[PS Vita] Russian Subway Dogs Review

by EdEN, Owner

Arcade-style game Russian Subway Dogs from Spooky Squid Games has finally launched on PS Vita. Check our Russian Subway Dogs review!

It’s been a long, long path – as you can read in our interview with Miguel Sternberg – but Russian Subway Dogs has finally launched as part of the last ever batch of PlayStation Vita games. The game had a Kickstarter that, unfortunately, didn’t manage to reach its funding goal. Thanks to the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the development of this arcade-style release was partially funded, allowing Spooky Squid Games to launch the game on Steam. It was then time to start working on porting the game to the PlayStation Vita, including a mad-dash to submit the game to Sony before the final deadline for the PS Vita’s digital store.

Russian Subway Dogs Review - 1

In Russian Subway Dogs, you will take control of a very hungry canine who is running around a Russian subway station. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to help it find as much food as possible to keep its belly full. To do this, you’ll have to scavenge for food by barking at unsuspecting targets, ai that they drop their food and you can get it into your belly. You can’t just bark non-stop left and right because every time you bark, your stamina bar will decrease. If you bark too much or don’t enough and the bar is completely depleted, then it’s game over!

The controls are easy to understand. You’ll move your dog around with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, making it bark with the Square button and jump with the X button. As mentioned before, barking will make people drop their food, but they’ll sometimes also carry vodka! Vodka is highly explosive, but you can use it to your advantage. You can deflect vodka by barking, and this will increase its multiplier. Once it lands near someone, it will cook the food they were carrying, which will boost its score value.

Russian Subway Dogs Review - 4

Vodka can also be used to get rid of enemies. You’re not the only creature running around the Russian subway, so you’ll have to watch out for other stray dogs, pigeons, elks, and even bears! I suggest that you first use your bark to juggle around a bottle of vodka at least a handful of times before using it to defeat an enemy or to cook some food. You should also jump and grab food before it hits the ground so that it can be worth more points, as well as to start to build up an air combo multiplier that will increase the value of subsequent food, as long as you don’t let any hit the floor.

You’ll soon have to also juggle using power-ups at the right time while literally juggling them in the air with your bark so that you can increase their effectiveness. These will include a mighty bottle of hot sauce that will make your dog gain access to a fire bark, chocolate you can feed to your canine rivals, or coffee that can make you hyper-aware, greatly increasing your speed as you try to keep enemies from chomping on your hard-earned meals.

Russian Subway Dogs Review - 2

For each level, you will need to boost your score as high as possible so that you can get a better grade. This is important since, as we’ll discuss in a bit, you’re going to have to get an S rank for all story missions to get some of the trophies. You can also complete extra objectives from the Proletaricat so that you can get some bones for your trouble. These can include things such as eating at least five hot meals, getting an air combo of seven or higher, getting a 5x or higher vodka juggle, keep dobermans from eating any shwarma, or hitting two dobermans with a single vodka explosion, to name some examples. Bones are important since you’re going to need them to unlock more levels to take on in Campaign Mode.

Along with the Campaign Mode, Russian Subway Dogs also includes and Endless Mode. As its name suggests, for this one, you can continue to play for as long as possible with the aim of surviving long enough to get a spot on the game’s leaderboards, as well as to, well, get good. You can get lots of valuable practice in Endless Mode that will help you conquer the Campaign Mode, as you unlock new locations as well as new characters to play as. Along with the main Russian Dog, there are additional characters to unlock by progressing through the Campaign Mode, including some guest stars from beloved indie franchises.

You will be able to unlock fifteen extra characters by playing through the Campaign Mode. These include Proletaricat – who gives you the extra missions to complete -, Question Hound from comic Gunshow, Rad Shiba and Nacho from VA-11 HALL-A, Clawed Kitty, who is inspired by the studio’s They Bleed Pixels, Ratcoon from action roguelike Ruin of the Reckless, Fidel from Fidel Dungeon Rescue, Dopler and Kepler from Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time, Uay Chivo from Guacamelee!, Sylvanos from Rivals of Aether, and Nidhogg from Nidhogg 2.

As for the trophies, there’s a full trophy list for this one with a Platinum trophy at the end of the road. You’ll have to get good to be able to get an S ranking on all of the Campaign Mode levels, as well as for getting all bones in every single one of said levels, which will require you to not only beat each one but also to complete the three objectives set out by the Proletaricat. The rest of the trophies are tied to the Endless Mode, asking you to reach specific score milestones, reaching a specific goal without hurting any animals, getting a mega BBQ with a bear that has been fed a lot, eating four chocolate bars during a single run, eating four hot sauces in a single run, defeating two pigeons with a fire elk, or completing one, 10, and 20 Proletaricat missions in Endless mode, to name some examples.

Russian Subway Dogs Review - 3

Russian Subway Dogs is a very fun arcade-style game that is easy to learn but hard to master. Since all the action takes place on a single screen, you can easily keep an eye on all opponents, food, and items, so that you can plan accordingly. There’s a lot of trial and error for this one since you’ll be learning from your mistakes as you try to find the best way to complete the missions for each level as you aim for an S rank in all of them – something you’ll probably have to separate into multiple tries for each stage. Russian Subway Dogs is one of the last games for the PlayStation Vita, and it’s a very entertaining one you should definitely check out. Russian Subway Dogs is out on PS Vita with a $14.99 asking price.

This Russian Subway Dogs review is based on a PlayStation Vita copy provided by Spooky Squid Games.

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