Cast of the Seven Godsends (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 28.06.2018

Review for Cast of the Seven Godsends on Nintendo Switch

The Switch is already home to a plethora of retro-style games. Whether that has anything to do with people's association of Nintendo with retro at the back of their mind with the recent success of both the NES and SNES Classic Mini, that's hard to tell, but the neo-retro style has never been more popular than it is now. Plenty of already great games litter the Switch eShop and here comes another one, not exactly recent, but at least new to Nintendo platforms: Cast of the Seven Godsends. Early visuals give off an air of déjà-vu, so time to dive right in.

The game plays very simply with a hero, Kandar, going from stage one to finish battling enemies with different weapons, jumping from platform to platform, collecting power ups and battling bosses along the way to save, you know it... no, not a princess, but close enough : Kandar's son... and the kingdom along with it! It's been heard time and time again, but that never prevented a game from being good, it cannot be bashed for lacking originality; quite the contrary. Kandar starts off with a basic throwing dagger that he may replace with anything from a sword to a mace or boomerang... and he also may pick up a suit of armour along the way to power himself up, as well as gaining the ability to take two extra hits before dying, up from his own basic two health points. All of this is very similar to Capcom's famous Makaimura series, also known as Ghosts 'N Goblins, Ghouls 'N Ghosts, and so on, in the West, although here the hero starts off without armour and doesn't strip him down to his trunks upon losing it!

Screenshot for Cast of the Seven Godsends on Nintendo Switch

However, Cast of the Seven Godsends adds its own spin to the formula by adding in some extra elements not found in its main source of inspiration. The titular Godsends are creatures that the hero can transform into if he collects an orb from some of those aforementioned chest-like breakable pedestals, after having already collected a suit of armour. Holding down the attack button, the player can then transform into one of seven different creatures of a certain element, like fire, ice, plant, darkness, and so on... Naturally, element weaknesses come into play there, which already adds an extra layer of strategy unique to this game but it goes even a bit further by changing the way the creature's attacks behave depending on what weapon the hero picked up before transforming, adding to a massive total of about 50 different combinations of element and weapons while in ascended form! All in all, then, the game's power-up and weapon system is varied and truly original and inventive in its own way, making things really enjoyable.

Screenshot for Cast of the Seven Godsends on Nintendo Switch

All of this has the making of something truly unique and enjoyable but is let down by other areas of the game where it's lacking. it would work well indeed if not for visuals that are not without reminiscent of the Zelda CDi releases in terms of art direction... the actual in-game graphics of those CDi games, not the horrendous cinematics that are now legendary through YouTube poops. It looks hand-drawn but it looks kind of rough at the same time. If those Zelda games were ported to HD, well, that's probably how they would look. Also, concerns before release about bad frame-rate may be put to rest immediately as there are no noticeable drops in frame-rate anywhere... the animation of the characters themselves leaves a lot to be desired, since said characters do not have a lot of frames of animation. The physics of the protagonist are also somewhat weird to look at and experience, although they actually make platforming sequences rather easy. The true difficulty is really more in the hectic and even sometimes unpredictable nature of the enemy spawns that never seem to make a lot of sense.

In a game like Makaimura, there are some unpredictable moments, as well, but because the hardware of the time could not put virtually unlimited amounts of sprite on-screen, it was kept in check by the limitations of its time. Here, on modern platforms, enemy spawns - flying enemies, in particular that can knock the hero back into pits and the like - get in the way of getting a true sense of having finally mastered the difficulty, since a cheap death at the hand of something that could not have been learned beforehand is never far away. Arcade style platformers need that sort of sense of progression and learning curve to be truly gripping and keep the player putting coins in.

Screenshot for Cast of the Seven Godsends on Nintendo Switch

Moreover, some elements of the game do not give it any favours, like some blatant oversights left and right, such as the HUD of the game scaling between 1080p and 720p (while the resolution of the game stays the same) in front of the player's eyes or even the screen resolution setting from the PC version still being present in the options menu but it does not do anything (it's impossible to change the Switch's docked resolution from within a game itself, so that option shouldn't be there), or even a credits/continue system that is completely broken by the save/load feature, which, after saving, quitting, and reloading the saved game, restores the player's stock of credits to continue playing indefinitely, never running out.

In other instances while playing the game, some odd things seemed to happen, such as a boss yielding far more points than it should and generating a constant flow of extra lives. These do not render this unplayable or unenjoyable, but give off a hint of a rushed port to Switch, unless these problems were already present on other platforms before, but whether that's the case or not, it's the Switch version being looked at here, and those problems are present and worth mentioning.

Screenshot for Cast of the Seven Godsends on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Cast of the Seven Godsends is not without its frustrating and/or unfair moments, but it manages to provide a rewarding feeling in small doses, when an obstacle is finally overcome with enough perseverance. However, the uninspiring visuals and a soundtrack that doesn't quite manage to do its job of reinforcing the hectic and sometimes heavy atmosphere, prevent it from truly landing its grip on gamers who will not be compelled to come back for more afterwards. Fans of Ghosts 'N Goblins-like titles may want to have a look at this, but wait perhaps for a sale to do so as, indeed, it lacks some replay value after finally seeing the ending.

Developer

Merge Games

Publisher

Raven Travel Studios

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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