Tuesday, October 6

Mini Reviews: October 6th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Ys Origin -
As a long-time fan of action RPGs from the Secret of Mana to the infamous Diablo I must admit that if the combat is compelling I’m game for consistent action over turn-based strategy. Fitting right into that mold we have Ys Origin, a port of an offshoot of the revered RPG series which may lack in a variety of locales and overall depth but still delivers some surprises and fun. Your choice of character at the beginning carries more consequence than their mere genders as each have different abilities that will make the experience play out a bit differently. From there it is perhaps a little too limited overall in terms of build variety to compete with some roguelikes or a title like Diablo but what you are given to work with is generally tight and responsive at least. As can typically be the case for this sort of title you can expect a fair amount of grinding in spots to ensure you’re powered up well enough to overcome some periodic difficulty spikes but all in all the experience is at least a solid one.

Little Big Workshop - At first glance I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Little Big Workshop, with its somewhat cute little characters tackling the task of turning resources into product. However, given a little time and experience I came to understand some of my confusion laid with the fact that I’ve simply never played anything quite like it. More casual than a typical production strategy title but with more of a puzzle-like element than your typical sim, Little Big Workshop just sort of does its own thing in between and can be refreshing. With a little time management here, a little production line optimization there, and some sprinkles of inspiration you’ll be cranking out increasingly impressive products in no time, and without many of the overhead headaches and financial pitfalls you’d typically find in this sort of simulation. If you like to lay out plans and then watch them executed to fruition this may be one to check out!

Warsaw - There’s an added level of interest and thrill to engage in games with at least some rough historical basis. That’s very much the case with Warsaw, with you commanding a ragtag Resistance group trying to navigate survival while being caught in the middle of a city torn by war. With a mix of events with some historical basis and random encounters there’s a story to be told but not quite a linear one, and surprises can be helpful as well as detrimental to your cause so you’ll always want to exercise some caution approaching every engagement. Combat, in particular the effective use of and dealing with cover, I found to be a bit more difficult to understand, even having played numerous turn-based tactical combat games before. You’ll probably just need to experiment a bit to grasp how best to deal with it, I don’t consider it generally intuitive and the explanations in-game felt incomplete. Still, if you’re willing to dig in and are looking for a challenge intermixed with some historical basis it’s an interesting and even enlightening experience.

MindSeize - While for quite some time on the Switch Metroidvania offerings were a bit scarce in total number and variety a few years down the line things have changed and the bar raised. While the light sci-fi story trappings and unique creatures you’ll contend with in MindSeize are notable to a degree there’s just an essence to the experience that feels dated, and whether that’s because the goal was to deliver a more retro feel or just a function of the overall level design and gameplay I can’t say for sure. There’s a lack of fluidity and versatility in your main character, with everything feeling a bit too stilted among much more dynamic and precise titles that are out there in a comparable space. If the look and feel of a previous time appeal to you it’s possible the throwback overall feel could be a selling point though.

Warborn - Given the perpetual call for the return of the Advance Wars series and the general excitement people have for games involving hulking mechs in theory Warborn is a solid combination of elements for success. In practice, unfortunately, while it has some of the looks and presentation down it’s sorely lacking when it comes to innovation, excitement, or compelling reasons to slog it out through its 40-ish missions. It all just ultimately feels very generic and plain, from your units to your combat options to, most of all, the quickly repetitive and dull combat animations. While none of the other Advance Wars contenders on the Switch have necessarily been perfect I’d consider the rest of the pack a step ahead of this one.

No comments: