Welcome to Juan’s Down To Hell Nintendo Switch Review from SwitchWatchTV. Watch the video below, or you can continue downward to read a transcript.
Let’s get right into this and find out if it is worth your hard earned cash. I have two copies of this game to give away and will give these away on the 23rd when it releases. All you have to do to stand a chance is let me know your favorite indie game that you have played this year and why on the YouTube video. A couple of sentences in the comments is all we need, and I will pick a couple at random.
In Down to Hell, you are a knight that has descended into the depths of hell. Of course, the reason for this is because he is so powerful against mortals that he had to test himself. The funny part to that is he is killed almost instantly and has to be saved by a girl who is then kidnapped.
Instead of being thankful, he decides he may as well save this girl. Not because she saved him, but because he has something to prove. Honestly, the character is as unlikable as they come and the story seems like it was written late night at the pub when you have had a few too many. The way the story is narrated is truly one of the worst I have heard in a long time. Take a listen for yourself in the video review. It would have been better had they not voiced this at all.
It is all good, though. Surely the side-scrolling action RPG will spring to life through its gameplay. I mean, there is platforming, combat, and nightmare bosses. They do test you to the limit. Sadly, I am afraid to say this is one of the worst games I have played in a very long time. Everything is executed poorly. If you have played Salt and Sanctuary, Valfaris, or Slain, then they all do what this is trying to do so much better.
Killing monsters is as easy as spamming the Y button over and over again. You could also go for X which is a slower, more powerful attack, and then use R to finish off the foe. Trouble is if you have spammed the button too quickly, you have already killed the foe. This is well before getting the chance to execute the finishing move. If you do execute it, it is so meek that it is hardly worth it.
There are some wave sections in levels and even a little exploration. You can even level up by finding chests, but the game is so unbalanced that none of it really matters. Getting the uppercut, for example, is cool to use but so overpowered you can one-hit most monsters. The only challenges are the bosses, and even then it is a matter of jumping over from one side to another and hitting them a couple of times. Not much fun, truth be told.
There is a dodge, and this can also be used to reach higher ledges by pressing B to jump and then ZR to dash in the direction you want. It is only useful though against bosses, which are all similar with slightly different attack patterns. You can also cast spells, but they are so unsatisfying.
If you wanted, you could complete this in about 2 hours. But I am not sure people will even give this more than 20 minutes at most. Play in handheld and you cannot even see your character because the status bar covers him. Absolutely infuriating.
For those of you that know me by now, I try to find positives in everything I play, but there are no redeeming qualities in the gameplay here. And at the end of the day, that is the most important. If you are looking for a decent game to play this Christmas, this is not going to satisfy you in the way you may think.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
The backgrounds in Down to Hell are really quite good. They depict gore and a darkness that leaves you in little doubt that you are somewhere bad. My one complaint is as you progress, the backgrounds only change colors slightly. Clearly they are reusing these assets.
Unity assets have been used here, and it is low budget stuff for the animations which do not look great. Then there is the difference in playing in handheld and docked. The camera likes to pan in and out a lot, but in handheld, your character is often covered by the health bar, Mana bar and the stamina bar. Honestly, if you play your Switch in handheld most of the time, this is a deal breaker in itself.
Down to Hell’s audio is my jam. I like the heavy metal music that is used, especially in the boss battles. I think it fits quite well. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the highlight of the package.
Down to Hell is £8.99 or $9,99. The screenshots are something that would make me take a look, even the trailer caught my eye. But honestly, if you are desperate to try this then wait until it hits the bargain basement. It undoubtedly will in no time. It is just not worth it at this price for the quality on show here.
Thanks for Stopping By!
If you want to try Down to Hell out for yourself, go for it. However, Juan would like to know the best indie you have played this year and why. He will pick two winners from the YouTube comments, and then you can let him know if you agree or not.
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Have a great Christmas everyone! Happy gaming.
Story - /10
Gameplay - /10
Audio - /10
Visuals & Performance - /10
Value - /10
We have been lucky on the Nintendo Switch to have so many indies hit the console that are of a fantastic standard. I don’t like coming down too much on indie developers because it’s not easy to develop a game when you have such small budgets. There is a pretty decent concept here but it needs so much work to make it into anything resembling a decent game and that’s always unfortunate but there is just no room in the Switch library for games as poor as this.