Here I sit… a few days after picking up The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ for my Nintendo Switch. When I first preordered it, I though to myself: What the fuck am I thinking?
I’ve seen some reviews and videos on it before. Hell, I even had the original BoI on PS4 when it was their free game one month (and, in all honesty, I never once played it).
So what am I doing getting this game? Well.. the limited game selection on the Switch originally played a factor in it. And, in full disclosure, I had enough store credit at EB Games still to pre-order it.
So here we are.
So I picked up the game on the way home from work Friday. Took this picture in my car, haha.
The ‘Day One’ release offers a few things that will differ from following prints of the game.
First, an alternate ‘reversible’ cover that has slightly different art (seen to the left). I definitely like the alternate artwork compared to what will be only available on future prints of the game.
The alternate cover art isn’t the only thing that the ‘Day One’ edition has to offer.
Inside, there are a few goodies to be had.
Most notably is the 20 page color instruction book (featured here) that is in the theme of the original Legend of Zelda game on NES in the 80’s. It’s really well done.
Actually, if you look hard enough on reddit someone has done screen shots of the original Legend of Zelda instructions and compared them to the instructions included in this… and, interestingly enough, they did a real good job at mimicking the layout of the original instructions. It really is great.
This is the first Switch game to include an instruction book. I’m not sure if future ones will include one (but will be interesting to see).
And of course, as if the instructions weren’t cool enough.. the game comes with STICKERS!!! OMG!!! There are two pages of stickers (only one feature in the picture above) and a single extra sticker of Isaac’s head.
Overall, it was neat to see how Nicalis (creator/publisher of BoI) added these things for the first run. I’m hoping other publishers take this idea on games they publish. But, probably not Because, you know.. stickers and alternate cover art cost so much! Haha.
Now, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ was originally scheduled to be a launch day release for the Switch. But Nicalis pushed it back (two weeks), which is fine.. Really, nothing else of value came out on March 17th… So I’d rather a delay then issues arising or a substandard release happening.
So what is The Binding of Isaac all about?
Well, if the screenshot above doesn’t give you an idea… The ‘short’ version is Isaac is trying to escape from his mother who is bat-shit crazy.
He shoots his tears to defeat various enemies (such as bats, flies, insects, etc…).
You run around the dungeon collecting power ups and items to help you on your way (you better believe that’s a coil of crap on Isaac’s head there! Haha. I honestly forget what item I got to get that).
The interesting thing about the game is that no two levels are the same. There is a randomization to the levels. So you can run the same level ten times, and the game generates ten different levels.
Looking at the Bestiary for The Binding of Isaac has a dozen or so pages for just the regular mobs you will encounter, and just as many pages for bosses. So there’s really no telling what combination of bad buys you’ll fight in any level.
At first, I thought the game was lame.. and easy.. And I had buyers remorse on getting it (I get buyers remorse if I buy a fucking chocolate bar though.. so don’t gauge anything on that!). After the first few runs through, and dying.. the game started to grow on me. I’d start getting new items and the names would make me chuckle.
I’ll state this:
This game is not for everyone. Those easily offended/butthurt should stay clear. Also, those who prefer newer-style games should stick to something like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The game definitely has a NES-feel to it.. personally, I like it. And again, it’s not for everyone.
If you like dark (dare I say.. dank?) humor, 2D graphics and dungeon crawls.. Definitely give this a try.
Otherwise… stick to something else. But you’ve been warned! 🙂