Gato Roboto - Switch Review
Gato Roboto is a classically-inspired 2D metroidvania that has you controlling a cat in a mech suit. As crazy as that may sound, the cat is actually being controlled remotely by the injured captain in his ship that has crash landed on a remote planet. Explore uncharted territories, upgrade your equipment and delve deeper into uncovering the dark mysteries that dwell within.
Gato Roboto is a satisfying metroidvania with precision-perfect action platforming. As a cat inside of a mech suit, you feel like a weapon of destruction inside and when you eject, you can make your way through confined spaces and climb up walls as a nimble cat.
Gato Roboto perfectly caters to speedrunners. Movement is fluent and quick with absolutely no technical hiccups, making it a speedrunner’s dream. At the bottom of the screen, you are constantly aware of how long you’ve spent playing through the game, assisting those who wish to complete the game in as short a time as possible.
Genre staples have taken their own spin in Gato Roboto to surprisingly effective degrees. One in particular is the missile launcher that features an overheating system. This means that if you shoot too many missiles in quick succession, you’ll have to wait a few seconds for your cannon to cool down. To upgrade this, you’ll need to find hidden cartridges to implement a cooling system. This system acts as an organic method of controlling how many missiles you can fire at once whilst simultaneously removing the tedious method of having to refill your missile meter.
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The HD Rumble is well executed when it hits, especially when defeating enemies and taking damage. You can also feel it when gates open and close during tense moments, as well as when a character raises their voice. However certain games have lead us to be spoilt, as I was hoping to feel a little more vibration when traversing the caverns. Even the pitter-patter of the feline’s feet would have gone a long way in truly making the game feel much more immersive.
Like any metroidvania, Gato Roboto has you travelling from area-to-area, backtracking to collect powerups and unlocking new abilities that unlocks new areas. The difference with Gato Roboto is that the overall layout is subjectively simplistic, but it may be a good entry-point for beginners to the metroidvania genre.
Switching between the mech suit and the cat is well implemented throughout the game, very reminiscent of playing as Samus and turning into a morph ball to make your way through tight spaces. However, the cat has a lot more manoeuvrability, providing a lot more scenarios and personality.
Gato Roboto begins with you crash landing onto a nearby planet. In the wreckage, the captain is injured and unable to get up, so he sends his pet cat out in order to explore and find a way to save them both. The concept is so ludicrous that it actually works incredibly well!
As you progress throughout the game, you begin to notice that the planet has a dark and unsettling backstory. The picture is gradually painted the more that you explore, especially if the player chooses to go off the beaten path, providing further reward for curiosity (which, as we all know, may kill the cat).
Graphics / Art Direction
If we’re to talk about Gato Roboto’s art style, then it cannot be overstated that the game takes a lot of inspiration from the Game Boy classic Metroid 2. With the black and white colour scheme and the familiar spritework, it all comes flooding back in a sea of nostalgia.
If you explore enough, you can find Cartridge Modules that change the colour palette of the game. It’s a simple touch, but it further enforces the Metroid 2 Game Boy theme that Gato Roboto is clearly inspired by. The clearcut colour schemes also pop out very well in contrast with your surroundings, making it easier for the player to move throughout the different areas.
There are some neat effects that add just that extra level of detail and charm. This can come down to the steam escaping from the vents that push you aside or the heat lines in an area flooded with lava. It all comes together in order to reinforce a sense of atmosphere that metroidvanias are renowned for.
Music / Sound Design
The soundtrack for Gato Roboto is often very atmospheric, which is a common factor in Metroid-inspired metroidvanias. As expected, the boss fights increases the tempo and intensity of the music in expected but effective ways.
However where the game’s audio shines is in its sound effects, with most enemies having their own unique sounds that is simply just a nice touch. That extra effort provides that extra dose of personality that makes Gato Roboto stand out just that little bit more.
Final Score: 84%
Gato Roboto blends innovation seamlessly with nostalgia. It relies on familiarity of classic Metroid titles without coming at the expense of establishing its own unique personality. On top of that, the gameplay is smooth and intuitive whilst the story continuously spurs you on. If you’re a seasoned fan of metroidvanias or simple a beginner looking to see what all the fuss is about, Gato Roboto is a purchase that you won’t regret.