While I’m tremendously excited to be able to play this game again on a modern console, the lack of a second screen is leading to some questionable, but ultimately understandable decisions with this port.
In the original DS game, enemy encounters were carried out over both screens, with each screen acting as a different “dimension” as such.
Players controlled Neku on the bottom screen using the stylus, and carried out combo moves, following a Dance Dance Revolution-style map of D-Pad controls on the top.
Top-screen was always the partner character, and was actually the part of the battles that I enjoyed most. It was a very satisfying way of doing battle, and combined with the dodging and gesture-based skills happening on the bottom screen, it made for a deeply rewarding battle-system which to this day, is the only of its kind.
It actually tied into the story a little too, so it’ll be interesting to see if they just glaze over that.
The Switch version, releasing on October 12th, does away with the top screen completely, which… Is disappointing, but given that the Switch only has the one screen, there’s little they could do about it really.
Instead, a full-screen version of Neku’s battle is presented to you, and you’re told to control it with motion controls.
Wait- the switch doesn’t have motion controls.
Yeah um, you’re going to have to use gyro controls in the guise of motion controls.
I… Sincerely hope this works alright.
Other titles have done is semi-successfully, such as World of Goo, so it can indeed be done, and given that this a much higher profile release, I would hope that the art of feigning motion has been somewhat perfected.
Of course, if all else fails, our other option is to pop our console out of the dock and play using touch! Which is fine, the DS game controlled using touch, so things won’t feel too different here.
Will probably have to buy a stylus or something though, hard to imagine playing a game like this entirely by hand.
Combat on the Switch version appears to feature the D-Pad controls at times but I have a feeling they may be automated. Only time will tell!
Although… Many, many people have already done exactly that. The game had another re-release on iOS and Android devices a few years back, and people’s reviews of the port were mixed, with some saying it was a bit of a step-down from the original, but for the most part, people enjoyed it, and got to experience the incredible story that’s in this game.
I haven’t personally played the phone version, but the end of it alluded to a continued story, and that continued story appears to be chucked onto the end of the upcoming Switch release, so us long-time fans are really being fed breadcrumb after breadcrumb here. Argh!
Anyway, my hopes are that the controls on Switch aren’t too wonky, and people enjoy it. If you ask me, it’s never going to live up the original DS game, but that’s okay, it’s only natural, I’m immensely attached to that game, and those playing for the first time won’t even notice that something is missing, and may actually prefer this tweaked battle system. It’s certainly less all over the place.
Also, the better this sells, the more like we are to get a sequel? Right? Right? I do believe one may already be in the works, however.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you played the original, or are you about to play the game for the first time? Or have you played it on a phone? Either way, I’m super interested to hear your thoughts.
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