Review – Ruvato: Original Complex (Xbox One)
A few years ago, a small studio called REMIMORY released a roguelike title called RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore. It was an isometric hack ‘n slash with roguelike elements, charming characters, and a laughably bad story. Two years later, REMIMORY decided to release their newest game, Ruvato: Original Complex, as an Xbox One console exclusive. What a surprise it was to find out that it was an isometric hack ‘n slash with charming characters and a laughably bad story as well! At the very least it’s not a roguelike this time around.
Trying to talk about the plot in Ruvato: Original Complex is difficult, not because there isn’t a storyline to follow, but because it’s absolutely uninteresting. It’s presented in such a bland way that you can’t help but want to press the skip button to jump straight to the next action sequence. In this game you control Ria, a former bounty hunter working for a shady organization, who almost gets killed after trying to save a mysterious girl from her former colleagues. She is “revived” as a cyborg and embarks on a quest for revenge. It might sound exciting, but the myriad of mute dialogue sections, laughable script, and boring music turns these plot-related sections into an exercise in frustration.
Thankfully, the same cannot be said about the gameplay. Just like REMIMORY’s previous outing, Ruvato: Original Complex shines when it comes to its combat mechanics. It’s a standard isometric hack ‘n slash which focuses a lot on hit-and-run techniques (attack an enemy then dash away from danger). You can also unlock some special techniques, such as an area-of-effect pulse that slows enemies down or a kinetic blast that can push them away from you. This gives you a few extra seconds to build up your limited dash gauge once again.
It’s a challenging game, since you have minimal amounts of health per mission, but there’s a catch: every time you kill an enemy or parry one of their attacks, an attack meter located at the top of the screen increases by one point for a few seconds. This essentially increases your attack’s strength, making it easier to kill every single enemy onscreen. The more people you kill, the stronger you become, making it even easier to kill more people and become even more powerful as a result. It’s a vicious cycle that works brilliantly, but sadly, there are some design decisions that go completely against the game’s combat philosophy.
The first issue is the fact that levels are incredibly short. You can beat most of them in under a minute, especially after getting a hold of the combat mechanics. The other issue, one that can easily be considered a deal-breaker, is the excessive amount of platforming sections. The vast majority of the levels in Ruvato: Original Complex feature platforming puzzles that need to be solved by dashing from one to another, but they are clunky and poorly responsive. You’ll die a lot, often not knowing what hell you did wrong. Platforming in isometric games is something that has never worked, even back in the 16-bit generation. It baffles me that developers are still trying to make it a thing.
Finally, the game’s visuals are bit uninspired and very repetitive, with it featuring the same exact background for twenty levels in a row at times. Ruvato: Original Complex becomes tiresome pretty quickly as a result. Thankfully, while the level design is bland, its characters are well designed, and the game always achieves a very high framerate, with little to no hiccups.
I really enjoyed Ruvato: Original Complex‘s cathartic combat mechanics, but sadly, that isn’t the game’s main focus. It wastes a lot of its time in some annoying platforming sections (which never work in an isometric perspective) and the most forgettable of stories. This is presented in such a rushed way that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to even remotely care about it. This isn’t exactly the kind of console exclusive that shows up everyday on the Xbox One library, which adds an extra dosage of novelty to the mix, but it certainly won’t be one of the most memorable.
Its backgrounds are boring and recycled, but its character models and framerate are actually quite decent.
While Ruvato: Original Complex‘s combat mechanics and controls are absolutely great, its heavy focus on clunky platforming hinders the experience quite a lot.
There’s almost no sound effects and the soundtrack in general is bland, uninspired, and very repetitive. This is a game that would have benefited from having a heavy rock soundtrack to coincide with its fast-paced action. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.
Fun Factor: 6.0
Ruvato: Original Complex features an incredibly boring story, which, sadly, is one of its main focuses. However, you can ignore it altogether in favor of its competent combat mechanics. It’s worth noting that it’s also quite short.
Final Verdict: 6.0
Ruvato: Original Complex is available now on Xbox One and PC.
Reviewed on Xbox One.
A copy of Ruvato: Original Complex was provided by the publisher.