Review: Siesta Fiesta

Having a ball!

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 07/29/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Fantastic gameplay variation; Tight controls; Beautiful art style and soundtrack; High replayability.
Poison Mushroom for...
Bland boss fights.

Let me cut to the chase: if you have any kind of fascination with Breakout-styled games, then it’s absolutely essential that you purchase Siesta Fiesta on the 3DS eShop.

When you play a game that is similar to Breakout, you know exactly what you’re in for. You always control a paddle to bounce a ball around the screen, which destroys blocks to earn the player points. Once you clear every block in a stage, you move onto the next one and do it all over again. I love Breakout games, but there have been so many variations of this formula that play almost exactly the same. As a result, it’s hard to find a Breakout-styled game that doesn’t make me think, “Been there, done that!”

Despite this stagnation, Siesta Fiesta shows that there is still room for new ideas to be implemented in these types of games. Sure, you still hit blocks with a ball that is rebounded off a paddle to score points, but the way that each level is played is now completely different. For instance, the majority of the levels in the game scroll from left to right instead of being confined to a single room, making it feel more like an adventure game than an arcade-like experience. Instead of trying to clear every single block on the screen to progress, you’ll focus on survival and trying to reach the end of each level without wasting all of your lives.

The other big difference is the way that the game controls. Typically, games that mirror Breakout only allow the player to move the paddle left or right. But in Siesta Fiesta, you can control how high the ball goes as well! If you press the A button right before the ball bounces off the paddle, it shoots up to the top of the screen. If you choose to hit the ball normally, the ball will only reach about half the distance. This may seem like a small difference, but it changes the way the game is played because it gives the player a lot more control on the trajectory of the ball. There will often be situations where you will need to launch the ball in a certain path on the top of the screen, making it necessary to position the ball correctly on a lower level before launching it higher. This makes the game feel more interesting as a whole because the path of the ball is not solely determined by the random objects it bounces on.

To keep things interesting, Siesta Fiesta constantly introduces new gameplay mechanics within its 64 unique levels. For example, you don’t just score points by hitting blocks, as you can also enter a hole in the ground and shoot out of a geyser, launch out of a party popper like a cannon, or hit the ball through a gate to score extra points. There are also different kinds of blocks, such as large blocks that take multiple hits, water blocks that you can pass through, and switch blocks that alter the level to solve mini puzzles along the way. My personal favorite mechanics are from levels that change the type of paddle that you use. You may be asked to control a giant fan, which propels the ball up when A is held down, or use a party popper paddle that catches the ball and shoots it out once A is pressed. Finally, there are also four collectable power-ups that are scattered throughout the game’s levels.

The only form of gameplay variation that didn’t work for me were the boss battles. At the end of each of the game’s eight worlds, you will have to fight against a giant animal piñata. Unfortunately, every fight is extremely anticlimactic because the bosses don’t do anything at all! They refuse to act offensively and let you figure out how to damage them, making each fight a boring affair. They even end shortly too, as I was able to beat most of them in under a minute. The concept of boss fights in Siesta Fiesta is a great idea, but it was ultimately executed poorly.

However, the boss fights are just a minor blemish on a fantastic game. Siesta Fiesta‘s constant introduction of new mechanics makes the game exciting, as they all work extremely well. The beautiful art style and soundtrack make this downloadable title even better, adding a layer of charming personality to the overall experience. Even when the game is finished, the medal ranking system encourages you to keep playing and improve your best scores, making it highly replayable. Overall, Siesta Fiesta is a breath of fresh air as a unique Breakout-styled game that fans of the genre will not want to miss.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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