Intrepid Izzy (Xbox One) Review with stream

Originally released as a physical homebrew Dreamcast release, Intrepid Izzy is a retro throwback that is one-part open world exploration and one-part simplistic brawler.

For better and worse, the distinct retro feel of this 5-6 hour adventure is a callback to simpler times.  Although there are outfits to collect which grants the player additional abilities to reach previously unreachable parts of the map, it takes the Metroid gameplay but keeps it more compact thanks to its level structure. Overall, there is one giant map to explore but it is broken down in distinct areas which makes the experience not as intimidating.

Combat also blends short combos into the mix which gives it brawler-style gameplay.  While most enemies can be defeated with a simple tap-tap-tap combo, bosses are another story. They are acts of attrition and combined with the tiny three hearts of health, some fights can be cheesier than they should be. Without an option to adjust the level of challenge, the difficulty spikes can be a little frustrating. 

Visually, the hand-drawn art is easily a stand-out feature. Loaded with fluid animation and a bright color selection, this is a game that looks nice in motion. There are some stereotypical stage designs, like a town, an ancient temple, and a creepy forest, but they seem like generic set pieces that don’t truly flow from one another. The UI is clean and easy to read minus the map. It is nice that the game usually indicates the general direction the player should head, but viewing it is rather cumbersome.  After pulling up the menu, the player needs to select the map, then scroll accordingly. It might not sound like much on paper but is rather tedious in practice when you just want to quickly ensure you are going in the right direction. There are moments of humor from the dialog and ridiculous story though. 

Intrepid Izzy doesn’t always hit the bullseye, but it is still a pleasant retro throwback thanks to the dedicated work of the indie development scene.

SCORE: 6.5/10

Not As Difficult As: Heidelberg 1693

Also Play: C.A.R.L.

A Little Better Than: CatMaze

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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