REVIEW: Fractured Soul

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

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Title: Fractured Soul
Publisher: Endgame Studios
Developer: Endgame Studios
Console: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: September 13, 2012
Genre: Action/Platformer
Download Size: 2982 Blocks
Rating: ESRB E-10

After nearly eight years in development, making the journey from full retail title to self-publishing on the eShop, Endgame Studios has crafted an excellent platformer that feels old-school, yet at the same time revitalizes the genre.

Fractured Soul is a 2D platformer with 3D graphics. It’s immediately obvious that the game was designed for people who had experienced classic platform action games like Mega Man and Metroid. The catch? You are navigating two slightly different worlds simultaneously. It starts off simple enough, with fairly straightforward levels and clean, unobtrusive in-game icons telling you what to do. At about the four levels in, however, the game starts steadily ramping up the difficulty, eventually introducing various gravity effects and auto-scrolling levels. You will die. A lot. So take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.


Endgame Studios also included several bonus levels that are only unlocked when you find all the hidden secrets. In the later levels, these secrets are unbelievably well hidden and will provide a challenge for the most invested players. At the same time, you will want to watch your speed, as your best time not only contributes to how many stars you unlock, but will also be visible to all with included online leaderboards. The leaderboards compare your times with your friends, or the whole world.

Graphics: The game looks great and runs smooth on the 3DS hardware. Because your eyes are constantly switching back and forth between the top and bottom screens, the developer wisely chose to not implement 3D use – it just isn’t needed. The game goes for a gritty, dark sci-fi theme that reminds me somewhat of the Metroid games (if Metroid was on two screens!) The art style fits in nicely with the story, music, and sound effects to immerse you in the world.

Sound: The soundtrack to the game provides a nice ambience for the adventure and draws the player into the game’s isolated world. The soundtrack doesn’t have any tunes that immediately stuck in my head, but it serves well in the background. A very minor issue I had was that the music could have used a slight increase in volume (or the ability to adjust the mix to the players’ liking), as it sounds a bit muffled at times compared to the games other effects.

Presentation: The game gets directly to the heart of the gameplay. No messy, extended tutorials or pop-ups. The menu is clean and slick and the game makes use of both the d-pad and circle pad. No touchscreen is to be found, but it isn’t needed or missed. The game makes full use of screen real estate on both screens, and you will frantically be hopping from screen to screen frequently. Performing is rewarded with stars by doing well on levels (by collecting secrets and clearing each level under par). Stars net you more levels. Anyone can complete this game if they are dedicated, but the truly skilled will go for every star to unlock all of the bonus content. The game also features robust leaderboards comparing your times to that of your friends or the entire internet.

Conclusion: This game is a hardcore platformers dream. Originally planned as a retail title and available at a bargain price on the eShop, the game packs an incredible value. Harkening to the days when Mega Man and Metroid were the king and queen of action platformers, this is a game that every retro fan should have on their 3DS Menu.

Review Score


Pros –

  • Retail-quality game packed with content at a low eShop price
  • Old school gameplay split into two screens
  • Devious mental puzzles, not for the faint of heart
  • Looks great on the 3DS, makes full use of both screens
  • Leaderboards compare your fastest times with friends or the world

Cons –

  • Devious mental puzzles, not for the faint of heart