Developed by Finnish-based studio Still Running and published by Merge Games, The Walking Vegetables: Radical! Edition is a fun yet frantic twin-stick shooter, with heavy roguelike elements. As with most games in this vein, you start with a simple weapon, and are able to gain new more powerful weapons and upgraded skills as you blast your way through the incoming zombie veg hordes.
With the task of wiping out the infestation of rotting, walking veg set before you, you go off on your quest. A variety of different vegetables - and fruit, which frustrated me, haha - will stumble towards you, with increasing speed and numbers to take you down. As you make your way through them, you'll eventually come to a boss after which, upon defeat, you'll breathe a heavy sigh of relief and wipe the sweat from your now sodden controller.
Boss fights are difficult, which isn't unusual for this type of game, but these bosses truly just soak up the bullets and act like its nothing. They spawn countless projectiles which hugely limit the safe space for you to run around, and leave you panicking - blindly shooting and hoping for the best. The ability to play two-player certainly helps in these situations, as can allow for double the damage on the boss, however it can sometimes leave you a little confused due to everything going on on-screen.
As is usual with roguelike games, death means death. So whether you're playing alone or with a friend, if one of you bites the dust, that's it. If in two-player, the surviving player will continue on until they meet their untimely fate and the permadeath gods strike them down.
When enemies are defeated, gold coins are dropped which can be spent in the in-game shop on new weapons, health items, etc. Similarly all around the map are environmental objects and boxes which can be destroyed to give a chance to gain keys (which can be used to unlock certain buildings) and chests which can give you access to nice shiny new weapons. Bonus Dimensions can sometimes spawn, which gives you a small horde-based arena which will net you an achievement for surviving 20 waves.
The art style is gorgeous, and the bright colours work really well. The neon-ness of everything gives me total '80s vibes, which I love, but the frequent flashing of the mania on screen can often leave you with a bit of a headache. Stages are a little repetitive and samey, so a bit more variation here wouldn't have gone amiss. Controls are responsive, and the default buttons feel well thought out and instinctual. Sound design is great, and the game has a fitting '80s feel with the music.
For all of the game's positives however, it does feel like something is missing. We can't quite place our fingers on it, but the game just falls short a little bit, as it doesn't quite live up to similar games that have been released previously.
Overall, we were still very pleased with The Walking Vegetables: Radical! Edition, especially given its low price point of just £10.74 on the UK Xbox Store. If you're a fan of twin-stick shooters, and like a challenge, then you should definitely give it a go.
We decided to give The Walking Vegetables the CollectingAsylum rating of 7/10.
Have you played it yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x