Morphite (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Josh Di Falco 02.12.2017

Review for Morphite on Nintendo Switch

It was only going to be a matter of time before the inspired No Man's Sky was going to start a trend of new games. Procedurally-generated planets and space stations sounds like an unlimited toy box of space-faring fun, and the initial sell of the idea is enough to shell out a few dollars. However, Blowfish Studios' take on the idea isn't all that it is cracked up to be, unfortunately. The titular Morphite is a rare material that the game's overall mystery revolves around. Oddly haunting, can this title make the most of the game's concept? After taking on the PC version, Cubed3 now looks at the Nintendo Switch edition.

Unfortunately, Morphite doesn't quite reach the great heights that may be expected from a game as ambitious as this. Although it is littered with a great many planets to explore and space stations to loot out materials, the procedural generation is still very limited, as each planet seems to be a colour-swap of the other, with limited landmarks to differentiate themselves. To make matters even worse, these planets and worlds are quite barren in terms of people, which is quite haunting at times to think that the protagonist, Myrah, may be the only person left alive in this world.

The main quest line runs through a series of planets, and following Myrah's journey into discovering these Morphites is a fascinating one. Each of the main quest-line planets has a personality about them, and a culture around the inhabitants to give the illusion of a long-standing civilisation. However, for a material so rare, the titular substance is found in some of the most unusual of places with respect to these settlements. It's amazing how they weren't found before Myrah came rummaging along. Unfortunately, the story, while starting off with some great mystery, results in a rather bland journey with not-so-memorable characters. The voice acting itself is quite boring, which detracts massively from the story that is trying to be told.

Screenshot for Morphite on Nintendo Switch

Told from a first-person perspective, Morphite is more of a platformer akin to Metroid Prime. Many of the planets and temples found on these planets feature many platforming elements that are quite simple to get through. While the game lacks any decent method of communicating the tasks required sometimes, Morphite is still pretty easy to figure out, and lacks any real form of difficulty from the various puzzles and the rare enemy encounter.

Morphite still presents a difficulty, though, but that is more to do with the clunky controls, if anything. Manoeuvring around isn't quite as seamless as in other first-person titles, therefore, some of the more interesting battles can be between Myrah and shooting a loot box. The platforming elements also suffer greatly with this first-person perspective, as judging where the platforms are is a hard task from this vantage point. However, with a great colour palette and visual designs, moving the camera down on each jump can be easily achieved. Except, Morphite has a bland colour palette for the planets, which results in entire wastes of lands being given the exact same colour throughout, which can be disorienting in those hectic jumping and camera-spinning moments.

Screenshot for Morphite on Nintendo Switch

Even the side-quests cannot add any substance to the blandness of the vast space. Some citizens of the space stations and planets sometimes spout some text, which results in a fetch quest, which forgets about the act of actually delivering the goods back to the NPC. There is confusion caused after collecting Rare Eggs, as the quest is completed upon collecting the third egg without actually returning them to the quest-giver, breaking the immersion. However, in other cases, some quest-givers completely disappear, even if the quest required speaking to that person again. There are some side-quests that are just buggy, and cannot be completed due to this issue, while the not-so-helpful quest screen forgets to detail the exact planet that each quest was found on. This is due to some of the quests requiring items that are found on "Nearby Planets," although that's not very helpful later on when the initial planet that the quest was found on cannot be remembered.

In addition to these quests is the act of scanning plants and animals in order to sell at the space stations in exchange for money. This money is the sole necessity for upgrading the spaceship, such as increasing the petrol tank and adding further weapons onto the base laser guns. Money is also needed to upgrade Myrah, although she also requires the various materials that are scattered throughout the galaxy, and can be hard to obtain or easy to rack up, depending on the play styles. Then, once the required materials and money, as well as upgraded scans are found, Myrah can beef herself up with the help of Conversion Chambers, which are found in huge abundance across the galaxy.

Screenshot for Morphite on Nintendo Switch

This entire process is fine, and there is nothing here that will set the world alight. Although, during review, there was a recurring issue on a specific planet that saw some of the plant scans constantly crash the game. Apart from that minor hiccup, the scans went through as normal and while it is addictive at the start, it slowly loses steam as the game progresses due to the wealth of money already in hand. Finding rare types to upgrade Myrah also becomes pointless as, once she is fully upgraded, they only serve to sell for a higher price, and go into the purse and Myrah cannot spend on anything else.

In saying all of that, Morphite isn't exactly a bad experience. It has a great foundation to build upon, as the limitless planets leave a lot to be desired, but with enough fleshing out of the textures and landmarks in the procedural-generator, these planets can really start to take shape. Whether the developer actually puts in the work to keep building on this foundation is another matter. Unfortunately, with what is on offer, this feels more like a glorified demo of what it could be.

Screenshot for Morphite on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

While it has all the makings of a long-lasting space adventure, Morphite lacks any real emotion in the story it tries to tell, while lacking the denizens to populate the various planets found within. Everything feels quite empty and lifeless, made further haunting by Myrah's need to scan everything on the planet while breaking into temples to steal the rare Morphites that turn out to be…not so rare. This feels more like a concept piece for a brand new title, and it's hard to justify this as a purchase for what it offers currently. The story is bland, the procedural worlds are even blander, and the side-quests are completely broken and poorly maintained.

Developer

Crescent Moon

Publisher

Crescent Moon

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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