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CounterAttack: Uprising (Switch) Review

by Jordan Rudek - October 9, 2023, 5:14 pm EDT
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Gradius-like upgrades and lots of unlockable content elevate this 'shump.

CounterAttack: Uprising is a horizontal shooter in the vein of classics like R-Type and Gradius, and it even features a power-up system that functions as in the latter. While its art style and presentation are less appealing parts of the package, the hundreds of unlockable ship attachments and over 30 stages add plenty of staying power to another entry in this well represented genre on Switch.

The story is a familiar one, with Earth needing to be defended against an onslaught of sentient machines. Across single player, local multiplayer, and online co-op, you'll blast your way through a chain of maps to get to the final stage, typically unlocking new map nodes or starting points along the way. You can opt for a random ship or select from eight different pilots who have their own unique spacecraft with its own capabilities and weapons.

Customization is the name of the game in CounterAttack, going so far as allowing you to choose the color of your ship. From there, you can equip up to three modules that you gradually unlock through gameplay. These include speed upgrades, the ability to convert ultimate charges to extra lives, and extra drones, among many others. There's also the opportunity to chose up to three weapons, with these options also growing in number over time. It's actually pretty astounding just how much you can tailor your ship to your liking, and this feature helps the game standout from its peers.

From there, you'll need to land on either Casual, Arcade, and Hardcore mode, with the former allowing you to save your game and the latter offering a higher unlock rate for attachments (at the cost of having zero extra lives). There are four difficulty levels as well, and even a survival mode where you try to last as long as possible. Every game mode appears to have an online leaderboard, adding to the already fairly high replay value.

The levels themselves are largely fine, but they can drag on a bit without a ton of enemy variety. Another gripe is that the dull look can make it difficult to discern some forms of enemy fire from the background or from your own bullets. The boss fights that conclude each area are a bit lackluster, too. What works in CounterAttack's favor is the way in which you have a robust upgrade tree that constantly asks you to consider implementing an earlier power-up like speed or waiting for a stronger primary laser; you can even save up for an extra life. One odd omission from the playing screen is your current score, which you only get to see at the end of each stage.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get into an online match during my time with CounterAttack, but it's nice to have the option should more players populate this mode. The local co-op is solid, with power-ups alternating between participants, regardless of who picked them up (ideal when playing with a younger or less experienced shipmate). Switch performance was steady throughout my entire experience, and loading times and screens were both minimal.

CounterAttack: Uprising is a content-laden shoot-'em-up that offers some excellent customization and multiplayer options. There are even level and campaign editors for the creatively inclined. The aesthetic, including the level design and the art style, wasn't overly appealing to me, but my son and I still had a wonderful time trying to see how far we could get across the different game modes. While it's not quite in must-play territory, CounterAttack is well worth a look for fans of the genre, particularly those who embrace playing starship mechanic.


  • Lots of upgrades to unlock
  • Online leaderboards
  • Over two dozen stages
  • Levels can drag with lack of enemy variety
  • Visuals won't appeal to everyone

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Game Profile

Genre Shooter
Players1 - 4
Online1 - 8

Worldwide Releases

na: Counterattack: Uprising
Release Sep 28, 2023
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