The Final Station (Review) Nintendo Switch

The Final Station (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

The Final Station by developer Do My Best Games has been available for the Nintendo Switch for quite some time, but what it offers as a game is why it stands out amongst the influx of new releases the eShop receives each week. While it can be described as a 2D side-scrolling shooter, The Final Station can also be identified as a survival horror, world-building train simulator with explorative aspects. Talk about a mouth full.

As the game’s unnamed train Conductor, the player must work as a train operator 106 years after a cataclysmic event known as ‘The First Visitation’. The Conductor is soon tasked with driving an experimental train to pick up special cargo for the military. During his new journey, the Conductor finds himself at the center of ‘The Second Visitation’, which is destroying towns and infecting humans with a virus that mutates them into monsters. The Conductor must deliver the special cargo at any cost, and then return home to be with his daughter.

The Final Station is divided into two segments: the train sequence (which is a series of mini-games) and the side-scrolling shooter that involves exploration and the elimination of the infected. The train – despite its lack of depth – serves to sustain any survivors found along the way. The train also serves as a crafting station to create important survival items such as ammo, food and medkits. During trips, the player has to monitor their passengers’ health and hunger by speaking to them. If a passenger is hungry or injured, the player can return to the front of the train – grab the item that’s needed – and then bring it back to the passenger.

The player must also maintain the train’s suspension, voltage and ventilation system, which can all be accessed by different panels. When a system needs tweaking or even fails, an exclamation mark ‘!’ will appear above the panel in question. The suspension system panel is fairly basic, and requires the player to pull a lever to activate. The voltage system (and even the ventilation system) is a bit more challenging, as it requires the player to tweak different power gauges to maintain a specific voltage. Failure to maintain the proper voltage will cause the train to stop and power down. When this happens, the train’s ventilation system will fail. The lack of ventilation can make passengers ill or even cause them to suffocate. The player has to work fast to repair these issues or risk losing their passengers.

The side-scrolling portion of the game plays like most shooters, but with exploratory aspects. The player can interact with NPCs, search buildings for ammo and crafting materials, and explore underground locations like bunkers and tunnels. The game itself has a dark, survival horror vibe that stays consistent throughout, especially when encountering the shadowy, white-eyed monsters that lurk about.

Combat isn’t as fast-paced as one might imagine. The game expects the player to conserve ammo instead of running and gunning. And this is due to the amount of infected humanoids the player will encounter later in the game. Some can easily be killed by shooting them in the head, while others need to be shot multiple times. If all else fails, the player can walk backwards and punch the infected by pressing the B button, but this will only work on slow moving enemies. The player can also pick up objects like boxes, toilets, etc., and use them as projectiles. These objects do break when thrown, so it’s important that they hit their intended target the first time.

The Final Station’s graphics are mostly shrouded in darkness, sans the train sequence. The buildings and tunnels the player investigates usually remain dark until the player enters a new area. This creates a feeling of tension, as the player cautiously moves from room to room. The 8-bit art style – which some may argue has been overused in indie titles ad nauseam – actually compliments the game, making it feel retro in both style and presentation.

The Final Station isn’t necessarily the best game in its genre, but it contains enough originality to make it entertaining and well worth the time spent playing it. At the end of the day, this is all that really matters.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Do My Best Games
Publisher: tinyBuild
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $19.99

The Final Station Official Website:
http://thefinalstation.com/

Review Score
Graphics
The 8-bit graphics compliment the action.
Sound
Decent sound effects and a moody soundtrack.
Gameplay
The train simulator and platforming segments are fun, but difficult to master.
Overall
The Final Station contains enough originality to make it worth a purchase.
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