Robot Wants It All (Review)

Source: Cashmoneys
Where To Get It: Steam

Sometimes, after capitalism has kicked you down, time and time again, it’s time to fight back. Such is the subtext of Robot Wants It All, where Robot, our protagonist, suffers many humiliating deaths (usually, anyway) in their quest of Wanting things that, as it turns out, are monkeys paws (Except Puppy. Puppy is a Good Boy), before eventually realising that what he wants… Is Justice.

Justice, in this case, being saving the workers from the embodied evil of capitalism.

Or it’s a series of early Metroidvania type games from the days of Newgrounds, packaged into a collection that doesn’t run on the now obsolete Flash, with a new installment. It’s that too. But it’s hard to avoid the subtext, any which way, and, funnily enough, I like that.

So… A collection of shortish Metroidvania type escapades, ranging from simple to punishingly unfair (And not necessarily in game order), Robot Wants It All is, right out of the gate, a release that has its turn offs. But, to its credit, it does both add to its subtext and somewhat help with the difficulty with its progression. Starting with the Easy (smaller map, less enemies) version of Robot Wants Kitty, the player earns (in-game) Moneys by killing enemies, getting achievements, and earns the other installments of the series, from Easy, to Classic, to Remix (Hard), along with different robot types for an added challenge. Player, if they want to experience the whole, Wants It All too.

For one game, at least, Kitty and Robot are actually friends. Look at this teamwork!

Aesthetically, it looks somewhat like old shareware titles of the 90s, with pixel art for the main play, and bold illustrations for the endings, with simple (but mostly alright) chiptunes. No, where the interest comes in with Robot Wants It All is that each episode has different mechanics and progressions (Something that’s lampshaded in Robot Wants Justice’s intro.) While powerup collecting remains a core, what powerups vary from game to game. Robot, for example, uses Kitty as their main weapon in Robot Wants Puppy, a risky damage over time effect that ends with the death of either robot or the now quickly running (but not firing) enemy. In Robot Wants Y, they have a very slow to use bouncing laser that requires aiming, while in Robot Wants Fishy, they have both arcing bombs and, later on, harpoons. In Robot Wants Fishy, there is the amusing powerup of… Nothing. Because the explosion you caused to get there is reward enough, is it not?

Well, I chuckled. In any case, it was interesting to see the variations in the basic Metroidvania formula in each installment, even if, as noted, some are more difficult than others, if mainly because of the awkwardness of certain controls… Specifically, swimming. Swimming is a pain in the ass when you can do it (And you have to), and the segments involved often involve death. Some flying enemies have the nasty habit of floating outside of where they originally patrolled, although none have, so far, made things impossible to escape without death… Just awkward.

This, the easiest of the hard bosses, is a gent who, by the end of his life, it’s very tough to shoot without dying at least once. Doable… But tough.

Overall, I honestly like the experimentation within Robot Wants It All. The difficulty variations are somewhat annoying (A straighter progression would perhaps have been nice, but these were, and technically still are, separate games, so… I GUESS…), but I appreciate sticking to the original aesthetic while packaging the games in a more playable format, and adding nice things too. It’s worth a look if you like Metroidvanias.

The Mad Welshman does not, in fact, Want It All. All he wants is to make enough to do this full time. That’s what the support links are for.

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