Tango Fiesta Review
Developed by Spilt Milk
Release Date May 17th 2017
Tango Fiesta arrives with a twin stick shooter mechanic and a truck load of popularity culture references in tow for Xbox One, not to mention witty one-liners in an attempt to put a smile on your face. Question is; does it perform that task? Or will it leave you groaning in disbelief. Let's continue.
The Story mode has several world's to unlock through natural progression, each displayed as an old VHS tape at the menu screen, and many people won't be old enough to remember these
I am old enough, and that little reference was enough to bring back warm and fuzzy memories. Wait, no it doesn't. Rewinding a VHS because some inconsiderate family member couldn't be bothered to rewind it themselves was the bane of my childhood. Thankfully, we are in a digital age which means that is thankfully a thing of the past, and this pixelated reference can stay.
The missions in each world are relatively the same, offering few variations. Kill and destroy your targets and move on. A simple mechanic really, and one that is made more difficult to overcome when you take a look at the aiming mechanic implemented. Unlike many modern twin stick shooters, which allow you full rotation of your guns, in Tango Fiesta leaves you aiming along horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines of sight. This can prove frustration when your neck deep in enemy grunts and helicopters intent on sending you to an early grave. Which can happen rather quickly at first.
Primary focus on gameplay is for some Co-operative fun although going it alone is an option should you be a friendless wonder. Charging through an 80's themed game with friends old enough to recall the "good old days" of childhood references can only be fun. On top of that the humour from the text based cut scenes are also a sweet bonus. Unfortunately, I feel that Tango Fiesta has relied quite heavily on this which has resulted in a lack of attention on the game itself. Not saying it's a terrible game, but it comes over a bit of a flat experience unless you're playing through with friends.
Aside from Story mode, you have Arcade mode and a selection of weapons that you can purchase to help you along erradicate get the bad guys. A necessity when you meet the end of world boss fights, given their ability to soak up damage, akin to how a sponge does water. Just you try taking them suckers out with melee only attacks. A tough feat by any gamers standards.
The low asking price would likely appeal to people looking for a cheap game full of mindless destruction and gun toting mayhem. But there are games out there that just do it better within the twin stick genre. It's not without its fun, and is reasonably enjoyable. Plenty of weapons to unlock and tough achievements to work for. It just lacks that certain something that inevitably prevents it from being an Indie darling. Could it tempt you with a sale? Then you'd only be spending a few pounds or dollars and is likely able to hold your interest long enough. Immersive it is not. Silly and mindless fun it can be. Try and coax some friends before hand to hopefully up the enjoyment factor.
As with a lot of Indie titles, Tango Fiesta goes for a retro theme with blocky visuals. It's not always about the graphics right?
Joining the visuals, is an 80's inspired soundtrack that suits the mood. The voice acting of the shop owner kind of reminds me of a famous actor from 80's action movies, but who can it be? A decent parody, but again Tango Fiesta is reliant upon these tropes.
The lack of a freedom of movement for the aiming is immediately noticeable and can be frustrating at times. Especially when you're in the middle of a frenetic firefight. Enemies come thick and fast and if you're not on guard they will destroy you quickly. The controls are responsive enough to counteract the aiming mechanic though, meaning the game is playable.
It does score quite well here, as there are plenty of weapons to unlock and achievements that will have you coming back to try once again. The addition of Co-op is a huge plus giving the game extra life expectancy. It really is down to you how the 80's theme appeals, and the aiming feels to you.
A handful of easy ones to get you started, then the real challenge begins. Defeat a boss with melee attacks only? Good luck. The take little damage and deal out a lot. Not to mention there are your basic grunts about you could well find these damn near impossible. At time of writing, there is a suspected broken achievement. Overall, a tough completion.
Tango Fiesta tries hard to find its own niche within the vast choice of ID@Xbox games, and will likely suffer in obscurity unless it's offered in a sale. It doesn't fail hard, and may give you a smile or two with its humour. But it won't stand head and shoulders above the rest. It may develop a cult following among few gamers, and time will tell. A fairly good effort but plagued by the lack of true freedom of movement that a twin stick shooter really needs in the modern era of gaming. Such as Full Mojo Rampage or Neon Chrome offer.
My game time shows just over an hour of time invested. But I was closer to the 6 hour mark. Due to not unlocking any achievements in this time, the time has not updated on site.
A copy was provided for review purposes.