Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Shu fly,dont bother me?
Shu is an action adventure platformer developed and published by Coatsink.
In Shu you play as a bird like boy who has the ability to glide and float through the air to avoid obstacles and to jump from platform to platform on a whim. One day as Shu is hanging out and minding his own business,a great and terrible storm,which looks like a demonic figure,comes out of nowhere to destroy Shu's village and lay waste to all that Shu holds dear.
After witnessing the destruction the storm left behind, Shu embarks on a journey of courage and survival in order to figure out the mystery of the storm and to figure out exactly what happened and why it happened. It's a tough journey but he's up to the task.
Along your journey in this game you will meet a variety of different characters and villagers that you interact with. Each villager you manage to find and rescue will join your team and offer you a new ability to use via press of a specific button on your controller. For instance in regards to these abilities, Shu has the ability to jump and glide through the air as his special power, but other characters will allow you to open dormant flowers,slow down time and even do quick dash moves to scurry across the levels faster.
There are a total of 10 characters that you will find to be very useful to you. I will not name all of them as I'd like to leave some of them to be a surprise to the player, but they're all essential for their specific portion of each level. 10 different characters have 10 different abilities that you have to use in conjunction with another, I will give you you an example. Say you're running as fast as you can using jump and glide with Shu but you see a flower pad closed. The solution here is to run as fast as you can and activate the flower via a button press to open it and then proceed to hop from each pad to each pad,opening and closing one after another in a pattern so you can maintain speed.
In this game you will play through a total of 21 levels that are stretched out throughout 6 different environments. Each one of these levels will probably take you roughly 2-3 minutes tops to move through regardless of how good or bad you are, so really the game isn't very long at all and will only take you roughly 2 hours tops to complete. But with games like these, its not always necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes less is more at the end of the day.
Touching upon the levels are little bit more,each one offers their own gimmick,so to speak. Some levels are your average jump here and jump there and keeps it relatively safe. But then you go to others where you have to make split second jumps and glide into a wind current that carries you on a set path to a specific area where you might have to make a quick jump or a quick character switch to climb up flower pedals,dodge spikey vines or do a ground stump to destroy a blocking barricade. No two levels feel the same,which really surprised me. Great level variety keeps things fresh.
The art style and overall environment design in this game is beautiful. Everything looks crisp and even had me believing that it was hand drawn at one point from how good everything looked. To me it has a painting like lavish look to it,soft hued almost and mixing that with a fantasy element,I really felt complimented it and made the execution behind it superb.
The difficulty in this game is really down the player themselves. Overall difficulty if I would have to rate it, I'd say its pretty tame and pretty casual for the average player. Nothing really too overbearing or cumbersome. If you have had any experience with past games in the platforming genre,then you've already become a master at this game before even playing it. It will all come down to how well your hand and eye coordination is and even then you should still do alright.
While I have said a lot of positive things about the game, I do have some negatives I want to touch upon that I personally ran into during my playthrough that either frustrated me or straight up irked me. One of the things that drew my attention to annoyance were at certain points in the game that have longer than usual load times. Most load times in the game are only 5-10 seconds tops which isnt bad, but more than a couple times I got hit with a load time ranging up to 20 seconds of waiting. Having that happen in consecutive instances after having a smooth run before that, really pulls you out of the game and kills immersion. Its a nitpick sure,but It's just something I experienced with my time with the game.
My second complaint is that the game had several lock ups during my playthrough, which caused me to lose my game progress. During my playthrough, every few levels my Switch and Shu would encounter an error and tell me my game would now need to be closed and restarted. After this happened the first time, I thought oh well no biggie,this has happened with other games in the past as well,such as Breath Of The Wild. Upon booting my game back up,my progress that I've made through 2 or 3 levels was NOT saved and data was lost, I had to do it all over again. Bah.
This wouldnt of been a big deal if it just occurred one time. But this same event occurred 3-4 separate times from beginning to the end of the game. I found myself having to reboot my game,lose my progress and have to re-do all those levels all over again. It was extremely frustrating and I hope no one else has had this same issue with the game that I had.
The game is a very short game as I mentioned earlier in the review, but there are ways to expend your game play time by gathering up all the collectibles in the game that you will find scattered throughout the level. Of course these aren't all fun and games to get,since some of these are found in ''chase'' sequences where you are being chased by the enemy storm and you need to run as fast as you can to escape. Having to run and spot collectibles will most likely lead to your death multiple times in one sitting, so getting all collectibles in the game will end up feeling a little redundant at times and also make it feel like its a chore.
My final thoughts on Shu is that it plays a lot like games you've already played before,such as Rayman Legends and games of that trope. It doesn't reinvent the wheel,but does just enough via its art design,character abilities and level structure to make it stand out from any offering that's currently out on the Nintendo Switch at this point in time. Besides the loading time and crashing issues I had, Shu was a fun whimsical like platformer that I can see myself picking up again and playing on a whim due to its charm.
Shu is out now for Nintendo Switch
*Review code for Shu provided by Coatsink