Following Protocol

Rules or Protocols are there for a reason. No one likes to abide by them but they are there for a purpose. This sentence is what revolves around FinalBoss Games’ latest release on the Nintendo Switch (also on other platforms), Vesta. Vesta is an adventure-puzzle game which advises you to follow the Protocol. It’s a pretty short one, in terms of only having a couple of hours worth of story, but if you’re looking for nice little adventure with puzzles that won’t really annoy you too much, Vesta should be one you look at.

The story of Vesta sees you take on the role of a young girl named….wait for it….Vesta. Vesta is trying to reach the surface of a city that once thrived and had many human people living in it, but for some reason Vesta is the only one left. However, Vesta can’t be expected to do everything herself, and is aided on her task by BOT, who always reminds Vesta of the relevant protocols and Droid, who is basically a machine who can do all the tasks that Vesta can’t do herself. Between the three of them, there is a fun little story to be had and there is also quite a lot of humor between them, which helps. I found BOT to be very annoying at times, and half of the stuff he did say (apart from the tutorial bits) I found myself ignoring.

Vesta looks decent enough on the Switch. It’s vibrant, and basically it’s what you would expect from a game like this. Nothing is detailed in too much detail, as I guess it would take the fun out of it somewhat. I couldn’t really complain from what I was seeing on my screen overall. Sound wise, I wasn’t a fan of the soundtrack, at all. After a while, it started to annoy me as such I ended up turning the Switch’s volume right down so I could just concentrate with the action that was happening on the screen. I wish that they had used some different background music. Maybe some people will enjoy it, although I really didn’t.

In the gameplay itself, this is where the core action takes place, and it’s quickly apparent why Vesta needs Droid and vice versa. Vesta is great at getting through the little gaps, while Droid is good at moving boxes and also picking up Vesta in order to throw her to the next platform. All of this is done seamlessly as you can switch between the both characters with a quick press of the X button. It was pretty fun to see how the levels were designed, as it meant not one character was isolated throughout and there was something for both to do throughout.

Progression in Vesta is centered around energy, with Vesta being able to absorb and hold energy in her backpack to put in other power sources. A little into the game, you are given the ability to hold up to 3 energy sources, but that’s where things become quite tricky overall. As power sources are used to open doors, latches and moving floors that take you to the next section, you must hold the energy dear to you and only use them in power sources that you really need to in order to progress. You’ll definitely find yourself backtracking multiple times in order retrieve a power source from earlier on in the level. You also have to consider the fact that you’ll need to move both characters in order to progress and that may include opening doors for Droid to get to. You’ll definitely find yourself and Droid going in different paths throughout the levels as you use each of their strengths to complete the level.

I did have a couple of issues with the game however. One being Droid’s shooting. Droid can shoot enemies which then gives Vesta a limited amount of time to collect their energy before they are regenerated and start shooting at you once again. The trouble I had was with the aiming. It can be so off, little pushes of the analog stick can take it on a whole new direction, which is very frustrating as Vesta may get shot, resulting in you having to do the level again. Another big issue I had with the game is the saving. You think you’ve saved at a certain point only to find out that when you go back to it, you have to re-complete levels you already have. I’m sure that the developers are working on a fix as I type as it can get rather frustrating.

A Nintendo Switch Review code was provided by FinalBoss Games