A little cyborg girl Siruby, explores a strange pixelated world in the new Metroidvania in Transiruby, from publisher FLYHIGH WORKS CO LTD. Developed by Skipmore, creators of indie hits, Fairune and Kamiko, Transiruby is their latest pixel generated game.
Pixels dead ahead
In Transiruby, Siruby explores a strange continent that appeared out of nowhere. Along with her trusty A.I. cat Ne-com, she sets off to shoot and slash here way to answers on exactly why this is all happening. During her journey, she runs into a colorful cast of characters including another cyborg girl Yamato, and a hulking treasure hunter named Douglas. The story is light and simple but does what it needs to do.
Graphically, Transiruby goes for a 16-bit pixel style. The main character is simply designed but definitely not without charm. I found her transformations to be endearing. I found the lack of enemy types to be a little off putting, although they fit into the overall style of the game. There is vibrancy to the levels though I wished for more diversity in the four stages.
Not so stranger in a strange land
If you’re familiar with the metroidvania formula you will be right at home here. Siruby controls well and has both a sword to eviscerate her foes and gun which can freeze them and turn them into platforms.
Everything here plays as expected. You develop skills that permit you to enter new parts of the map and continue your exploration. Furthermore, the skills are pretty standard in the genre: a double jump, and added length to your gun shots. The real point of differentiation are her transformations, hence the title.
Siruby can turn into a cycle to speed across the landscape and blocks. Additionally she can transform into a spaceship which leads to a little side-scrolling shoot ‘em up action. I really enjoyed the shooting portions as they were a welcome break from the usual platforming sections.
There are locked gates that you must collect yellow chips to unlock. Part of the rub comes with the fact that there are of course only enough chips per level to unlock those doors. Oftentimes, you can see on the map where you need to go to collect them. But finding out how to get there sometimes can be a little maddening because the overall size of the map is zoomed way out. Finding that one little passage to get there can be frustrating.
Also, there are portions of the game where you need to input codes found in the levels to start up giant “sister” machines. There were times the location of those codes were painfully apparent and times where I wandered aimlessly searching for them. One in particular stumped me for a while. Hint: don’t forget to duck to see what’s beneath you!
What is a cyborg but a miserable pile of secrets?
Transiruby isn’t going to supplant the major players in the genre, but it doesn’t need to. It’s on the shorter side to finish, about 8 hours. There are other endings and secret hidden items, so there is definite replay-ability.
I really enjoyed my time playing Transiruby, though I will admit to bouts of frustration because of the map. I also wished for more time and uses for the transformations. The shooting portion absolutely broke some of the monotony of wandering about leaping off of things.