Geek Review – Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

If you have spent time with the video gaming industry, the name Colin Moriarty will be familiar to you. A prominent gaming journalist turned content creator, the often divisive host of the Sacred Symbols podcast has teamed up with developer Lillymo Games for Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure, a unique brick-breaker that will sit really well with fans, but does little for anyone else.

A cross-buy title for both the PS4 and the PlayStation Vita, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure transports players into a future of space colonization, alongside a cataclysmic global war on Earth. The need for a new world to live on has resulted in multiple attempts to send mankind to other solar systems, but it has all been for nought. 

The sudden reappearance and subsequent vanishing of the Generation Ship-1, the first-ever ship sent out, led to the discovery of a special wormhole that allows for high-speed space travel. Needless to say, this mystery needs solving, and it is down to the ships, Greetings and Salutations, to get us the answers we need.

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A plot for a brick-breaker is frankly, unexpected, but for Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure to have a substantial story with entertaining writing, however absurd the premise, is a pleasant surprise. It does a decent job of keeping you motivated to play through the game’s 40 levels in the main Story Mode just to understand more of the lore of this universe.

Fans will recognise the many references thrown into Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure, but for those not in the know, it would be hard to appreciate the referential writing that can sometimes surface in this game. Just the fact that the two ships form the famous greeting of Colin Moriarty is but a taste of the inside jokes to come.

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The various levels in Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure are also not what you would expect from a traditional brick-breaker. The ability to control both Greetings and Salutations as paddles is already a major twist on a time-tested formula. 

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Things get even spicier towards the backend of the game with the introduction of two more paddles, requiring deftness of hand to control two paddles each on either the left or right analog sticks. The level of challenge in Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is no laughing matter, and mastering the skills will grant a sense of satisfaction like little else.

It is not just the balls you need to worry about. Power-ups and debuffs can drop from destroyed bricks, and there are even alien scarabs looking to hurt your high score.

Ranging from extra lives, guns, to multi-balls and more, there is always something interesting awaiting. Both Greetings and Salutations can also be launched to change the flight of your ball in mid-flight, lending an extra layer of strategy to the proceedings.

Everything goes towards racking up the highest scores in each level. The thrill of the chase never truly gets old. Your speed, efficiency, and how many points you garner will determine if you achieve that coveted S-rank on every level. Collectables earned this way also give you more perspective on this futuristic world of galactic brick breaking.

The 40 levels in Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure will pass quickly as you proceed to learn the intricacies that are under the hood. However, there can be occasions where one or two blocks are always just out of reach. While physical obstacles are an accepted impediment to your progress, the erratic nature in how the ball bounces off your paddles at times will be frustrating.

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Chasing scores can also come down to luck, even if you think you managed to clear a level flawlessly. With the rankings tied to score, obtaining a score multiplier together with the amazing heavy ball power-up will see you breeze through a level with minimal fuss, maximum score, and a guaranteed S-rank. Otherwise, good luck, you will need it.

Ironically, this recurring issue is exacerbated by the replayability of the many different modes in Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure. The Pong Mode, Marathon Mode, Boss Rush Mode, and more make for fun distractions from the main experience. They can be great fun, especially at the start, but it is best to enjoy them in short bursts.

At its core, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is a decent brick-breaker that has a surprisingly well-written plot, challenging but sporadically frustrating gameplay, and a love letter for fans of Moriarty and his co-host, Chris Ray Gun. It is definitely not a game for everyone, but for those heavily invested in Sacred Symbols, this is yet another solid outing for the podcast duo.

Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is available on the PSN Store for US$9.99.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

A rare refresh of the brick-breaking genre, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is a love letter to fans and less so for everyone else.

Overall
7.3/10
7.3/10
  • Gameplay - 7/10
    7/10
  • Story - 8/10
    8/10
  • Presentation - 7/10
    7/10
  • Value - 7/10
    7/10
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