Wolfstride – Game Review

Wolfstride Cover Art

Nowadays, not many video games grab my attention at first glance. Perhaps the gaming world is getting a tad too repetitive, or perhaps I am just getting too old. Watching screenshots and clips while scrolling through menus and digital storefronts doesn’t really interest me. For the most part. There’s always a catchy logo or a detail that makes me curious. As a graphic designer, I enjoy looking through the different art styles. Thanks to this, I’ve taken some interest in some hidden gems. Scrolling the menu, in search for something more epic, or recognizable. One title in question is the game that I want to present to you all today. Despite releasing by the end of 2021, not many people know about Wolfstride. Now that the game is available on Utomik Cloud, I think it’s the best opportunity to review Wolfstride, developed by OTA IMON Studios and published by Raw Fury.

Wolfstride Screen Capture Knife “Pineapples” Leopard
Knife “Pineapples” Leopard is the pilot of the COWBOY

A tale of Mechas, Dogs and Yakuzas

The world of Wolfstride is kind of messed up. Dangerous, shady and, why not, even hilarious at times. Right at the beginning, the tone of the game is clearly set. Just at the start, we’re introduced to our main character, Shade, and his two pals, Knife and Duque. Dominic “Catman” Shade is our playable character. An ex-Yakuza with a dark past that now acts as the manager of a newly founded group of Mecha fighters with his old pals. Knife Leopard, also known as “Pineapples”, is the youngest of the trio of main characters, acting as a kind-hearted young man, is the pilot of the COWBOY mecha. Finally, there’s Duque, alias the “Wizard”. An anthropomorphic dog that acts as the mechanic of the group, usually asking Shade to run errands.

After the three main characters inherit a prototype mecha, the COWBOY, they decide to enter the world’s most elite tournament to become rich and famous. Even though things don’t go as planned, they still end up winning the fight and gaining both confidence and a nice sum of money. Unfortunately, the COWBOY is seriously damaged. While Knife rests in the hospital, Duque instructs Knife to scavenge for parts and seek help for the repairs. From here, Wolfstride’s world slowly begins to open, giving access to new areas, characters, and missions. As we explore different areas, we will come across many different characters. Starting with a literal capitalist pig, whose design kind of reminds me of Porco Rosso. Of course, some characters can be considered far more interesting than others, especially considering your personal preferences and how interesting you find their stories.

Wolfstride Characters
Wolfstride has a varied cast of characters

Chaotically charismatic

Wolfstride is presented in black and white. Black, white and all the grays in-between, of course. That’s a great representation of all the different characters we’ll meet along the journey. The art style of the game is represented by different styles. Conversations are usually accompanied by detailed illustrations and superb voice acting. Some story points have also special stills with some animated elements that are very well done and add to the tone. Gameplay sections can be classified between two instances: exploration and Mecha fights. Exploration sections are depicted with a pixelated art style, reminiscent of classic point and click titles. There’s a lot of charm in the assets, which contrasts with the world, the setting and sometimes, even the characters. On the other hand, Mecha fights are in the style of anime illustrations, like the narrations and dialogues. This allows for complex designs and more dynamic movements.

Composed by Isadora Penna, Wolfstride’s soundtrack contains many different styles, being blues the main focus. The music ranges from relaxing jazz themes to fast-paced rock tracks. With over 50 songs, there’s a varied range of compositions and styles that suit every moment. Additionally, Wolfstride features stellar voice acting for most of the important scenes, and even some secondary dialogues. Each character has a suitable voice and accent, helping the player understand the story and get the feel of each character. Between the musical scores and the superb voice acting, Wolfstride is a joy to listen to. For the most part, at least, since some jokes rely on silly screams or similar. But that doesn’t take away all the hard work, of course.

Wolfstride Matchup
Wolfstride features many different characters with outstanding illustrations

A Desperate Struggle

As previously stated, the gameplay loop has two main sections: exploration and Mecha fights. Wolfstride has a “Days” system, reminiscent of titles like Pikmin and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. It’s not really an integral part of neither the gameplay nor the story. Basically, some days are used as a plot device to move things forward. During the exploration sections, we’ll control Shade and explore different places, searching for money, interacting with characters and completing quests. Despite navigation a menu in order to move from area to area, we’ll have to traverse some mostly-empty roads in order to arrive at our point of interest. This adds some padding to the game. There are also jobs, which consist of mini-games that grand us extra money. These jobs and endless roaming around, remind me of the No More Heroes games, which subsequently have a somewhat similar vibe to Wolfstride.

The other main focus of Wolfstride, are the Mecha fights. After running errands and earning money, we’ll have to pay for fixes and upgrades for our Mecha, the COWBOY. Mecha fights require some thinking and strategy. We’re put against another Mecha in a 1v1 fight. The layout of the arena has 7 spaces, with both fighters starting on each side. Some spaces grant an Attack bonus. Each fighter takes a turn to move and perform certain actions, depending on their Action and Movement meters. Each Mecha has different parts that can be targeted and destroyed, providing advantage. First Mecha to destroy its rival’s cockpit, wins. It might seem like a simple concept at first, but once more Skills and strategies come into play, the fights become interesting. Fixing and upgrading the COWBOY is really important.

Wolfstride Taking Care of The Cowboy
Taking good care of the COWBOY is a key element

Conclusion

All in all, Wolfstride is a great game that suffers from some padding issues. The art style and presentation is outstanding. From its illustrations, pixelated overworld, musical score and voice acting. Everything fits together perfectly to deliver a highly stylized and unique look. Sadly, everything else suffers from pretty much the same issue: padding. The vast amount of characters is both good and bad. While some characters are captivating, others become annoying and barely provide anything appealing. The same can be said about the gameplay. While the Mecha fights are amazing, the exploration sections require a lot of running around mostly empty areas just to get to a point of interest. Completing Wolfstride can take almost 30 hours. Cutting the padding and putting the focus on the main plot and gameplay would’ve been much better. Sometimes, less is more, and this is a fine example.

You can enjoy Wolfstride via the cloud thanks to Utomik Cloud via their Android or LG and Samsung TVs apps. Sadly, Utomik Cloud is not yet available on PC. Still, if your computer is good enough, you can still download and play it locally. If you end up trying it, one way or the other, let us know what you think.

Wolfstride

Marxally

Wolfstride Cover Art
Wolfstride
Gameplay
Presentation
Performance
Value
Fun Factor

Summary

With a stylized presentation and many great characters, Wolfstride provides an interesting story and engaging Mecha fights. Sadly, padding issues often get in the way, making the overall experience less enjoyable and taking away from what would’ve been a perfect game.

4

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Marxally

Marxally is a freelance graphic designer who enjoys playing video games and writing about them. A Nintendo fan at heart that enjoys the benefits of cloud gaming and loves its amazing community. Marxally covers news and review games at Cloud Dosage. Like what he does? Buy Marxally a Pizza!

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