Review – RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition

I first heard of RWBY due to the presence of a few of the franchise’s characters on Arc System Works’ Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle. Given they were anime characters featured in an “anime as hell” game made by a Japanese developer, my initial assumption was that RWBY was some random anime my “stuck in the 90’s” mind wasn’t aware of. You cannot imagine how shocked I was when I found out that RWBY is actually an American web series hosted in the same website known for their Halo parody Red vs. Blue. Weirdly enough, I learned about this just a few days prior to learning about a RWBY game being announced for the Switch.

RWBY Scythe

Girl, this scythe is just overkill.

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition, as the title might suggest, isn’t a proper new game. Grimm Eclipse was actually released prior to the release of the Switch in January of 2017. It is a novel idea: a multiplayer-focused hack n’ slash game with a ton of characters to choose from, upgrades, co-op, and so on. There aren’t that many Devil May Cry-esque games out there featuring multiplayer support, so that alone was enough to pique my interest. Finding out that the game didn’t feature a complex storyline (hell, it barely has a story to begin with) also made me feel less intimidated before tackling a licensed product based on a license I had little knowledge of. Let’s just say that there are some good ideas in RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition, which are hampered by some really annoying technical issues.

I don’t think I need to sugarcoat the biggest issue with RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition: there aren’t many people playing it on the Switch, meaning that matchmaking is a nuisance. Very rarely will you be able to join a party of four and enjoy the game at its best, as a co-op hack n’ slash inspired by Platinum’s outings. There’s little storytelling in here and very little explanation as to where you are and what you’re doing. A professor will spit out a few objectives every once in a while, which are usually summarised in either killing all monsters in an area, or defending a point of interest by killing a few waves of monsters.

RWBY Parrying

The parrying mechanics in this game make little, if any, sense at all.

You’ll most likely spend the vast majority of your time playing the game by yourself. While it’s fine as a solo experience, featuring a responsive combat system with your traditional light-strong-parry combat system, you can clearly notice that it’s nowhere near as balanced for a single player to handle all these enemies at once. You can only upgrade your abilities while pausing in-game, which doesn’t pause the action at all, meaning you’ll be standing still like easy bait in the middle of the room.

Technically speaking, this Switch port does a good job at performing at a great famerate. Granted, the original RWBY: Grimm Eclipse was far from a graphically intensive game, given how bland the environments and particle effects are in all versions. But considering the even weaker hardware we’re dealing with, I was expecting a lot worse. Sadly, the sound department is a bit of a letdown. While there’s a lot of voice acting, and good voice acting for that matter, the bland soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired. Finally, what is probably my biggest gripe with this game as a whole, even more than the poor matchmaking: the loading times are stupidly long. It reminds me of the first batch of rushed Switch ports that came out back in 2017.


As Knack once said, “ice is nice”.

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition falls under the same category as most average-at-best licensed games out in the market: if you like the show, you’ll love this game. If you don’t know anything about RWBY, you basically need to be a die-hard hack n’ slash aficcionado in order to truly enjoy it. It’s not bad, far from it, but it’s just a safe action game with a bit of fanservice, decent controls, and not enough people to populate its online lobbies.


Graphics: 6.5

It runs well enough and the characters do (somewhat) resemble their cartoon counterparts, but the environments, particle effects, lighting, and enemy design all look subpar.

Gameplay: 7.5

It is far from the most balanced and polished hack n’ slash combat system out in the wild, but it makes up for those issues with each character feeling unique, with lots of combos to pull off. The controls are also responsive enough.

Sound: 6.0

I was impressed with the quality of the voice acting, but the bland soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired.

Fun Factor: 6.5

Poor matchmaking mechanics hinder what could have otherwise been an actually interesting take on hack n’ slash gaming. It can be occasionally fun by yourself, but it suffers from balancing issues and insanely long loading times.

Final Verdict: 6.5

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of RWBY: Grimm Eclipse Definitive Edition was provided by the publisher.