages. Toward the endgame, I encountered a sudden and steep difficulty spike, accentuated by some very poor platforming areas, enemy placement, and slippery controls. It's hard to recommend Nefarious when there are so many superior games out there in the same genre.
I really want to like this game, but I can't.
Let's start with the good things:
The story is nice, the characters are very charming. I really enjoyed the plot, the funny dialogues and the character development, the little side quests that tell you more about certain characters, the fun events that happen throughout the story (dating show, enough said), it's really everything I want from most games. Furthermore, the art is also pretty decent, and the music, at times, is also very good. Another good thing are some of the more unique levels, which provide good variety. Especially some of the 'reverse boss fights' are great parodies and fun.
So, what's bad about the game?
Basically, almost all of the gameplay. The controls feel very slippery. The acceleration curves just don't feel good. Once you are in the air, there is barely any control anymore, making certain parts of the game way more frustrating than they should be. Some sections were just way too difficult in a not-fun way. What do I mean by that? As a comparison, Celeste has also many difficult sections, but in Celeste, the controls always feel tight and responsive. Here, often I had thoughts like "Hey, I'm sure I pressed the jump button right there! Why did I fall to death there?". It's these things that just don't feel good in Nefarious. And the problem is that these meh-ish controls accompany you through most of the game. Other than that, the level design at times could really be better. Certain sections are just very slow or unfair and not very fun. The game really could have used much more polish. Maybe add a difficulty selection to make the game more fun for people who don't enjoy very punishing platformers? Maybe add a option in the start menu to reduce the volume of the music (it's really loud on the switch when you start the game)? Speaking of Switch, the loading times are also pretty long for just a 2D platformer. Also, the game actually crashed for me once during a level, requiring me to restart the level, which is just not acceptable. Furthermore, the main menu, while it has some charm, does look like of cheap. Having the Unity splash screen is not a game-breaker to me, but does add to the feeling of "hey, this game kinda feels unpolished".
As a last criticism, while the art of the game is nice, the sprites are way too small in the normal gameplay to actually appreciate them. The character design is really detailed, but in the game, the sprites are just zoomed out too far to properly see them, which is sad.
So, all in all, this game is a really big missed potential. It's kind of crazy: Story and plot-wise, I really want to love this game. But as a game, the game has too many flaws that I could recommend it to anyone. I would rather recommend people to watch a play-through. And this is really sad. I hope someday, the devs take the criticism to heart and fix the various issues of this game. It really could have been so much better. I feel sad giving the game a low rating, but in its current form, it really does not deserve any higher.
SummaryPlay as the villain in Nefarious! An action platformer where you globe hop between several kingdoms kidnapping princesses who alter gameplay in unique ways. Then thwart various heroes in reverse boss fights, recreated iconic battles where you control the boss.