[Review] Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition – Nintendo Switch

Written by Thomas Haroldsen
  • Developer: goonswarm
  • Publisher: Black Tower Games
  • Release Date: 26/03/2020
  • Price: $19.99 / £17.99
  • Review code provided by Black Tower Games

Video Review

Introducing: Sin Slayers Switch Review

I’m always on the lookout for new and unique role-playing games. Most recently I got my hands on Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition. There were times when I was ready to turn the game off for good and others when I couldn’t stop playing. It certainly has the unique aspect down. Read on to find out why Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition pushes the envelope while at times taking a step back. 

Seven Deadly Sins

You’ve awoken to find yourself in a horrid, unfamiliar world with all manner of beasts skulking about. The only safe haven is a lone church under the protection of a blind sage. A small group of survivors battle their way into the sanctuary to learn the only escape from this evil infested world is to defeat the seven sinlords in the surrounding areas.

The plot to Sin Slayers is straightforward. Salvation will only come at the downfall of the powerful bosses and their fiendish minions. The scant delivery of the narrative leaves a lot to the imagination. Despite having a handful of characters to take into battle, there’s little history or interaction to endear you to any of them. It was hard to feel connected to the empty heroes and care whether they found their way home or were lost forever. The main drive in picking who would join the team of three in any given skirmish came down to what skills they could carry into battle and what their usefulness was.

Seven Ways to Win

Sin Slayers doesn’t boast the most enticing storyline making the gameplay the backbone of the experience. I’ll be honest, my first impression of the game was as dreadful as the world the heroes are lost in. The game mechanics are quite unique for a turn-based RPG. Part of my frustration during my first few runs came from little to no tutorial. Not that I need my hand held to get started, but Sin Slayers omits a lot of information. Certain icons go unexplained and a lot of guesswork is needed when trying to decipher an enemies weakness for example.

The campaign is made up of seven areas. Each area is randomly generated and covered with the fog of war, masking each tile from view. As you move around the map in grid-based fashion, you can encounter a variety of enemies, traps or treasure. There’s a sin system at play as well. If you choose to dig up a coffin for some sordid loot or pry the boots off a corpse, your sin meter will increase. As it goes up, the enemies become more difficult. Of course, ignoring your itch to defile a grave will reduce your sin.

I found that more often than not, searching these oddities would yield worse results than simply compromising your moral compass. In fact, I found myself more injured by hidden traps or curses when exploring these wayside hazards. Risking double punishment at the chance of finding old cheese or an apple which only heals two hitpoints hardly seemed worth the hassle. Exploration is a key component in Sin Slayers. Since the levels are random, if you leave at any point or are killed, you start over in the church. All your map progress is lost giving the game a slight rogue-like feel. There were some levels where I searched every single square before uncovering the boss and then other times where it only took a few moves.

Seven Holy Paths

The combat system for the most part follows traditional turn-based mechanics. Instead of starting with a set amount of MP however, you build up rage over turns. Rage can then be used to fuel skills or spells depending who is in the party. In addition, each character is equipped with an armor stat. Armor has to be whittled away from either friend or foe to damage health.

I wasn’t a fan of the leveling system. It took countless battles and several side quests to move just one level. I soon learned that you max out at five levels which explained why it took so long. Further complicating the system is the fact that idle party members gain little to no experience when sidelined. It became much easier to pay the blacksmith to craft gems to level up. Additionally, each character can only take five skills, either passive or active into battle. With a handful of heroes to pick from, it was an engaging experience to test different combinations and find the best team to tackle the bosses.

The movement system was problematic as the cursor didn’t respond well to my inputs. It would get lost off screen forcing me to rotate the analog stick until I could find the path again. Each move had to be carefully input as to not get off track. Despite my gripes and early issues as I got past the learning curve, Sin Slayers is extremely addictive and kept me coming back time and time again. Once I learned it’s quirks and found my dream team, it was hard to put down.

Seven Downward Slopes

The art direction for Sin Slayers is rendered in beautiful pixels. There is a fair variety in characters and enemies and each fit well in the world. Though the music never got stuck in my head or was casually whistled as I went about my real world chores, neither was it overbearing or intrusive.

From a technical standpoint I ran into a few problems that had an impact on the game and soured my experience. As mentioned above, the movement system was a tad clunky. I also encountered an issue which prevented me from unlocking all of the trophies. There’s an additional dungeon called Tower of Trials. I entered and cleared the first few levels. Once I returned, they had all vanished. Even the levels I had cleared. There was no way to get them back. I duplicated this glitch on a few new games as well.

Seven Bloodied Hopes

Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition is a flawed entry into the RPG market. With a subpar story and confusing start, I almost didn’t give this game a chance. Were this a personal purchase I may not have as my backlog is full of juggernaut titles. As a review title, I pushed on to the end and I’m glad I did. Save a few broken parts and slight learning curve, I had a hard time putting Sin Slayers down once I had a better grasp of the mechanics. Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition excels at pushing boundaries and daring to try new things. Any role-playing fan should keep a close eye on it and give it a chance. I might recommend watching for a sale as the game is priced a bit high for the baggage it brings with it.

Pros

  • Addictive Combat System
  • Unique Exploration
  • Varied Characters and Enemies

Cons

  • Finicky Movement System
  • Bonus Dungeon Bugged
  • Lacking in Details

Verdict
Sin Slayers: Enhanced Edition takes several bold steps forward while occasionally stumbling back.
2.5/5

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