[Review] Dusk Diver – Nintendo Switch

Written by Joachim Ziebs
  • Developer: JFi Games
  • Publisher: PQube Limited
  • Release Date: 25/10/2019
  • Price: £34.99 / $39.99
  • Review code provided by PQube Limited

One among many!

There is no shortage of musou games on the Nintendo Switch. From Warriors Orochi 4 to Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors you are covered when you feel the urge to dish out damage against a myriad of incoming foes. What then, does Dusk Diver bring into the fray, you might ask. Well, an anime artstyle and the addition of 3D platforming, of course!

You play the game as Yumo Yang, a highschool girl from Ximending. You read that right, the game takes place in Taiwan, which is a nice touch because it offers some fresh scenery seldom seen in video games up to now. One day you end up in another dimension, Youshanding, where chaos beasts roam who want to cross over into our dimension by way of fissures. Naturally, you end up being recruited to beat up the beasts and stop them from taking over our planet.

They are small, but high in numbers!

Dusk Diver is divided into main and side-quests. Finish the main quests to advance the story and take the time to clear the side-quests to earn bonuses and in game currency. Each quest leads you into Youshanding where you will have to beat up a foray of smaller enemies, solve some riddles by platforming and then finally confront a huge boss at the end. Of course, you needn’t fight alone, but can summon allies to help you bash in some heads. You can have up to four allies in your team and call them in exchange for SP. You collect SP by defeating enemies, so you can keep a steady supply. Each summon will last for a few seconds and will help you against tougher or bigger foes.

On each quest, you can find Dragon Vein Stone Shards. These are important, because you need to have a certain number of them to enter the dimensional fissures that actually lead to the quests. Luckily they are also found in the human dimension and not really hard to find. Your boss, a local guardian god who roped you into her services, will notify you once you enter an area with a shard nearby.

Look the best, smash the rest!

As already mentioned, the game looks like an anime. It’s colourful on the human dimension and gloomy in the beasts’ one. Nicely done! The drawing distance in the streets of Taipei takes getting used to, though. People walking around in the city are differently coloured blobs and only get more detailed once you step up to them. I can live with that, because the game runs perfectly smooth both handheld and docked. I had no hiccups nor stutters or slowdowns during my quests. Well done!

You need an energetic soundtrack when you play a beat-em-up and Dusk Driver has you covered. Blast through the enemies with a melodic metal soundtrack your ears. Enjoy the satisfying smacks when you smash your opponents into a pulp. Nothing to complain about here.

Control? Who wants control?

So, all’s well that ends well? Not quite, I’m afraid. While visuals and sound leave nothing to desire and the story is quirky and fun as well, there are issues when it comes to controlling your character. For one thing, there is no option for y-axis inversion. If you are used to moving the camera up by tilting the joystick upwards, you’ll have no problems. If your muscle memory is set up to move the stick downwards to raise the camera you’ll either have to retrain or constantly lose focus. This is annoying at first and results in taking damage in later quests. Additionally, rumble will be enabled even if you turn it off in the settings. Only disabling rumble in the Switch’s hardware settings will get rid of it.

Conclusion

Is Dusk Diver a game that you should play? It actually depends on how much you love beat-em-ups and whether you already have one of the other musou games available. In the latter case, or if you, like me, need the y-axis inverted, Dusk Diver is not a priority. If you like anime style games and can live with Dusk Diver’s issues, go for it. The gameplay is engaging and rock solid!

Pros

  • Quirky Story
  • Rock Solid and Fluid Play

Cons

  • No Y-axis Inversion
  • Can’t Turn Off Rumble

Verdict
It’s ok, but there are better options available.
3/5

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