Aragami: Shadow Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 13.02.2019

Review for Aragami: Shadow Edition on Nintendo Switch

The creation of a small indie studio, Aragami was, for the most part, a typical stealth game. Hide in the shadows, do your killing as silently as possible, and so on and forth. The thing that differentiated from the rest? Shadows weren't just those spots where the hero could hide more easily. Instead, this mystical ninja warrior was actually a creature of the dark, and could use the shadows in more ways than one, from vanishing, to recharging his arcane skills through them. It was a good, fun title, although, far from something that could be considered a classic gem - and now it has come on the Nintendo Switch, in its most complete edition yet.

You are the titular Aragami, and must help a young woman escape from the clutches of a certain clan. What exactly is… 'you?' Think of Aragami as a spirit of vengeance (but in Ninja form), and one that draws his powers from the actual shadows of the world. There's a story behind that mysterious protagonist, and one that will be decently told throughout this quest, but, for the most part, this is, more than anything else, a stealth game, with the main mechanics revolving around - what else? - shadows!

Screenshot for Aragami: Shadow Edition on Nintendo Switch

The first, and most important move, is the 'Shadow Leap,' which is basically a short distance teleport ability that lets him insta-travel between dark spots in a level - both horizontally and vertically. As the game goes on, Aragami will amass more skills, with most being tied to the shadows in one way or another; skills that range between traps and diversion shades, to better offensive and defensive techniques - plus, a nifty bird which acts as a scout that lets you tag enemies.

Note that this isn't Deus Ex. Either you stay out of sight and go straight to the objective, or kill everybody as silently as possible before doing so. Acting all Ninja Gaiden and stuff, is not an option, as enemies will simply insta-kill you. Generally, Aragami is a tough nut to crack, but it never feels unfair, and provides plenty of room to experiment on, although, to be perfectly honest, the gameplay soon starts to feel somewhat repetitive, as things don't change as drastically as they should.

Screenshot for Aragami: Shadow Edition on Nintendo Switch

Moreover, while definitely fun, there are a couple of flaws here and there that kind of ruin the enjoyment every now and then, like how its sometimes easy to exploit the enemy, and lead them one after the other towards your arms for some quick slaying… or how its many times hard to understand what counts as a shadow - especially from a long distance, as the graphic engine renders certain elements, like "usable" shades, only after getting relatively close.

This certainly is a fun past time, just don't go in expecting the next stealth classic. On the bright side, this plays more like an arcade game, in the sense that you play it more for the fun of it, rather than its deep content, or whatnot. The length of the majority of stages is decent enough as well, making them perfect for some quick silent killing - just be sure to use a pair of headphones when riding the bus, as this isn't one of those titles that you can enjoy when its served along real-life noise.

Screenshot for Aragami: Shadow Edition on Nintendo Switch

As for how it fares on the Switch, the short answer is mighty fine, really, and maybe even better than the PS4 version, which had some issues with frame-rate lag - and that, without sacrificing the quality of it all. Aragami uses a striking, cel-shaded, comic book-like look, with the vibrantly coloured character pleasantly sticking out from his mundane surroundings. Everything remains beautiful even when playing in handheld mode, but this is, undoubtedly, something better experienced on your TV.

As for the Shadow Edition bit, this basically means that Switch owners are, once again, getting the complete, slightly updated (visually, that is) version of the original, which comes packaged with a couple of additional, prequel chapters. Are these good? Are these bad? They are on par with the main campaign, really, and, as such, feel like more of the same, rather than something that plays differently. Just note that these should better be played after completing the main story.

Screenshot for Aragami: Shadow Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Those looking for the quintessential stealth experience, will not find it in Aragami: Shadow Edition. That being said, this is definitely an enjoyable, and unique take on the genre, albeit, one that's a bit light on content and depth.

Developer

Lince Works

Publisher

Merge

Genre

Action

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 21.02.2019   North America release date 21.02.2019   Japan release date 21.02.2019   Australian release date 21.02.2019   

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