Viviette (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ofisil 30.12.2018

Review for Viviette on Nintendo Switch

Probably inspired by horror classics such as Resident Evil and Clock Tower, Viviette is a story that takes place inside a dark, creepy mansion, where even the decoration looks threatening, with the protagonist having to solve various puzzles, and the evil within it being vastly superior, as the main strategy for defeating it is... running away. Coupled with some crispy-clean, detailed pixel art, and high quality sound, this seems to be quite the promising experience. Sadly, looks can be deceiving.

One of Viviette's main flaws becomes apparent in the very first 10 or so minutes, and that is it's subpar direction - not subpar in terms of audio-visuals, as, from the highly detailed mansion, spooky music, and ambient sound effects, this looks like the creepy cousin of Chrono Trigger. The problem is that it's actually hard to follow what's going on. Sure, the plot at hand isn't something complex or anything - in fact it's a pretty standard metaphysical tale. No, the issue here is the fact that it's hard to follow it, because it's hard to care...

Screenshot for Viviette on Nintendo Switch

When it comes to storytelling, this follows the Resident Evil formula. A - very - little bit of character interaction, with scattered notes offering the rest of the lore. Sadly, what's thrown at the player never really manages to be that compelling, not to mention that everything sort of takes a backseat, as the bulk of the experience revolves around picking an item, then using it to get something else, which will then be used to receive a key, which will open a chest, where... well, you get the idea!

This is probably the second problem with Viviette. This is nothing more than a key-item, scavenger hunt. The steps of this "dance" almost always go like this: you reach some sort of puzzle, you solve it and receive a key, you use it on a specific door, get an item inside the room, use it on another place to receive another key, open a new door, and come upon a new puzzle - redo past steps.

Screenshot for Viviette on Nintendo Switch

As for the puzzles on offer, they are re of mixed quality; definitely better than the push-crate-over-strikingly-different-floor-tile like in [Insert any Survival Horror action-adventure], but they don't ever become that much better, not to mention that some can be a bit too ambiguous for their own good. Generally, puzzle-solving and "exploration" becomes boring way too soon (and even annoying due to the lack of a map), and that that happens at the expense of what should be the core aspect of this horror title: the horror!

Apart from the rare occurrence of dying from falling down a ledge, or something similar, the main danger in here is actually the hero's possessed sister, who randomly appears inside the mansion. This gal runs towards you in order to have some happy stabby time, and you can't ever kill her, or something fancier like trapping her in a room, or whatever, thus, when she runs, you'll have to run too. Get to close and she grabs you, where you have to rapidly press a button to escape, while your endurance gets drained; endurance which also goes down when you run.

Screenshot for Viviette on Nintendo Switch

The reason why this doesn't work? First, it's easy to avoid her, and, second, unless running around, not paying attention to your stamina, or, even worse, your surroundings, it's almost impossible for her to "win" the grabbing duel. The protagonist can turn off his alchemical lantern and hide in a dark spot, but, in practice running works much better. Generally, that lady is neither an unpredictable, nor a scary foe, something that quickly turns her into another force of repetitiveness. Gladly, this is a chore which was built with speed-running in mind, so it won't last for more than a handful of hours, and only in your first playthrough.

Any reason to replay this? Apart from viewing the rest of the endings, or ticking some achievement boxes off, not much. Potential buyers should also note that, unfortunately, the Switch version comes with an added issue, which is how dark everything is when in handheld mode. Whereas playing this on your TV turns dark spots into navy blue-esque-coloured areas, the moment you put the console on your hands everything becomes irritatingly pitch black...

Screenshot for Viviette on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Apart from the wonderful 16-bit audio-visuals, Viviette turns out to be nothing more than a repetitive search for key-item after key-item, with a little bit of puzzle-solving thrown in, next to a simple horror tale that won't really creep you out that much.

Developer

DYA Games

Publisher

DYA Games

Genre

Action 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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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