Review: Code Shifter (PlayStation 4)

Characters from all the iconic Arc System Works franchises, including Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, and the River City series, all meet in a 2D pixel art side-scrolling action game!


  • Cartoon graphics mixed with retro pixel graphics.
  • 302.5mb download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Platformer gameplay.
  • 3 save slots.
  • Local two players support.
  • Heroes-collect them in-game and change to them at will, each has its own unique appearance, move set and even music.
  • Sound is a mix of modern and Chiptune.
  • Tutorial tips as you play.
  • Assist-collect and charge up for an attack you summon.
  • Boss battles.
  • 2d perspective.
  • The game takes place I. A world made of code and you are getting rid of bugs.
  • Secret areas.
  • Rank has given at the end of the level and give a rank. S rank gives you a new skill to equip.
  • Skills-earned in-game and you can choose what to equip. These change the game up like extra health or deal more damage.
  • Mini game=Colorful Fighters -supports 4 players and is plays like Super Smash, you use any unlocked character.
  • Confliction-self contained little events that happen in a level.
  • Excellent mix of retro and modern.
  • Gameplay-you plays as a coder in the real world and deal with the office and create programs to enter the code and eliminate the bugs.
  • Office-chat with coworkers, continue the story, play the mini-game, options and save.
  • 3 difficulties with unlock-normal/hard/very hard.
  • Unlock EX level variants.
  • Unlock new costumes.
  • Can replay levels.
  • Constant save points.
  • Each hero has an elemental effect like lightning, water, fire.
  • Fighting-attacks, air attacks, and ground attack.
  • Fun to play.


  • The office area is a nightmare to navigate and interact with.
  • Hit detection is not very good.
  • Difficulty spikes.
  • It takes a while to get going.
  • Jump feels like it has a delay.
  • Have to pause constantly just to find out what your assist move is/does.
  • Tough to get S rank.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10


First playing the game you are instantly in love with the way the game lets you jump from modern to pixel graphics with a touch of a button. Building on that you also get the Chiptune music to accompany you. The roster is a selection of characters from Arc Systems roster but doesn’t let it put you off if you don’t know any of them, I’m vague with it all but still found it a lot of fun. Hero pickups are who you can play as whilst assists are a Powerups you charge and unleash, again in a pixel form they will usually do a cool area of effect attack. The gameplay is a platforming brawler with a bit of puzzle. Boss fights are common as is collectibles and health pickups. I found the controls fine except for the sponginess of the jump. I did encounter slowdown when changing at times but it never affected the gameplay. Levels are short and have a boss at the end or a few one-off events. Outside of the core game is the “real world” here you are a programmer who can interact with other Programmers, play a smash brothers clone called colorful fighters (supports 2-4 local) or just do the story. It sounds OK but in the true light of day, the real-world part is the most boring and annoying parts from clunky hard to judge interactions to dialogue that you don’t really care about. Honestly, the game could work much better without it. I got a lot of the game done but never really wanted to stress out over S ranks, s ranks give you a cool equipable ability to improve health or attacks, etc. S ranking is real hard more so as your never sure of the criteria. Difficulty wise it’s a default one that’s up and down but you can unlock further harder difficulties. I liked the game for the charm of it all but that soon Where’s out as hero choice matter or is determined by the level design and it all just gets monotonous. I would love to see more like this but with a bit more variety. In short fun for a while but soon outstays its welcome.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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