New Game Review

Review – Dark Souls Remastered (Switch)

You can now praise the sun while praising the sun under the sun.

When the Nintendo Switch was first announced, people started wondering what kinds of higher-budget multiplatform games would be eventually ported to the system. We got Doom and Skyrim quite early into the system’s lifespan, followed by games like Payday 2, L.A. Noire and Wolfenstein II.

The announcement of a port of the original Dark Souls, however, made everyone lose their minds and not just because of that sexy Solaire amiibo. Being able to play one of the most revered and challenging games of all time anywhere we want to is a genius idea, but people were wondering how would the Switch’s hardware cope with Dark Souls‘ performance and visuals. After a last-minute delay, Dark Souls Remastered is finally here and while not quite as good as other versions of the same game, it’s still freaking Dark Souls on-the-go.

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Lordran is home to the most polite of folks.

I don’t think Dark Souls needs an introduction, right? The series has spawned countless sequels, “Souls clones” like Nioh and The Surge, memes, and much more. Despite not being my favorite in the series (the third one takes the cake for me), I totally understand why this game is considered one of the best ever made. Despite all the praise, it wasn’t a perfect game. It clearly struggled on the Xbox 360’s and PS3’s aging hardware, not to mention the original PC version. The Switch version of Dark Souls Remastered doesn’t feature all of the visual enhancements from the PS4 and Xbox One versions, but it still looks and performs better than its original counterparts.

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Some moments of peace and tranquility before getting mauled by two gargoyles.

When docked, the game runs at a crisp 1080p, while running at 720p when on portable mode, which is the same resolution from the original game. While the framerate runs at 30 fps, half of what the PS4 and Xbox One versions are capable of, it is locked at all times. Even in places like Blighttown (which still sucks) or the fight against Sif, there aren’t any slowdowns, making this game especially enjoyable on portable mode. Granted, lighting effects and textural quality are nowhere near as good as other versions of this remaster, so while the game still looks VERY good, you’re basically playing a more dated version of Dark Souls in case you prefer to play on a TV.

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I’ll never buy decorations at IKEA again…

Besides those technical improvements (and non-improvements), there’s little else that can be said here. It’s the same Dark Souls as before and it controls pretty well on the Switch, even though the developers forgot to assign the A button as confirm and B as cancel. Plus the joycon’s triggers aren’t very large or well-placed. It’ll take just a few minutes for you to get used to this new “control scheme”, but once that’s set, all the muscle memory from years of dying to the Capra Demon will pay off, trust me.

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Solaire is the best bro.

From Software might have delayed this game a bit, but thankfully enough, Dark Souls Remastered ended up being what we’ve always wanted. It’s Dark Souls on-the-go. You can finally bring your favorite torture device with you and play it anywhere you want. Then most likely throw your entire Switch onto a passerby’s face in frustration due to the Bed of Chaos still being a pain in the gonads after all these years.

Bear in mind that this game is only worth the investment if you want to play it on-the-go, as this is easily the least “remastered” version of Dark Souls Remastered out there. If you want to play a portable Dark Souls, go for it. If you want to praise the sun inside your bedroom, pick any other version instead.

 

Graphics: 8.0

While the textures and lighting are great, this version of Dark Souls doesn’t run at 60 frames per second like other ports of the remaster. Thankfully, the framerate is steady even on handheld mode.

Gameplay: 8.0

While the controls are responsive as they can be given the framerate, From Software kept the B button as “confirm”, making things a bit more confusing. The trigger buttons on the joycons aren’t ideal for the game’s control scheme either.

Sound: 8.5

Maintains the tradition of the Souls series, with very occasional but powerful orchestral music and somber dialogue.

Fun Factor: 9.0

It’s Dark Souls, but on-the-go. Being able to play this game anytime and anywhere is a gift from the gods. Blighttown and the Bed of Chaos still suck, though.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Dark Souls Remastered is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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