To get pleasure from 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is to embrace confusion. The sport, which initially launched in 2020 on the PS4, is tough to explain, with gameplay that spans a number of genres and a non-linear storyline that entails every part from time journey to android doppelgängers and solely will get weirder from there. It calls for loads from gamers, however the result’s one in all my favourite science fiction tales in years — and, unsurprisingly, it’s an important match for the Switch, with a brand new model for Nintendo’s pill that launches right this moment.

For a extra detailed rundown, here’s my review from when 13 Sentinels first debuted. But the brief model is: the sport is a mixture of a visible novel and a real-time technique sport, which follows greater than a dozen characters throughout occasions that span a number of centuries. It’s a story that likes to trick you. At first, it looks like a easy basic mech vs. kaiju story, the place the RTS parts of the sport contain highschool college students piloting highly effective mechs to battle off an invading alien power. These sequences are easy however satisfying as you progress characters throughout a grid to destroy more and more devious creatures, unlocking new skills alongside the best way.

Mostly, although, 13 Sentinels is a visible novel the place you observe the tales of round a dozen Japanese highschool college students throughout a handful of various eras, beginning within the Eighties. These play out as side-scrolling vignettes, the place you are able to do a little bit of exploration, however largely, you’re studying / listening to dialogue. It positively requires some endurance. What’s most attention-grabbing concerning the story, although, is its construction. At virtually any given second, you’ll be able to choose from a handful of various characters’ tales, permitting you to observe the trail that appears most attention-grabbing to you. The non-linearity made me really feel extra invested within the story, as if I used to be investigating completely different results in discover out simply what the heck was happening. 13 Sentinels additionally introduces an enchanting characteristic referred to as a thought cloud, which is mainly like a online game stock, aside from concepts, including a dynamic really feel to conversations.

13 Sentinels additionally does an unimaginable job of slowly revealing itself. While it initially looks like that kaiju invasion story, with a bit of bit of sweet sixteen drama thrown in for good measure, finally turns into a sprawling, advanced narrative about, amongst different issues, the way forward for all the human race. I received’t spoil any of the large reveals, but it surely in all probability took me 10 hours earlier than I had any concept what the sport was actually about. The method it lays out bizarre and attention-grabbing narrative breadcrumbs helped pull me by means of that early feeling of being utterly misplaced.

This was all true earlier than, in fact, however that construction of bite-sized episodes additionally makes 13 Sentinels a super Switch sport. I’ve replayed the primary few hours to this point, and most of that point has been spent in mattress, squeezing in just a few extra episodes earlier than going to sleep. Each episode lasts possibly 20 to half-hour, too, making it straightforward to play briefly bursts. It’s loads like studying e book — just one the place it’s a must to pause each few chapters to play a fast sport of chess. The sport is equivalent on the Switch in any other case, however the portability is good for the sport, making it simpler to decide on between savoring the story or binging it.

This signifies that 13 Sentinels nonetheless retains a few of its tough edges on the Switch. As fascinating because the story could be, it’s extremely demanding; it’s a must to actually consider that these hours and hours of utter confusion are going to repay. And whereas the sport has lovely 2D visuals — one thing developer Vanillaware is well-known for — it does have some, let’s say, questionable character designs that may bitter the expertise.

Still, if you happen to can look previous that, it’s value pushing by means of that preliminary feeling of bewilderment. Because whereas confusion can usually be a nasty factor, right here it simply makes piecing the story collectively all of the extra satisfying. 13 Sentinels crams so many high-level ideas into one expertise — together with, amongst many others, Groundhog Day-like repetition, time-traveling robots, and a speaking cat with a magical gun — however by some means in a method that, finally, is smart. And now you’ll be able to resolve the thriller from just about anyplace.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is on the market now on the Nintendo Switch and PS4.

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