My Big Sister (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 27.02.2020 1

Review for My Big Sister on Nintendo Switch

Those looking down on titles crafted using the Adventure Game Studio, or something similar, shouldn't. Of course, if looking something with flashy visuals and so on, you won't find it here, but those who can stomach the shortcomings of such engines, will actually discover plenty of games that can win you over with their writing and immersive atmosphere. Is My Big Sister, this little dark, and occasionally funny, ghost tale one of those games? Here's a review of the Nintendo Switch version, which basically says 'No,' using a few more words than needed.

The protagonist of this horror-themed adventure is Luzia, a mildly sardonic and playful young girl, whose quest will initially be to save her sister Sombria and herself from some mysterious kidnappers. Not long after their capture, a Witch will curse Sombria, or 'Sombie' as Luzia calls her, and turn her, ironically, into a kind of zombie/poltergeist. From there on the main quest revolves around moving from area to area, solving "puzzles," and occasionally witnessing some bizarre phenomena. Oh, about those quotation marks in 'puzzles.' Yeah, these aren't really mind-benders.

In structure, this is Adventure Gaming 101. You interact with the world, searching for objects and clues, and use items in certain spots to get what you want. Sadly, the obstacles offered here are of the "you've found a key. Here's a door" variety, and as such you only need the most common type of common sense, and you are good to go. It's one of those titles where you just do what you need to do, with not much thinking on your part, and as expected, it feels boring.

Sadly, the story, the thing that could be My Big Sister's saving grace, isn't any better. On one hand, it' definitely interesting, and at first quite intriguing, as you get to witness some increasingly violent supernatural events around you, with the plot having you scratching your head about what the heck is actually going on. Unfortunately, the execution is quite lacking, with the first problem being the writing, or more specifically how inconsistent it is.

Screenshot for My Big Sister on Nintendo Switch

Even now, after completing this a couple of times to watch the various different endings, yours truly simply cannot view this as a horror game. It's not the fact that this looks like a dark Pokémon from the GBC era. There are titles that sport a SNES look, and can actually get really creepy, like for example the magnificent indie gem, Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass. Sure, there are plenty of mature themes explored here, as well as some scenes that could theoretically "scare" you, 8-bit visuals or not, but the presentation is a total failure, especially since it overdoes it with the comedy aspect.

Again, horror and comedy can work in unison if done well, but not here, as this can be too light-hearted for its own sake, leading players to shrug unemotionally upon watching this game's attempts at shocking or unnerving you. In the end, if Luzia doesn't even flinch at the sight of an impaled corpse, since she only cares about being "funny," why should you care? Yes, there are mentions of depression, abuse, suicide, and so on, but they won't really affect you.

In conclusion: a dark tale that doesn't feel like so, ambiguous for the sake of being ambiguous, and with a few plot holes and illogical bits, plus concepts that are interesting, but just don't work that well. The atmosphere is non-existent, which is certainly a bad thing, since this isn't Pac-Man, but a horror-themed adventure. Finally, My Big Sister is unbelievably boring, because it's one of those titles that need no effort. In order to reach the end, you just need to go through the motions. Yes, it's cheap, but it's also a very short trek. You can find much better with the same amount of money.

Screenshot for My Big Sister on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

My Big Sister is the adventure genre at its simplest form. The solution to each "puzzle" is so evident that the only challenge here will be the struggle to stay awake. The horror-esque plot, and mature themes explored could help a lot, but they are handled in a manner that the average player will be left scratching his/her head about whether this is a dry comedy with some darkness thrown in, or a dark fantasy story coupled with some low-key humour.

Developer

Stranga

Publisher

Ratalaika Games

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I really hate when writers are that bad about understanding breaking genre or the immersion.  I have seen many games ruined by innapropriate humor or badly placed character 'personailities'.

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