Full Quiet (XSX) Review with stream (new NES game)

Retrotainment Games and 8-Bit Legit deserve a lot of credit for creating Full Quiet, a new 8-bit NES game with mysterious, challenging, open-world gameplay. The scope of this game is massive but unfortunately its ambition bites off more than it can chew.  

Essentially playing as forest ranger, it is your job to solve puzzles, survive by killing creepy monsters, and restore a radio grid to find your missing son.  There is a lot happening but since this is a NES game, the presentation doesn’t give much to the player. It definitely has that old school grind-and-retry gameplay mentality which is a little rough by contemporary standards.  

The entire game is presented through a 2D side-scrolling perspective but it is positioned as an open world as there are so many paths to traverse. In fact, this game is so big that the included map and inventory system is required in an attempt to make sense of it all. Imagine the size of Zelda 1’s map. Now imagine navigating that map from a side-scrolling perspective, not top-down, with verticality and you’ll have an idea of how tricky progression can become.   

Although impressive in scope, the result is difficult to follow as the gameplay is too big to cohesively understand.  If you go right, are you going East or North? If I take that path in the background, will that unlock the north square on the map or will it loop my position? Even the UI in the inventory screen is complex and requires a learning curve. Honestly, I don’t understand how all this can fit within the restraint of an NES cartridge but can’t help but feel this would have been a more enjoyable game if it was placed on a more capable system.  Instead of playing like a more advanced version of NES Rambo, what if it was presented in a 16-bit style and top-down like A Link To the Past? Even when using a guide that was given to me by the developer, I still had trouble figuring out where I was going or what I was supposed to be doing.  

A physical NES cart is planned but I am not sure how that version will play since this Xbox port uses more than two buttons. One button jumps, another shoots, another reloads, and you can even duck and aim at a 45-degree angle. Movement is also fast and fluid despite having very limited animation and there is even a ledge grabbing mechanic. However, pulling yourself up the ledge or using your momentum to swing is random at best. But this is just another example of how much is happening in this game. As if navigating a massive open-world filled with monsters that take numerous hits to kill wasn’t difficult enough, the player needs to fumble with a swinging momentum ledge grabbing system in which you might fall down a hole and backtrack several minutes.  

To be clear, Full Quiet isn’t a bad game, it is just overly complex and not for everyone. If you enjoy classic NES-hard style punishment, it won’t get any better than Full Quiet.  But as remarkable as it is, this is a tough game. It is tough in challenge. It is tough to figure where to go. It is tough to understand what to do. Either way, I am glad I had to the chance to play this game but there is no questioning the admiration that comes from such an ambitious game.  

SCORE: 6/10

Also Play: Halloween ’86

Don’t Forget About: Creepy Brawlers 

Wait For It: a modern remake created in the style of 3rd person action platformer  

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief 

Twitter: @ZackGaz 

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