Another Sight Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Lunar Great Wall Studio

Publisher: Toplitz Productions

Release Date: June 18th 2019

Price as of Article: $39.99, £35.99

Game code provided by Toplitz Productions

Game Size: 3 GB

Story

Another Sight opens with a hurt and stagnated Catherine, or Kit as she prefers to be called, waking up in a surreal version of the London underground. Lost and confused, she soon meets the cat Hodge, who helps show her the way through the underground tunnels, but there also seems to be more to this feline than meets the eye.

Throughout the unlikely pair’s journey, they stumble upon curious characters, like Claude Monét and a mysterious lady who wants Kit to help her with something. She promises that in return, she can help bring Kit’s fragmented family back together, but it quickly becomes clear to Kit that she doesn’t know who she can really trust in this mysterious realm.

There is plenty of dialogue to push the plot along, as Kit monologues fairly often, which I personally like as it makes the game feel more alive to me, and you will also occassionally, if you go a bit off the beaten path, come across these purple orbs that unlock pages of lore for you to read, that goes more into detail on Kit’s personal throughts on her predicament, and the world she has found herself in.

The story compliments the envionments, as you help Kit find a way back to the surface, and the ever changing locales keep you guessing whatever will come next and what crazy characters she will meet.

Another Sight Screenshot 7

Sometimes you are presented with cutscenes in the form of these beautifully illustrated still images, that look like they could’ve been painted by Monét himself. But though they are really pretty and make for nice screenshots, and the fact that I always appreciate any kind of cinematics in my games, I look back at other low budget indie titles like Gris and Forgotton Anne. Both excellent platformers with brilliant thought provoking stories to tell, and both had set aside the budget to present some beautifully animated cutscenes, though Forgotton Anne admittedly did skip on some frames, probably for budget reasons, but hey, they tried.

On that note, I know animation is costly and above all else time consuming, but I am also getting kind of tired of games that just go with still images, however pretty they may be.

Gameplay

You control the double team of the young girl Kit and her companion cat Hodge, and change between them with a push of the R button. There are things one character can do that another cannot, and vice versa, like how Kit can move boxes and pull levers, while Hodge can flick switches and climb certain vertical surfaces to reach places Kit cannot, you know, like a cat.

The gimmick of the game however, comes from the game’s title, ”Another Sight”. You see upon finding herself in the London underground, Kit found herself half-blind, in that she can only see what she can hear. This means that most of her world is completely dark, aside from things that make noise lighting up. Oh, and this is a puzzle platformer, but Kit will only jump, when she can see what she is jumping to… seems reasonable enough now that I think about it.

Another Sight Screenshot

Hodge on the other hand, being a cat, can see perfectly in the dark, and can thus help you, the player, get a better grasp on your surroundings. Seeing how Kit can’t really see, he will also often have to set certain things in motion which produce the noise that Kit needs to continue on, like at one point in the garden area where Kit needs to traverse a group of grassy rock pillars, and Hodge then activates a wind machine that makes the grass on the pillars rustle so that she can see where she is going – instances like this I found really darn clever.

While I love the concept though, it is a double-edged sword in my opinion, as Kit being blind also means that you can only see this beautiful subterranian world the developers over at Lunar Great Wall Studio has created, when you play as Hodge. I therefore stuck to him most of the time though I thought Kit was supposed to be the main character. I get that the dark world is supposed to be disorienting on the player, giving you a feeling of actual blindness, and again, I do like the idea, but sometimes, just sometimes, I feel it also works against the player’s visual enjoyment of the game.

It also doesn’t help that Kit will force you to walk slowly if there are no lightsources nearby, cautiously feeling her way forward. Again, it is realistic, but in a platformer I want to get a move on. Taking my sight is one thing, it is another to also rob me of speed.

Another Sight Screenshot 5

Since you need both characters, I also wish there was a way for you to move them simultaneously, or have a command to call the other character to you, as long as your current position is not out of their reach. Not having this means that every time I reach a new location, I always end up scouting as far ahead as I can with Hodge, where I can also enjoy the sights in all their glory, and then afterward throw the ball back to Kit who then, painstakingly slowly, has to traverse the exact same path that Hodge just trod, in order to catch up to him.

There is a Mario—err, I mean, call button, that when pushed makes the character you control call out to the other one, but I honestly didn’t find a use for it other than when Hodge needs to use his meow to scare rodents away. This essentially makes the game an escort mission of sorts. I mean, imagine playing Resident Evil 4 and having to control Leon and Ashley seperately, where every time you had cleared a room of enemies and reached the other side, you then had to guide Ashley all the way through the room as well. It is what we call a hazzle.

Something I did find funny though, was how most times, Kit and Hodge will traverse the same path, but sometimes the game, being a 2.5D platformer, meaning you aren’t given 3D movement, suddenly forces Hodge to take a different path to Kit’s, that will allow him to help her in the background.

At times, I do feel the controls can be a bit stiff and awkward, especially for Hodge, with whom you are going to do most of the more acrobatic moves, but it doesn’t ruin the game, I just feel it could perhaps have been polished a bit more.

style="display:block; text-align:center;" data-ad-layout="in-article" data-ad-format="fluid" data-ad-client="ca-pub-5661714653949151" data-ad-slot="5669732186">
Audio

Unlike Mighty Switch Force!, the WayForward game I last reviewed, there obviously aren’t any headbanging chiptunes here that you will immediately look up on YouTube and put on your playlist when you are done the game, as atmosphere is clearly more what this game is going for, and I feel it succeeds.

Aside from the files you find, the game is also fully voice acted, both when Kit talks to herself mid-gameplay, and during cutscenes. It ain’t the best acting I have ever heard, in fact, Kit herself sometimes comes off as a bit try hard, like she is reading up from the script of a school play, but at the same time, that is actually what gives her character and makes her feel endearing to me. On a side note, I do really like her as a character: a bit strong headed as most teens are, but also polite and good natured. She questions what happens around her, the same way you do, and try to pull logical conclusions.

Another Sight Screenshot 4

I don’t know if it was a budget decision, but I do wish those aforementioned files were voiced by her, instead of leaving the reading up to the player. Having files being read in the voice of the character concerned, adds so much more feel and depth to their character. Oh well, I’ll let it slide, but in return, they could have set it better up with more spaces instead of being heavy walls of text.

While I do find Kit’s acting and British accent endearing however, what I dislike, as I also mentioned in my review of Asterix & Obelix XXL 2, is when American actors give foreign characters thick fake accents. Hearing Asterix, who is a fictional character from Gaul, where they spoke French in ancient times, speak English with a forced French accent, is just as crinchy as hearing Claude Monét do the same in Another Sight. It’s unnatural and needs to stop. Speak normally, then our imagination will do the rest, thank you. I mean imagine if they did the same in English dubbed anime that is supposed to take place in Japan, if they hired the American actors to put on heavy Japanese accents? Yeah I didn’t think so…

Visuals & Performance

The visuals, much as was the case with The Missing, was what immediately pulled me in about this game. While not being AAA-state of the art graphically or having the luxury of un-aging pixel graphics, Another Sight’s visual style is unique and gives it an identity entirely of its own. It is fantastical and gives a sense of something otherworldly, which poetically fits perfect with the mysterious world it is trying to bring to life. Kit even at one point comments to herself that she feels like Alice in Wonderland.

I always appreciate a game that sticks out and can easily be identfied with just one look, like, you look someone over the shoulder and you are immediately able to identify the game from the artstyle alone, and I feel Another Sight accomplishes this. In the sea of garbage that is piling up on the eShop, Another Sight, from the thumbnail alone, is one of those games where you instantly know you have something special.

Another Sight Screenshot 3

I did encounter some heavy stutter after being brought back to life after taking a fatal fall, but these were rare occurrences and the game, 99% of the time, ran without a hitch. I did also, after one particular cutscene, find my controls being locked, promting me to restart the whole game, but this again only ever happened once, so I am not sure if it is a re-occuring problem for other players.

Another Sight is by no means a bad, glitchy, or poorly optimized game overall, but it does show some unpolished surfaces once in a while.

Value

Another Sight is a diamond in the rough, it is visually interesting and gorgeous, has a unique atmosphere, and some really clever puzzle gimmicks – that said, £35.99/$39.99? No, this game isn’t worth that much.

Previously mentioned games, like The Missing, Gris, and Forgotton Anne, went for £23.99, £14.49, and £15.99 respectively, and while they all varied in length, you got an amazing experience and life teaching journey for a fraction of what Another Sight asks for. At a lower price, say £25.99, I would recommend it if you are mesmerized by what you see and have a soft side for fantastical adventure games like this.

As it stands now though, I would wait for a sale, a sale I do urge you to keep an eye out for, and snag the game as soon as it happens, because we need more games like this.

Pros

P

Unique visual style

P

Interesting gimmick

P

Good story

P

Very atmospheric

Cons

P

Somewhat lazy presentation

P

Has a few rough edges

P

Too expensive