Colossus Down is the latest entry in the Psychotics series, giving us a beat ’em up/shoot ’em up mashup. Learn more in our Colossus Down review!
Colossus Down in the third release in the Psychotics series, from Mango Protocol, after Agatha Knife which released in 2019, and Mechanika which released in 2020. This time, the formula is changed from the point and click genre of the previous games to a beat ’em up/shoot ’em up game mashup.
This is a double review for Colossus Down. Ceidz and EdEN played the game, and this review presents what they both had to say.
Colossus Down is a destruction adventure for 1 or 2 players that mixes beat ’em up, shoot ’em up and platforming gameplay with puzzles and a unique and twisted story featuring Nika, a 7-year-old girl that has just built a mass destruction mecha to end with everything she doesn’t like. That includes kitschy dresses, never-ending sagas of boring video games, history books, pea soup, planned obsolescence… Regular stuff, right?
Agatha Knife and Mechanika being a point and click releases, I was surprised to notice that Colossus Down took the gameplay in a new direction by taking a beat ’em up formula. The game begins right where the previous one – Mechanika – ended when Nika had managed to complete her giant mass-destruction robot. Colossus Down recaps those last few moments, and you’ll soon be drawn in the adventure. Take note that if you’re a newcomer in the Psychotics’ franchise, playing Mechanika will give you some background context, but as those events are remembered early in this new adventure, it does feel like a standalone game.
Being a beat ’em up, your goal in each of the different levels will be to take down every enemy that is sent at you. I’m referring to them as enemies here on a broad scale because “enemy” in Colossus Down refers to anyone Nika doesn’t like – so basically everyone around her. Each level has a different tone and objective towards Nika’s ultimate goal. The areas you’ll visit will alos have many objects for you to destroy, and you’re even encouraged to do so because you need those scraps as raw material to upgrade your character.
Colossus Down also features an optional couch multiplayer mode, in which players can choose between Mechanika, Agatha, and the Great Bleeding Pig from Agatha Knife. Speaking of Agatha, having played her game will give you some insight into this character, but once again, this isn’t mandatory to enjoy this game. I actually preferred playing in two-player mode, and I even thought that the game felt better balanced when two people are taking on all of the action, since in single-player mode, if you’re not careful, enemies can tear you down in seconds.
Speaking of the enemies, I thought that they required some extra precision to be able to hit them. The game is presented in the classic beat ’em up style of, say, the Final Fight series, and the hitboxes for enemies felt a bit small. If you’re standing slightly above or below the line on which enemies are standing – or hovering – you’re going to miss with your attacks. The melee cut attack does have a bit more range, but the flame and stun attacks need to be lined-up just right.
I liked how the game lets you regenerate infinitely at first in order to let you familiarize yourself with the gameplay, but then after a few levels, it asks you to choose between hardcore permadeath mode, which allows you to unlock Mechanika’s full potential, or keep the game easy with infinite lives, at the cost of the last upgrade, meaning you only be able to unlock three of the four special attacks.
Colossus Down’s hand-drawn presentation is amazing. The graphics are sharp, and the environments are colorful and lively. There are even a few animated cutscenes that were also very well done and a nice addition. Being a fan of adventure games, I do favor MechaNika over Agatha Knife and Colossus Down, but that doesn’t mean this is not a fun beat ’em up to take on PlayStation 4.
Colossus Down is the latest entry in Mango Protocol’s Psychotic series. While the two previous Psychotic games were point and click adventures, this time around, we’re getting a beat ’em up with some shoot ’em up segments. And yes, that’s a big jump from one genre into a pair of completely unrelated genres. Colossus Down is a direct sequel to MechaNika, and it, therefore, will start right after Nika manages to complete the titular MechaNika robot, which is why she decides to activate it so that she can take it out for a spin and destroy everything in her path – just like she always wanted to!
You’ll move your character with the left analog stick, jumping with the Square button, and using your attacks with the Square, Triangle, and Circle button for the cut, burn, and stun attacks, respectively. You can block attacks with the L1 button and can dash with the L2 button. The R1 button will be for healing, as long as you have enough coolant left to lower the heat from MechaNika so that it doesn’t end up exploding. Your character will also have a special attack, which can be activated with the R2 button. You’ll learn all of this during the tutorial, a section that feels a bit dull.
The better you are at performing combos, dealing lots of damage to enemies at a steady pace without them damaging you or without you taking too much time attacking the next enemy, the more scrap they will leave behind when defeated. As Ceidz mentioned, scraps will be important since they will allow you to power-up MechaNika’s core so that Nika can unlock the special attacks tied to pressing the R2 button and the Square, Triangle, Circle, and X buttons. Using these special attacks will cost you some of your overall health in order to balance things so that you don’t end up overusing them.
As for the game’s trophies, Colossus Down features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. The bad news is that you won’t be able to get all trophies in a single run since some of them are tied to making specific choices during story segments, and others are missable, with objectives that must be completed during specific levels. These missable trophies include scaring a group of pigeons, not killing anyone during the tutorial level on the school, or having the missiles from one boss damage other enemies during said battle. There are also different endings for you to unlock, depending on your actions.
Colossus Down is a great-looking and fun beat ’em up with a dash of shoot ’em up, which is a departure from the point and click adventure games that Mango Protocol released for Agatha Knife and MechaNika. It does suffer from having a very slow and boring tutorial stage, but once you’re in the first proper level fighting enemies, the action will hook you in. Colossus Down is out on PlayStation 4 with a $17.99 asking price.
This Colossus Down review is based on PlayStation 4 copies provided by Mango Protocol.