Thursday, October 25

Review: Eternum EX [Nintendo Switch eShop]

While it isn’t unusual to see ports of arcade titles to the Switch with some regularity it is a bit more peculiar to see new titles that look and play a bit like they came from a more classic era. That’s certainly the case for the humble but challenging Eternum EX, which plays like an odd hybrid of a platformer and a light-ish combat game like Ghosts ‘n Goblins as well. While it won’t likely appeal to a very wide audience if you’re looking for something a bit simpler that has classic sensibilities it may be worth a look.

You play the game as a wizard of some sort, wielding a cane that has a pretty limited melee attack but that can be powered up periodically to throw a fireball. The objective on each screen is to collect all chests in the level. While this isn’t too challenging the temptation and added risk lies with the fact that in order to maximize your score and get power-ups you’ll want to open the chests first by bumping the platform under them from below or using one of the power-ups to your advantage. Not all chests may be doable, and in order to survive and open the portal to the next level you may choose to just pick some up, but I like how even this simple dynamic helps the game have an element of strategy to layer on the increasingly tough stages.

While it has a retro appeal both visually and in terms of its feel aside from giving you something that’s easy to pick up and put down and that throws increasingly-difficult stages at you there’s not a great deal to it. In terms of complaints other than the limits of what it will offer I will say that the hitbox for your weapon and monsters sometimes feels a little big but with time you get used to the range and can generally compensate. Likely for older or retro gaming fans who appreciate what feels like a pretty authentic arcade experience.

Score: 7

  • Has the soul of a classic arcade game if that’s the sort of experience you’re looking for
  • While generally simple the mechanic to open chests does open the door to having to make decisions on your score versus the risks

  • Its degree of challenge and the relatively simplistic nature of its gameplay aren’t likely for everyone
  • Playable but scales a little on the small side in handheld mode