Welcome to the Nintendo Switch, Pronty! Just over a year on from its Steam release, the fishy adventure game Pronty swims its way onto consoles. The story follows the titular character Pronty and their marlin-like partner Bront as they defend the city of Royla; a sprawling Atlantis-type landscape. Pronty promises fast-paced action and metroidvania style exploration, and has been warmly received on the platforms it’s been released on thus far. Let’s dive in and hope it avoids the usual Nintendo Switch performance issues that ports tend to fall victim to!
Oh my, Pronty, you are easy on the eye! The art palette looks like the cartoony/art-deco style popularised in BioShock, combined with the moody, gloomy environs of Hollow Knight. This really manages to enhance the visual storytelling of Royla and how it’s been decimated by an evil that Pronty and Bront must extinguish. All over the place, there are damaged laboratories and collapsing structures, all more carefully dressed than the last, and every screen is a feast for your eyes as you inspect the decimation and darkness while also looking out for the next enemy attack.
On the subject of attacking, and as previously mentioned, Pronty’s sidekick, Bront, is a marlin-type fish with a long-pointy snout which is put to use as the main combat system throughout Pronty. You can use Bront as a missile or a directional attack, or as a host of other weapons that get unlocked along the way. I found the combat system was a bit confusing to start with but when I got used to it, I was flinging Bront around like nobody’s business. Enemies approach from 360° which makes for some chaotic enemy encounters, but when you get into the swing of things, it’s incredibly intuitive and satisfying when you nail it.
Pronty also offers plenty of replayability which is great for its price-point. There are multiple endings (not many seem to do that these days!) and plenty of collectables to gather. I can tell you now that the first time you see the Pronty completion statistics screen certainly won’t be the last, because there will be so much that you’ll miss in the first playthrough.
- Beautiful art-deco art style
- Enthralling combat
- Plenty of replayability
The tragic story of Royla is an interesting and thoughtful one, however the storytelling touch-points in Pronty are a bit too bitty for me. Rather than having less frequent and longer dialogue moments, Pronty seems to prefer a set-up whereby you are stopped and forced to view dialogue at almost every twist and turn. It just felt a bit too handholdy and just broke up the pace of the game a bit too much.
If you don’t have access to a Nintendo Switch TV dock and a Pro Controller, then I would suggest avoiding Pronty, sadly. There is no doubt in mind that it’s a much more enticing experience on the big screen, not least of all so that you can properly take in all of the beautiful environments. But also given how precise and chaotic the combat can be, you really need to have agile fingers. When I did play in handheld mode, I always got cramps in my hands after about five minutes, ouch!
I’m a huge exploration fan in video games, and it’s also a huge reason why I love metroidvanias so much, but whilst there is a fair bit to discover in Pronty, it does feel pretty linear as a whole. The story rarely branches off and the power-ups are generally unlocked in a linear fashion. For me, a true metroidvania should give you freedom of choice in where to go next, however Pronty seems to keep you on the straight and narrow with some rather contrived gating mechanics.
- Dialogue pauses are too frequent
- Awkward to play handheld
- Pretty linear for a metroidvania
Final Score: 8/10
Overall, I had a great time exploring Royla with Pronty and Bront, and I hope we meet again. However, describing Pronty as a metroidvania is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion, but that shouldn’t take away from all of the many plus points on offer here. The graphics, story and combat are all well executed and when you nail those pillars, who cares what genre of game it is?
Thank you for checking out our Pronty Switch review, thank you to Happinet Corporation for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: