AeternoBlade II Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Corecell Technology

Publisher: PQube

Release Date: October 11 2019

Price as of Article: $29.99, £24.99

Game code provided by PQube

Game Size: 3.3 GB

Gameplay

When the first AeternoBlade caught my eye I thought it looked rough around the edges, but I still decided to give the demo a try. I never even finished that though, as it was some of the most unpolished crap I had ever played. It therefore somewhat shocked me when a couple months ago I learned that a sequel was coming, I say somewhat because crappy games somehow always find a way to spawn sequels, but I digress. Based on how horrible my first impressions of the first game was, the sequel never the less had me curious, and I was therefore looking forward to trying it out.

Flash forward 3 months and here we are, with a sequel that ain’t faring much better than the stinking heap that came before it, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The first game only saw you taking control of one character, the warrior Freya who is also the bearer of the time bending titular AeternoBlade. This time around however, we take control of no less than 3 different heroes who all follow their own path and have unique skills and properties to them, granted by the AeternoBlade. Felix wields a sword that doubles as a whip and thus allows him to cover a wide area of enemies both in front and behind him, as well as take advantage of special grapling points that allow him to either avoid danger, or take alternate paths altogether, while his brother Bernard is a more heavy weight who, with his big axe, can tear through certain gates and can break enemy shields leaving them more vulnerable.

Aeterno Blade 2 Screenshot

Both brothers are, like the returning character Freya, granted a unique ability by the legendary AeternoBlade as mentioned before. Felix gets the ability ”Time Paradox” that makes him able to make a copy of himself who replicates everything he did until the point where he cancelled the ability, meaning you can use it to attack certain enemies from both sides simultaneously, or help yourself get through a gate by leaving your dobbelganger by the switch that activates it. Bernard on the other hand gets a more basic ability in the form of a good ol’ Time Stop, and Freya has the ability to plant a warping point that she can teleport to by the push of a button.

While the combat itself is not exactly broken, and the contols fairly responsive, the gameplay overall feels as rough as the game itself looks, and it is clear to you from the start that it should have had either a couple more years in development, or a new staff entirely concidering even their second game isn’t even that much of an improvement.

The game does try for something new this time around though. Whereas most of the game will be played from a traditional 2.5 perspective, certain areas, mostly where you have either a boss or a series of mooks to fight, will shift you to a 3D perspective, where you can click the right analogue stick to lock on to the nearest enemy. At cool enough idea that indeed serves to spice up the gameplay, were it not for the terrible camera that could easily get caught behind a wall.

Aeterno Blade 2 Screenshot 4

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Audio

The soundtrack is decent enough and does serve to deliver a good atmosphere to the best of the game’s ability, but the voice acting is something else entirely. For a janky low budget game like this I am very surprised to see it fully voiced in English, and while I do appreciate the fact, this is some of the worst voice acting I have ever heard. The brothers Felix and Bernard actually do a decent job at sounding like they give a damn, but Freya and her blue haired friend (who is the only character in the game with a bright Shounen anime hair colour like that who therefore sticks out like a sore thumb and ruins whatever immersion the game could have had) both have horrible lines and even worse execution in their ”acting”, with Freya, the main character, almost being the absolute worst. While blue hair guy puts emphasis on the wrong parts of his dialogue, Freya herself just sounds outright bored, so whenever she does talk you can’t help thinking to yourself ”just shut up before you ruin your future career further and leave with whatever dignity you still have left”. I understand that good voice acting needs a good director, so I don’t know who is most at fault here, but I sure hope this wasn’t their best.

Visuals & Performance

The game runs well enough, aside from a very weird glitch that happens whenever you pause and then unpause. When you unpause you are returned to the game, but then the game fades to black for a milli second before it puts you back in control for real, and I don’t understand why it does that, aside from poor optimization?

The visuals are nothing to write home about either and are hardly even an improvement from AeternoBlade 1, but I am to an extent a sucker for this kind of low rez janky looking 3D graphics, so I am willing to cut the game a bit of slack here, whether it is an intentional art style choice, or purely due to limitations.

Value

Considering they apparently had the money to venture out on a sequel, I had hoped it would at least be somewhat of an improvement over the first game, but while the scope may be bigger, the quality is just as bad as their previous endeavor. I almost wanna give them points for trying, but this attempting is lacking in so many areas that I’d almost rather they hadn’t to begin with. While not an outright buggy and broken game, at £24.99 AeternoBlade II has so many other issues going on that I can not in any way recommend it, unless you find it at a 90% sale and just are in the mood for a less than mediocre action platformer because you really didn’t know what else to spend your time on that weekend. And don’t get me wrong, I know that not all developers have the same resources as Nintendo, Capcom, or Square Enix, but this game just shouldn’t have been released in its current state. In its current state, it is at best a beta build.

Pros

P

The vocals at the main menu

Cons

P

Everything else