I wondered if the Switch would ever get its own version of Fez, one of the most famous and unique indie games ever made. It was one of the first games from the independent scene to gain recognition from the general public, along with Limbo, Braid and Super Meat Boy. We’re all aware of the internal turmoil in the development team, the controversy surrounding lead designer Phil Fish and the fact that we’ll probably never get a proper sequel. But that doesn’t mean there will never be a port to a Nintendo console – the ideal platform for fans of indie games after the death of the Vita.
The game finally came out in the fourth year of the Switch, which is shocking, but worth the wait. I haven’t played Fez since I finished it on my Vita almost half a decade ago. I think it would be impossible to find a better place to enjoy the game if it wasn’t on a Sony handheld. Fortunately, I was wrong. The Switch version of Fez doesn’t include any new features, but it’s easily the best system to play one of the best indie games of all time.
I should point out that this is basically the same fez as before. It’s still a 2D platformer with a touch of 3D. An open collaboration with a promising technique. Although your character moves on a 2D map, you can rotate the map in 3D to create new platforms and unlock secrets by changing the perspective of the level. It’s a trick that seems completely insane in theory, but works so well that you wonder why no one has used a similar feature in another game since.
The best thing about Fez is that the game loop is perfect for both casual and hardcore gamers. Hardcore gamers will enjoy finding all the perfectly hidden collectibles in each level. Not to mention finding a way to close the seemingly insurmountable gap by finding a new path and flipping the level.
The casual visitor can appreciate Fez for its lightness. There is no time limit to collect the hundreds of small cubes scattered throughout the game worlds. There is no real hierarchy: As long as you have enough cubes to open new doors, you can explore new areas as you please. There are no enemies and no life: If you fall into a pit, you come right back out without losing anything. Fez is surprisingly relaxing because you can play however you want.
Its presentation is also underway. I love that every character in the game is a 2D sprite with very little animation, while the environments look like 2D sprite levels, but are actually low-poly 3D stages running at a surprisingly smooth 60 frames per second. Turning around the level is very pleasant thanks to the smooth animation. The soundtrack, while simplistic, fits well with the retro, but not really with the setting of the game. It’s a bunch of modern synths trying to mimic the glitches and bleeps of the 8-bit era, and it works.
There’s not much I don’t like about Fez. The only problems with this game I’ve had since I first played it on the Vita are pretty minor. I don’t like the slowness of my main character, especially when he’s climbing through the vineyards. I also hate how easy it is to get lost in the game world, despite a map being available shortly after the game starts. And given the carefree nature of Fez, getting lost isn’t so bad. It just sucks to go back to the previous area you visited, when it’s so easy to get carried away and get to a whole other level.
In short, Fez is now as good as it ever was. The reason I call this the best version of this indie game is because it perfectly combines the Switch’s portability with its screen, which is much larger than the Vita’s. It is one of the best independent games ever made, and one of the most important games of the last decade. Despite the fact that many younger gamers only know this game because of its problematic development cycle and some post-launch controversies, Switch owners should definitely pick it up. This gem has always been in the system, but it feels like home.
|This style of art can be described as unique, as cliché as it may sound. The collision of simplistic, pixelated characters and low poly environments is a sight to behold.||Fez’s gameplay is still as creative and functional as it was nearly a decade ago, and it works seamlessly on the Switch. I find that the protagonist moves slowly when climbing lianas, and it’s easy to get lost in the vast game world, even though a map is available early in the game.|
|Fez’s soundtrack is fairly simple, with retro synths and glitch sounds, but it fits the setting perfectly.||Fez has a unique and addictive gameplay that both casual and hardcore gamers can enjoy. It’s short, but surprisingly playable. It’s simple, but not too simple. And it feels perfectly at home on the Switch, especially in portable mode.|
|Last block : 9.0|
Fez is available now for PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, PC and Switch.
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The copy of Fez was provided by the publisher.
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