Developer: Inside Systems & Studio Esquadra
Publisher: Flyhigh Works
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Music & Action
Release Date: 11th of May, 2017 (JP, EU & NA)
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Sometimes gamers are left years waiting for a game they can’t to be released after being announced and sometimes they only have to wait a few days and Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical is most definitely the latter!
Having previously released last year, Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical is a rhythm game that was originally designed and brought to smartphones, but fast forward one year and Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical heads to the Nintendo Switch. (Not bad for a game which started out as a simple mini-game that appeared in The Legend of the Dark Witch 2).
So other than being a rhythm game, just what kind of a game is Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical? Well that’s what we’re going to find out through the review and since I do like to cover the story as early as I possibly can, instead of my usual short summary, I’m just going to share the entire Japanese voice acted dialogue that relates the story:
A miraculous stone that allows humans to use magic.
Many research its powers, developing new uses.
Magic helps innovation. People use it as a tool in their everyday lives.
But these new powers also bring evil.
Magic becomes a Weapon. People Fight. Wars Begin.
The Germa empire in the East continent is known for their magical studies.
Collecting the best researchers around the world, Germa created the strongest research faculty in history.
Among them, the “Ich” Research team is notorious.
“Whoever stands against Germa will be overthrow by the magic Ich creates.”
Ich is now known as a force to be reckoned with – a threat to other countries.
Aware of Ich’s reputation, Germa sends Ich to the neighbouring country Liana to secretly continue their research there.
Now, Germa is about to declare war from Liana.
A God, looking at mankind from above…
A young aristocrat looking for her powers…
And a researcher, looking for a good time…
Each begin their own story amidst the turmoil…
Okay sure the story isn’t as on par with the levels as the other The Legend of the Dark Witch games, but it sets the stage just right for Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical’s tone and that tone is a magic focused hack and slash game that will see players having to hit the right buttons at the right time, to lash out at bouncing balls called Boing-Boings to take down a varied gathering of bosses. But don’t worry, there is a bit more gameplay to Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical than that, there are also laser beams and fire balls to jump as well and that is pretty much too it. Sadly that is a negative about this game some players will have as there is a ton of repetition to Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical, but if you’re willing to put the time into it, than that is when the game gets good!
When you first start playing, although three characters are shown, only two can be accessed right off the bat, which includes The Dark Witch Zizou herself, (aka a God, looking at mankind from above), and Sola (aka a young aristocrat looking for her powers). As for the third character, that’s Rudy, (aka a researcher, looking for a good time) and she can only be unlocked if you acquire enough Syega, which can also be used to purchase alternate outfits for the three protagonists.
As for getting the Syega though, that’s where things get interesting as Syega can only be acquired by achieving a Rank of A or higher from any of the games stages, on any difficulty. (When first starting out, there are 8 stages and bosses in all, but beating all 8 will unlock another 4 stages and associated bosses and beating them will unlock the final stage. As for the ranks though, they consist of C, B, A, S and S+). But getting an A or higher is not an easy task, as you will need to ensure you do your very best and hack those Boing-Boings at the right time to get as many Perfects as you possibly can and don’t miss a single Boing-Boing as this will impact your final score.
But just in case you find the game too difficult, try playing on an easier setting as Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical has four available (Easy, Normal, Hard and Lunatic, but Lunatic can only be unlocked by beating every stage once), you can of course skip the 1 Player story mode and try out the split screen co-op mode instead, as you and a friend go toe-to-toe against the bosses you couldn’t beat, armed with a single Joy-Con Controller each. Or you can forget the story altogether and just mess about with VS Mode for an hour or two instead, as Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical can get a little addictive.
Other than all of the above, there really isn’t all that much content to Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Sure the English language as good as it could have been in some places, but the small typos do not ruin the game and the in-game instructions are very easy to read and understand. But more than that, Settings comes with the option of toggling Rumble on and off and even the voices for both the player’s character and opposing bosses can be turned off, allowing you to silence the grunts and groans of the characters voice actors and instead give yourself over to listening to the original soundtrack composed by Raito and even then that’s not everything!
Not only is Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical, a beautiful looking game, with some really rather interesting art choices, but it also has a Gallery where players can view the credits and four cut-scenes pertaining to the game’s story. Only thing is each of the 5 scenes needs to be unlocked to be viewed and three of them are unique endings as each of the previously mentioned, playable characters have their own ending, which is a nice way of rounding of Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical’s story, whilst also setting the stage for more to come as Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical does feature a cliff-hanger ending, but that’s a story for another day and now is the time this review nears its end.
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Surprisingly, Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical is actually a pretty good game and a welcome addition to anyone’s ongoing Switch collection. It looks great, it is something that can be played on your own and with a partner, but it is also further proof that mobile games do work well as a Switch title, so for that reasoning alone, Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical most definitely deserves a 7/10. It is more than worth the asking price and immensely enjoyable so if you have the cash to spare and didn’t purchase NBA Playgrounds, or don’t feel like getting Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, than Dark Witch Music Episode: Rudymical is certainly a purchase you should consider!
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*Review Key Provided by CIRCLE Entertainment