The Backstory: Psyvariar — now that’s a weird series if I ever saw one. The word ‘series’ is not even relevant, as we’re dealing with a single game that’s been revised and expanded over the years since its initial release in 2000. Psyvariar Delta is no exception, as it’s still the same old game repackaged with various enhancements. Not that I care that we’re dealing with a rehash, mind you; the only thing that matters to me is whether P-Delta is worthy of joining The Collection.
The Game: Okay, now. P-Delta looks amazing, with only the faintest hint of phone game plastic-ness — but the bright colours are here, and so is the flurry of neon bullets and laser beams. It plays very neatly as well, with solid physics, fulfilling speed and a delightful splash of bullet hell frenzy. It could have been a perfect shooter in my eyes — and hands — if not for one glaring, deal-breaking detail: the god-forsaken player interface.
Why, Success? What compelled you to squeeze all that eye-popping, frantic action into such a ridiculously tiny display — a mere rectangle that barely amounts to one third of the Switch’s screen, with both sides occupied by pointless crap? I don’t care that this is a classic, tried-and-tested display style for vertical arcade shooters; we’re not dealing with an arcade cabinet, but with a Switch screen that begs to be fully exploited.
As a result of that choice, the bullet hell sections become a real chore, an exercise in frustration, claustrophobia and gritted teeth. The last time I felt constrained by a screen was when I played my Game Boy back in the days — needless to say, that’s not something I was eager to experience again.
The Verdict: No surprise here, Psyvariar Delta is no New Classic of mine. I have enough stellar Shoot’em ups already to dispense with the ones that are, well, less than stellar. Guess I’ll have to find my bullet hell heaven in another shooter!