Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | AND | IOS | PC | PS4 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | All

Vision Soft Reset (PC) artwork

Vision Soft Reset (PC) review


"Got two hours? Sample the future to save the world today!"


What a random and stupid name. That’s what I thought of Vision Soft Reset initially, but then I played it to its conclusion and it all made sense. I circled back and came to a different conclusion, and that’s fitting, because that’s what Vision is all about: circling back, having another go with knowledge (or visions!) of what's ahead intact and stored away, soft resetting as it were. It's a sci-fi themed game involving time travel (oh wonder of wonders), but it offers up its own particular, small scale approach, executed with a deft aplomb the rest of the project has no business being in bed with.

Vision is, by its own admission, a metroidvania, in the vein of the original Metroid, really. It is a short game that you should be able to see the end of within two hours. The map is unsightly, to be frank, and as such, details of the world at large can be difficult to make out. Luckily, that doesn't matter much because the world is quite small. Where Vision fleshes out its adventure is in the repetition, the backtracking – but not of the variety to which you are accustomed.

Instead of simply making inroads, recording progress at save points, dying, and retrying from whence you last saved, Vision does something a little different. It lets you rewind. As in the PS2 classic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and its ilk, a mistake can be rewound, for a do-over. Damage can be undone – hell, death can even be undone, so that you can try to get things right the second or even third time ‘round. I won’t pretend that this function is still novel, but I also won’t pretend that I’ve ever played a game that employed it that wasn’t kind of cool.



Besides, being allowed to rewind doesn’t fully capture what it is that Vision does. This game requires you to rewind, and in so doing, gives us agency to see the future. You’re not limited to whizzing back mere moments to undo a misstep; you can zip all the way back to your last save point – the game calls this a "flashback" to an earlier "node." Obviously, this means you will lose any items you may have picked up in the meantime, but Vision is light on items that matter.

What’s less obvious, is how the flashbacks themselves provide clairvoyance. The gimmick (it feels vaguely insulting to call it one), involves forging a path towards making crucial discoveries – usually related to unlocking a door – and then zipping back into the past to the node from which you began down that path. Then, you can forge off into some other direction with that knowledge tucked away; it is essentially like seeing the future, and applying what you’ve learned as a solution to a problem in the present.

While the novelty is cool, and is competently realized, as mentioned, it's admittedly trapped in a mostly mediocre adventure. That is to say that the time travel elements do well to elevate Vision, because as exciting as the action can be at times given the juxtaposition of your avatar's frailty and the crushing damage enemy projectiles and environmental hazards do, on the whole, the platforming is mostly pedestrian, due to how bland the environs are and how repetitive and uninspired the enemies are.



The way the world is coloured brings to mind the seminal Out of This World: the environment is compromised of a range of washed out and melancholy blues and purples and truly feels oppressively barren and otherworldly -- you are meant to feel lonely, and it works. Of course, you’re not quite alone; you do have the stereotypical computer nerd ally back in the control room on your ship, guiding you. When you come across certain interesting items, you are encouraged to talk to him about them, which helps with fleshing out the story of this world, how it came to be this way, and what you need to do to prevent its seemingly inevitable and cataclysmic end.

Vision Soft Reset is surprisingly ambitious, especially given that it was crafted by just one man. Understandably, there are limitations in terms of its presentation: it’s not a pretty game and while the music is undoubtedly atmospheric, it is not memorable nor are the tracks varied or numerous. But for what it is – a thoughtful, quick and dirty metroidvania with an admirably well executed time travel gimmick – Vision succeeds. Ironically, it's a testament to how awesome the flashback function is that we are left in some ways disappointed, as the gimmick is bigger than the game. Better than the game. We get a glimpse of what might have been, had the developer been afforded the resources to build upon what is already here. That said, what is already here is an enjoyable if tiny slice of sci-fi themed action for fans of the genre.

3/5

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (August 18, 2019)

There was a bio here once. It's gone now.

More Reviews by Marc Golding [+]
Thunder Paw (PC) artwork
Thunder Paw (PC)

Run-and-gun lite, with some bite
Contra Anniversary Collection (PC) artwork
Contra Anniversary Collection (PC)

The run-and-gun blueprint had a party, but not everyone came
Arcade Archives: Ninja Gaiden (PlayStation 4) artwork
Arcade Archives: Ninja Gaiden (PlayStation 4)

You can't go home again. Even if you lived with ninjas.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Vision Soft Reset review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2019 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Vision Soft Reset is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Vision Soft Reset, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.