A cross-buy title on Playstation, Riddled Corpses EX is a new twin stick shooter with some bullet hell elements and a nice loop that keeps you coming back. You get both the Vita and PS4 version and it’s also available on Xbox One – we checked out the handheld version.
Riddled Corpses (without the EX part) was actually a Steam game well before it ever landed on consoles and Sony’s little handheld – it came out back in 2015 but led a fairly anonymous life until now, at least to me. Riddled Corpses EX isn’t just a straight up port, but rather an improved and expanded version of the original – and when I read the criticisms people had on the Steam version these are all changes for the better.
A retro-inspired twin stick shooter – with a distinct 16 bit visual style to it, Riddled Corpses EX has a simple premise. Mow down as many of the undead and hellish monsters before you kick the bucket. Every kill earns you money as well, which you can use to power up before you start a new run – essentially making things just a little easier every time you restart, until you finally reach that big boss fight at the end. It sounds simple, but it’s quite addictive.
When you start a new run, you have the option to either start in the first level or dive into one of the later (and harder) levels right away. The benefit is either a quicker route to the end of the ability to earn tons more cash – and you’ll probably choose the latter a few times before you attempt beating the game. Different characters are available, each with different perks, and can be upgraded individually as well. On consoles, you can head into the action through a local coop mode as well, but this isn’t an option on the Vita.
There’s a story mode that you’ll probably spend the most time with (complete with cutscenes that weren’t in the PC version), but you can also engage in Arcade and Survival modes. These options lack the gameplay loop that made me come back to story mode time and again, but they’re good tests of skill. These are also the modes that will appeal to those who enjoy a bit of competition, as you upload your best score to the online leaderboard to see where you rank.
Visually, Riddled Corpses EX received subtle improvements from the PC version, but it’s still very much a non-remarkable indie title with pixelated graphics. There’s a nice (chip music) soundtrack though, and the package doesn’t look out of place on the Vita – which is more and more becoming a haven for indie titles like this. So it might be a tad generic, but it’s addictive gameplay loop as well as solid controls and fun twin stick action make Riddled Corpses EX a fun new title on the Vita – the fact that it comes with the PS4 is a nice little bonus.