Total Recoil Review for PS Vita

Got a Vita? Got $2.50? Get over to the PS Store and lay that cash down for a surprisingly fun, action packed game. Read the review inside:

Eiconic Games Ltd released this game for the PS Vita in July on the PSN. The game is a total blast to play, and won't damage your wallet. I meant to write this review up much earlier this evening, but I kept playing the game; trying to get to the next level, trying to earn those skill perks... the action and upgrading is addictive.
Yes, you should

What is is:
Total Recoil is a single player action game where you take on the role of a soldier fighting against a global threat. The game certainly doesn't take itself too seriously: you must bring down Globoco... and restore freedom to the galaxy. 

A couple of rules the game lets you in on: 
1. Shoot everything that moves. 
2. Shoot everything that doesn't!
Mow 'em all down!

This is a top down shooter with the two stick control scheme: left stick to move and right stick to fire most weapons. And then you just mow down wave after wave of enemy troops, tanks, jets, helicopters, turrets... 

Some weapons make use of the touchscreen/rear touchpad. It kind of takes you out of the fast-firing action to activate a remote controlled missile launch for a precision attack, but it still is fun. 

You pick up health packs, invincibility pods, or shields when you successfully defeat a wave of enemies within the time limit. And then this is where the game really gets fun. When you first play the game, you feel how weak the character is and you yearn for the vast amount of skill upgrades, rank leveling, weapon unlocks, killstreak bonuses...
Each upgrade is instantly helpful

Leveling up!
The action is a lot of fun in this game, but what really makes it addictive is the upgrade aspect of it all. You destroy crates to earn Bucks... the monetary units in this world. After a mission (either if you win or lose) you can take these bucks to the store and choose from your large list of upgrade options. Your weapons can be upped, your armor, your speed, your buck magnet, you can buy one time health boosts, killstreaks can be advanced... So many options!

And you can really see the difference when you buy something. In some games, the level up isn't that noticeable, but here, you really see when the next level of the chain gun is upped, or the flamer. You can't tweak individual parts of your weapon, it's kind of an all encompassing upgrade. But it makes it better. And that's what you want. 

Challenges, like "destroy 3 turrets using an artillery strike" pop up and you earn stars. These stars increase your rank, which in turn unlock weapons for you to buy and upgrade. You can find them in crates in the world, but they have limited ammo. When you unlock and buy them, you can switch them out on the fly and have unlimited ammo. Sure you have to reload, but you don't go around looking for ammo crates. 
Rank up to unlock new weapons!

Killstreaks are fun. You rack up enough kills/chain enough combo attacks, and you earn a killstreak. Like an artillery strike, a strafing run, a turret, a smart bomb. And these all can be upgraded, as well. These make use of the Vita's touchscreen capability. You sometimes have to place a turret by touching the screen. Swipe the screen to order the strafing run. 

One thing with the bucks... every time you go to the store, the game looks online and you get a message that starts to irritate you...
For the hundredth time, I get it
There will be PS Store options for you to buy bucks if you want...someday. You see the option, but it you can never accept it.

Classic military themed music that gets you into the action. The narrator who announces in the game is a hardcore cheesy boot camp guy who really gets you into the game environment. Weapon fire, explosions, Tesla gun sparks... all are varied and satisfying to hear when you pummel the enemy. Top notch. 

Fast action that doesn't get bogged down (there is a slight jog at midpoints). Good stuff. You lace into the onslaught of tank drones and troops with your weapons with blazing speed. (Like I said, you start off slow, but you can up your speed, weapon rates, etc. to make the action pound). The graphics are pretty. The character models are cartoony and fun. 

Sure, environments don't vary too much... you have an oil rig, a jungle, a train station... they vary slightly in their enemy placements, type of enemies, difficulty... but you sometimes ask yourself, "Didn't I play this level before?" And the progression of some levels from oil rig to jungle doesn't really make sense. But in this type of game, just get to the next level, upgrade, and blast away. Good fun.

Difficulty and replay: 
There are 6 major missions, each with 6 levels with ever challenging bosses to finish a level with. I'm only on the 2nd mission packet, and it is tough! This is only a 2 star difficulty out of 6, where bosses are tougher and there are more of them. There are also 3 "survivor" levels, one for each terrain (oil rig, jungle, and train
station). Your mission? Defeat wave after wave of enemies for as long as you can. Difficult, but an online leaderboard would have been nice here.

You will like this game if: 
  • you want a fun shoot 'em up action game
  • you like a single player, quick play, on the go game
  • you enjoy leveling up a character in countless areas and seeing immediate results
  • you don't like to spend a lot of money for a quality game ($2.50?! No question!)
You might not like: 
  • The lack of online connectivity (the "buy" screen pops up that annoying screen all the time. This may be added to in time)
  • the limited variety of levels
For all factors involved, be they price point, pick up and play fun, addictive leveling up action... Total Recoil gets a 

Thanks to Eiconic Games Ltd for the review code.

Comments are welcome below. Have you played this yet? Interested? 

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