Out of all of Devolver Digital’s games, I think it’s Swords of Ditto that really feels like it belongs on the Nintendo Switch. Not only is it perfect for quick blasts on the go, impressive to look and, and a great local multiplayer experience, but it’s also clearly inspired by The Legend of Zelda – where better to play it then than on a Nintendo console?
Well, Switch owners finally have the chance to head out on an adventure to stop the vicious Mormo, with Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse bringing the adventure to the console alongside an array of improvements. We previously reviewed the game on the PlayStation 4 and thoroughly enjoyed it (you can check that out here), so here we’ll be covering some of the new additions and how well the game plays on the console.
For those who haven’t heard of it, Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse is an action-adventure title where you lead a hero on a quest to defeat Mormo. If you succeed, the land will find peace for one-hundred years; if you fail, it’ll fall into disarray until another hero rises up to try and stop her once more. What this quest involves is vanquishing foes, clearing out dungeons, finding improved weapons (also known as ‘toys’), using stickers to get buffs, and then attempting to kill Mormo, and it really makes for a fun gameplay experience.
Previously, there was a time-limit in place that’d mean you only have a certain amount of prep time before taking on Mormo, but one of the new additions is the ability to remove that. There was also perma-death in place, but again, that can be turned off if you prefer. It means you can play Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse with a lot less pressure, with the player able to seek out the best weapons or stickers without worrying that they’ll run out of time. Believe me, when I played the game on the PlayStation 4 I’d often find myself rushing out of dungeons or leaving areas unexplored just to save on those minutes, so it’s a feature that I personally quite appreciate. Plus, you just awaken at your home if you die too, so it’s a lot less riskier than before.
Of course, playing without a time-limit and perma-death does take a little something out of the experience. Whilst I’ve said I appreciated not having to rush or worrying about dying so much, it was also one of the main things that made the adventure so intense the first time around. It’s one of those things that’ll come down to what the player prefers: some of you will enjoy having an easier time, whilst others will want that extra challenge. Fortunately, Hero Mode allows you to play the game in the original form with time-limit and perma-death included, so those of you who like some punishment don’t have to miss out…
Oh, there is one thing I should mention: even if you don’t have perma-death enabled, if you die in Mormo’s Palace that’s it. You lose, Mormo wins, and you’ve got to wait another hundred years to see if the next hero succeeds. The developer couldn’t make it THAT easy to beat Mormo, after all.
Alongside these changes, there are also new areas to explore, new enemies and bosses to vanquish, and even improved weapons to use. As a returning player who hasn’t played the game for some time, I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure if some of the standard enemies were new or not. It’s shameful, sure, but the fact they’re typically easy enough to take down makes them less memorable.
The new areas on the other hand were easy to appreciate, with the rural city setting standing out to me in particular thanks to its similarities to Earthbound’s world. Some of the new weapons were a real treat too – not only can you do the likes of summoning the dead to battle for you (who needs Diablo III’s Necromancer?) but you can even turn into a boulder and smash down enemies. The developer could’ve taken the easy route and just re-skinned a few weapons here and there, but instead they’ve brought some fantastic additions that have the same charm and creativity that was present in the original game’s arsenal.
There are also additional situations to find yourself in on subsequent playthroughs of the game; you’ll want revenge if Mormo beats you after all, or alternatively she’ll want a second shot at taking you down if you kill her. Whilst these could be neat (there’s one that fans of the Resident Evil 2 Remake will particularly appreciate), playing without perma-death meant there were less instances of having to restart the experience all over again. Sure, Mormo’s Palace is still a tough place to conquer, but it’s a lot easier to succeed in the game now – it might mean that some players will find themselves done with the game a lot quicker and won’t get the chance to see some of these new scenarios.
I mentioned that Swords of Ditto: Mormo’s Curse felt like the ideal game for the Nintendo Switch, so I’m glad to report that it runs well too. The game was stunning anyway (just look at those screenshots) but it manages to feel more vibrant and colourful on the Nintendo Switch’s portable screen. Everything plays smoothly too with no noticeable drops in the frame rate, which is surprisingly an improvement on the original PlayStation 4 version of the game. However, I did notice that the load times felt a little longer than before, though fortunately they’re not so severe that they’ll affect your experience with the game too much.
It is worth noting that there are quite a few game-affecting bugs present right now, though fortunately I didn’t suffer from any of them (you can find out more about them here). The developer meant to have a patch ready for launch but thanks to problems out of their control it’s not available yet – it should arrive soon, but it’s something players may want to be aware of.
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PC