Anima: Gate of Memories, is an RPG that also tries its hands at being a bit of a hack and slash, something that is missing in the Switches growing roster of games. Though an even better addition to this is when you get a game that is actually two games in one. I was super happy when I found this out about Xenoverse 1 & 2 on the switch, I always love good value for your hard earned money, now let us see if that is found here.
Graphically the game looks strange, you would have thought that the game could easily be pushed out 60FPS/ 720P undocked and 1080P docked, but the game comes across blurry not crisp and clear, making me wonder what is happening here, what have they done to get this game to run on the Nintendo Switch.
It seems either the game is running at a lower resolution than 720p or the UI elements was not created at that resolution in mind, and it really distracts from the gameplay. Building on that there is a lot of jaggy edges, now don’t get me wrong I don’t expect full AA (anti-aliasing) and AF (Antiscopric Filtering) on the Nintendo Switch, but when you can see far in the distance you can really tell the resolution downgrade is there. Moving past the resolution, the graphics themselves are really…just OK? I get this is a Nintendo Switch Game, but the graphics really do not make sense to me, there is nothing I see that is pushing the system that hard, textures and models look clean but simple, effects again are the same, so I am not 100% sure if this is a problem with the build and something that can be fixed, or just an example of poor optimisation at work.
Gameplay wise, this is basically a poor mans version of Devil May Cry, its like someone looked at the combat system and really really enjoyed it, and wanted to implement it into their own game. Have you ever played those weird indie games that use Mario sprites, and…they work, its not like they don’t work, but they don’t FEEL right, they just leave you wishing you were actually playing Mario? That’s the sort of feeling I got here. This combat system feels almost exactly like what I played when I first tried Devil May Cry 4, and the more I thought about this, it was almost the case that it felt like I was playing Nero.
Gap closer? Yeah except you fly towards them
Knock up? Yep
Slam down? Yep
Ranged? Yep though it’s a slower more powerful attack
I mean at first these were not exactly too damming, but then you also get a little pop up for your attacks, with levels like Cool, which obviously is the same as the combo system present in Devil May Cry, and at the end, you get more essence based on your performance, higher combo? More rewards.
Now again this isn’t exactly a problem, but the whole combat system feels very rigid, it doesn’t feel smooth or flow as well as the Devil May Cry system does, now sure this is an Indie VS AAA team, but I’ve played combat systems from indies before and some of them are amazing. There is one fight in particular that encapsulates how I feel, and that would be the first boss fight encounter.
She is flying up in the air, shooting off ranged attacks at you, but they are not exactly difficult to dodge, and your slow ranged attack auto aims and one attack knocks her back to the next stage, and you keep doing this until she retreats behind a barrier. At no point did I feel as if I was challenged or under threat, I just had to run forward, move left or right a little and press one button.
If you’re here for the story, I’m sure you will enjoy the game regardless, but with a combat system like this I really felt underwhelmed, as if it was so close to being good, but missed at the last second.
Story wise, the game is as you would expect, you kill a bunch of bad guys who REALLY want to take over the world, but then take on an even bader guy and save everyone and everything, there are a few endings, but nothing that is going to blow you out of the water with depth.
There is the advantage here of a secondary game of course, which budget wise is amazing, but again a lot of the same problems arise here as well, its not like the game is bad, it just could be tweaked ever so slightly to make the overall game so much better.
The story again is pretty predictable, people are opening a gate to hell, using the main characters blood, so now he’s going to try and keep hell closed and not kill everyone, its not amazing or new but it serves its purpose to push you along the game nicely, its basically the same engine, but with a slightly different coat of paint, not terribly bad, but it could be better.
Overall the game feels okay, I enjoyed it for what it was, but at the same time, definitely left me wanting a more refined combat system. The story was, okay and pushed me along, though I don’t think I will remember the story for what it was, more enjoyed it as it was happening.
If you are looking for a very cookie cut game, simple combat system, simple story and something to zone out to and not have to focus very hard on? This might be the game for you, if your looking for something deep in anyway, maybe move on.