Taking on the task of making a game that feels like it’s intended to occupy the same space as the likes of the Legend of Zelda series, even removing Breath of the Wild from the table, is a rough road few manage to make significant headway in. Though Ary as a character I like, with her working through some very Mulan-esque issues in dealing with her family and culture, and some of the things she’s able to do over the course of her adventure inspire some wonder the experience just has too many faults to make a substantially positive impression. Though I’m usually not one to ding games for performance issues, I’m no framerate snob, the game’s obvious struggles in this case at key times like boss battles were hard to push aside. Throw in this Switch version feeling taxed with expansive environments, in places heralding in the return of the dreaded foggy look from previous generations, and this port feels a bit hamstrung. Even removing that from the picture while the game’s world is quite large once you begin exploring it also shares a degree of that earlier gen problem of feeling effectively empty, with stretches with little to nothing going on so your interest tends to wane. While Ary and her various elemental powers are cool in principle and execution when you’re able to make use of them, and it has some moments that pop, the heavy weight of too many areas where the gameplay is ho-hum at best unfortunately leave the biggest impression. Hopefully the upcoming patch will help address at least some of these issues for people who take the plunge.
Justin Nation, Score: