[Review] Masquerada: Songs and Shadows – Nintendo Switch

Written by MegaMagnezone
  • Developer: Witching Hour Studios
  • Publisher: Ysbryd Games
  • Release Date: 09/05/2019
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by: Ysbryd Games

Un-Masquerada

It’s no secret that there is an incredible amount of content on the eShop, trying to make your game stand out is brutally difficult. When I first loaded Masquerada Songs and Shadows I knew as soon as I got to the menu it was going to be an epic adventure.

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A real time with pause strategy RPG, Masquerada Songs and Shadows brings so many great and unique perspectives to this genre both visually and mechanically, though not without its drawbacks.

Controls, not a ball to use

One of the places where this game falls on its face is the control system. It feels like it was very much not meant for controllers, such is the nature of console based RTS. On the highest difficulty, I felt like I was forced to pause much more often to issue commands just because some of the menu selections are done via a cursor.

The only two modes that are available to play are the prologue that must be completed before you can even begin to do the story mode, and the story mode itself. The amount of content for the price is definitely worth looking into.

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Colourful Shadows

To me the art style is one of the most impressive and impactful. The places you explore feel massive with beautiful tiling laid out in patters that really immerse the player in the experience. The characters and building models are bright, colourful, and easy to see no matter what is going on the screen.

Player avatars are beautiful, and unique. At the bottom of the screen will be your party’s status information and spells. To the left of that are wonderful Victorian-esque portraits that add one more nice little touch of detail and immersion.

Paired with a magnificent original soundtrack by Josh Whelchel, the player will at the very least find themselves able to enjoy the atmosphere with the huge range of sound available in the soundtrack.

The cut-scenes are smooth and stylized, with some really great choreography, and the lore is rich and interesting. The voice actors are passionate and engaging, dramatic but believable. With a script that was over 500 pages long, the lore is expansive and deep.

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The game runs great, with no noticeable frame drops that other games with high shadows and particle effects might produce. It’s just as engaging artistically whether you are playing at home or on the go.

Overall, I found the game to be engaging but not repetitive, lore heavy but not confusing, and I’ve found myself leaving my Switch on in the background just to enjoy the music.

Pros

  • The colours are incredibly bold and rich.
  • The OST is a beautiful collection of old and new sounds and styles
  • High quality cut-scenes, scripts, and voice acting.

Cons

  • The controller setup can almost be infuriating, the pause during combat helps a lot with this.
  • Mandatory prologue before you can even start a regular game.
  • The music is incredible however some of the electronic based music pulled me out of immersion slightly.

Verdict
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows was a great experience, it does however have it’s quirks. I definitely recommend checking it out, and if you get it on sale it’s a steal no matter what the cost. 4/5

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