Sunday, May 19

Review: Project Nimbus - Complete Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Fans of classic animes in particular are likely very familiar with giant robot mechs battling it out in intense flurries of laser fire and missiles. Conceptually the desire to get into the middle of that action is strong, with people hoping to find a satisfying mix of quick-thinking strategy and action. In execution it’s a bit tougher a hill to climb though, finding a way to provide action that’s both fluid and varied, not ending up too basic but having a control scheme that’s accessible. While Project Nimbus: Complete Edition does get elements of the picture right, it’s not quite polished enough to stand out even with a general lack of competitors on the Switch at the moment.

Over the course of the game’s missions you’ll take control of a number of mechs, each having a little variety in their weaponry but not necessarily feeling completely different in terms of the action either. The majority of the time the action ends up taking place in large environments, with you needing to destroy waves of incoming enemies using whatever means you have at your disposal. Since pretty well all of your weapons have cooldowns this will mean cycling between weapons quickly and doing your best to aim at enemies, typically getting some sort of lock on them, and letting loose. When combat is working this can be pretty satisfying, intense, and a challenge as you try to take it all in.

Missions are a bit odd in their order and can feel a bit disjointed at times with you hopping around between scenarios and mechs, and the demands of the situation forcing you to focus on particular strategies. This does succeed in keeping it from being an endless series of open-space battles but with restrictions put on you some of these missions can drag out a bit as you try to figure out how best to adapt to the situation. Typically as you’re figuring things out this involves a whole lot of dodging and firing counter-measures to avoid getting blown to bits by incoming missiles, but I’ll give some credit for an attempt to make things a bit more varied.

I think the two areas where the game struggles a bit are with the controls and in how satisfying sustained play tends to be. The initial learning curve with the controls was a bit tough, as I don’t think everything is typically explained as clearly as it could be. With some experimentation I caught on after some time but the scheme is a bit funky and taking into consideration how much you’ll need to cycle between weapons I’d also consider the means of doing that to be awkward at best as you need to move between the left analog stick and left buttons frequently. While the missions try to change things up, unfortunately I still think the open-air battles still end up being so much more compelling than the other varieties that they’re just not very satisfying. The fact that you can load up a survival mode and just battle things out is a nice touch as well but it just feels like more could have been done to make that experience more engaging for repeat play as well.

While Project Nimbus has some faults for a reasonably-priced title it has its moments and fans of big robots may find it satisfying. I’ve certainly reviewed worse games involving mechs than this, and the space doesn’t have much representation so that all points to this being worth considering. Just walk in expecting there to be some hiccups in the experience and you should find it having its charms despite its flaws.

Score: 7

  • Giant robots blowing things up
  • As chaotic as the action can get the general performance is solid
  • When everything clicks it can be quite a lot of fun

  • There are attempts at providing variety but many of these aren’t as compelling as open battles
  • The controls are a bit on the cumbersome side and the tutorial trying to get you up to speed with them isn’t very clear in places
  • Overall there’s less variety across the board than I’d hoped for