Review: Code Shifter – This Forgettable Franchise Crossover Is A Missed Opportunity | Nintendo Life

By the numbers.

Though it certainly occupies a niche, it’s tough to dispute the level of clout and influence held by Arc System Works. The studio positively thrives on 2D fighting games, with franchises like Guilty Gear and River City being among its more well-known work, and its 30+ year lifespan has seen the introduction of plenty of new games and franchises. As a sort of love letter to the fans that are familiar with many of these franchises, Arc System Works has opted to create its own sort of take on the Super Smash Bros. formula with Code Shifter. Rather than delivering this crossover as a straight up 2D fighter—as many would likely expect—the company has instead endeavoured to go with something a little more unique by making Code Shifter a light platformer with heavy beat ‘em up elements. Unfortunately, the final result of this concept is something that fails to prove itself as more than the sum of its parts, even if it does have some genuine moments of enjoyment.

To start off, the story proves to be an oddly significant part of Code Shifter, arguably taking up just as much time as the actual gameplay. The narrative follows Stella, a thoughtful and hard-working programmer for the fictional Awesome Rainbow Corp, which is in the process of shipping an in-universe crossover fighting game called “Colorful Fighters”. The game-within-the-game is close to going gold, but a sudden onslaught of some mysterious bugs drastically sets back development time. Not one to be beaten by a challenge, Stella chooses to counter this by creating a virtual avatar named Sera, who she can use to fight the viruses directly in digital datascapes.

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