Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness starts as it means to go on — with a warm-hearted parody of something only gamers of a certain age are likely to remember. Ancient’s logo appears and then… nothing happens — not until you hammer the ‘A’ button on the side of the screen as though your Switch is a temperamental CRT TV that’s seen better days. This sequence is left entirely unexplained; you’re expected to simply be the sort of person who understands the reference immediately.
The same can be said of so many other fourth wall breaking nods to RF switches, age ratings, and hundreds of stat-boosting carts with IP-dodging names like Illinois James: Temple of Gloom. Much of this love for a bygone era naturally comes from Ancient themselves, the developer with a heritage that stretches all the way back to 8-bit hardware. But credit must also be given to the translators over at 8-4, too: The text always feels lively, the jokes regularly hit their mark, and there are some excellent lines that involve threatening to squash someone flatter than 2D or “rolling along faster than a hedgehog on blast processing!” along the way.
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