Indie Corner: HyperParasite

Welcome to our review of HyperParasite, a Steam darling come to Nintendo Switch and it plays better on TV…

A rogue-lite twin-stick shooter that never plays the same twice. Collect and control 60 different characters as the body-snatching alien Parasite with a grudge against humanity.

Invading a grime encrusted dystopia straight out the eighties, you’re the monster the authorities warned about. Dragging your bloody tentacles on the greasy asphalt, you snatch body after body. You are the HyperParasite; an evil alien with a bone to pick with humanity…just because it’s fun. Infesting the sickest corners of the most ass-kicking decade, you must fight your way to the top of the pop-cultural food chain, in order to push the Big Red Button and bring about the mushroom cloud of finality. Be the baddest, navigating the dangerous procedurally generated streets of a hopeless past, in this tough twin-stick roguelite brawling S.O.B.

Look at all those juicy meat-sacks going to waste on those grotty humans! As the HyperParasite you can make better use of them, snatching hosts with your tentacles, absorbing them and their different abilities. Once they die you can discard their skin, but keep on snatching, since one shot as the parasite and it’s permadeath. That is, unless you found some nice upgrades, so keep your eyes open…or your feelers high…or whatever a parasite does.

Feed the parasite with over 60 different characters, as you collect and control hosts, each with their own unique attack and smack-down. Hunt down the host class boss, rip their brain off (they didn´t use it anyway), and take it back to Wito’s, our ever-greedy shopkeeper. Using some very weird machinery to store the brain, you can then unlock the character with your hard stolen cash. There’s even a storage unit for your already collected hosts to come back to in later games.

Since the game is procedurally generated, nobody knows what’s waiting around the next dark corner. Can you survive the 5 Acts of this grungy-looking synthwave-filled world? Maybe yes, if you remember that what lies in the shadows is essential, as there are secrets within secrets to explore within its roguelite mapping system. And if you keep a tentacle out for the bosses, as they pack one mean punch!

Original beats served by Van Reeves and Joe Kataldo, delivering a thumping score with a pulsating synthwave bassline, punctuating every snatch and kill. Trouble loves company, as you can bring a mate to deliver twice the carnage in two-player local co-op mode.

Every time a Steam darling comes to Nintendo Switch, I hold my breath. Expecting one of two options, either a great game or something incredibly bad, HyperParasite is neither. It is what it is, a rogue-lite twin-stick shooter with a lot of enemies you can not take over in most levels until you somehow unlock them in the Wito shops. Not complaining, just saying this kind of ruins the fun of things. I would love to be able to take over more and not just the weaklings.

I understand the need to fight off more potent enemies before upgrading, like not allowing me to take over a mini-boss or so. But I had melees happen in my playthrough where I was feeling ambushed and I had a very weak “fighter” at my disposal and had multiple very strong enemies inbound, each requiring multiple hits in order to take em down. The balance in this game is just totally effed up.

I can see how some would love the challenge, but seriously, it was too much and despite the premise of this game, I can not say I fully enjoyed myself. Another thing I noticed, I found a store at one point, unable to buy a single item because I was not carrying enough money. Just so many issues causing me to have a bad experience.

Despite being fun when you do not encounter a ton of enemies that are massively overpowered. Despite a fun mechanic to take over a human. Despite the difficulty spikes. Despite the button mapping feeling like a pain on Switch and not on the pro controller. I still can not say this is a “bad” game, the idea is all there, I can see how it gets a massive positive response from the players on steam, sadly I do not fully share this impression.

In conclusion, I want to like this game, but seems like I can not.


Tested on Nintendo Switch