Saturday, August 10

Mini Reviews: August 10th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Pillars of Eternity Complete Edition [Nindie Choice!] - Damn RPG lovers, the Switch has been a terrific return to Nintendo fully delivering a variety of options in this genre. Pillars of Eternity further solidifies that statement, providing a deep, satisfying, and even challenging experience depending on how you set things up. What makes it stand out is that this isn’t another JRPG, it’s a conversion of a more classic PC RPG, with a different perspective and feel, going with an isometric view and pausable real-time combat. The struggle to make the interface friendly for console moving from mouse and keyboard is real, getting the hang of navigating menus and hitting every possible screen you’ll need to manage your characters and gear can take some time. Once you settle in though it’s a very satisfying experience that should appeal to a pretty wide audience.

Subdivision Infinity DX - I’ve been a fan of the space dogfighter/shooter genre since way back in the day when it was pretty well defined by the Wing Commander series. Ever since then there has been a slow but steady stream of titles that have roughly hit some of the same marks but just haven’t been able to reach that same level of quality, including a few already on Switch. Subdivision Infinity DX does a fair job of trying to provide an approachable control scheme and mildly exciting missions fighting against craft both small and large, even throwing in what would amount to boss fights here and there. However, the overall lack of speed and lack of nuance or complexity the controls frustrated me more often than not and up against some of the competition already on the system it just couldn’t keep my attention as much. That said, for people who aren’t familiar with the genre this may be a stepping stone that’s more approachable than the likes of the much tougher Everspace.

Shadows 2: Perfidia - I’ll just come out and say it, for the most part the indie titles that have tackled horror so far on the Switch just haven’t generally been great as a whole. You can tell what they’re aiming for but for the most part the creeping sense of dread just hasn’t been there for me. While Shadows 2 isn’t what I’d consider a great title, it reuses assets pretty well everywhere and mostly has you trudging through very similar maze-like corridors completing very rudimentary puzzles, I will at least give it credit for using a blend of visuals and sound to give me a feeling of unease. So while the experience may not satisfy the gamer in me very well if you’re looking for something that may give you the creeps this may be one of the better budget-friendly options available on the console.

The Forbidden Arts - The pitch of a side-scrolling adventure where you’ll use elemental powers to combat evil is always a good start, but while The Forbidden Arts has some flourishes in places for the most part it unfortunately fizzles. With the action moving between a somewhat funky 3D overworld where you’ll typically explore a somewhat empty space and side-scrolling platforming with combat nothing quite feels polished. Dialogue is sparse and perfunctory, combat is repetitive and generally pretty clumsy, and the platforming is pretty generic as a whole. Your elemental attacks at least look interesting, and try to add some excitement, but on the whole this title struggles to make an impression and keep you coming back for more.

#RaceDieRun - Filling a space somewhere between a racing game and an endless runner we have #RaceDieRun, a game that can sometimes hit a satisfying groove but that is also just a bit odd. Unlike your typical endless runner where you’ll generally stick to lanes that you’ll move between here you have more full control on the course, having the option to quickly shift over in a roll move or simply navigate depending on the situation. As you progress, the winding tracks will continue to get filled with more barriers and hazards that will send you back to the start, and each run is scored, giving you bonuses for things like using your boost the entire time or not dashing. The stretch objective of grabbing a pill-shaped item that is hidden on every track is nice but pursuing these was usually aggravating, mostly pointing out to me how limited your abilities to control your movement are, but some may relish the challenge. There aren’t many options like it on the console, so credit for it being different, but it won’t be for everyone.

Epic Clicker Journey - Clickers are kind of a genre that came and went in the PC space, temporarily proving to be a little different and brainless for simply relaxing for a bit, but then generally fading quickly to the back burner. Translating that to console is proven to be possible with Epic Clicker Journey, with furious mouse clicks being replaced by the frantic tapping of your shoulder buttons, but the lack of satisfaction issues have come along as well. There’s not much to this, you’ll tap your way to victory or fall in defeat, trying to use money to upgrade yourself and help you tackle tougher stuff. Really, that’s all it is, and it is incredibly repetitive… true to the “genre” but I think the wear on your fingers and controls (aside from your patience) is a valid concern. Throw in the cumbersome and clunky nature of the interface as you try to navigate menus and this just doesn’t end up being very satisfying.