Sisters Royale (Nintendo Switch) Second Opinion Review

By Eric Ace 10.04.2020

Review for Sisters Royale on Nintendo Switch

Alfa System's brought us the Castle Shikigami series, which is infamous among gamers that may recognize it as a series with one the absolute worst voice acting ever presented in a video game. It was so bad it was good, and for those that played the second instalment especially, they were rewarded with a big if completely incomprehensible story and absolutely the funniest dialogue ever seen in a video game. Castle Shikigami 3 was released for the Wii, and it was clear the developer tried to capture the magic of the second title, but it came off a little too try-hard. This bears no similarity in story to the series, but follows the typical pattern of story/battle revolving around five sisters with magical powers, who are trying to battle for the love of a single man, complete with heavy humour.

For those few that have never played or heard of Castle Shikigami, it is an utterly infamous game that started on the PlayStation 2. The PS2 era was an interesting time in which voice acting was still in its infancy, and most gamers started expecting some sort of voice acting, even if it was completely trash. The most infamous game was Castle Shikigami 2, which set an odd bar of incomprehensible story, mistranslations, and laughably bad voice acting - and yet it was a completely classic piece of software. It was a rare embodiment of 'so bad it's good.' As for the actual game, it was a completely serviceable slump, complete with anime portraits and a complex story.

The voice acting was legendary for perhaps all the wrong reasons, with the VA's routinely reading stage directions, talking about wrong characters, wrong pronunciations, wrong emphasis on words, and flat affect, to name a few - it was a glorious disaster, with one example being a boss interaction, where the hero Ko refuses the woman's advances, and utters the immortal line "I like girls, but now it's about justice!"

Screenshot for Sisters Royale on Nintendo Switch

Alfa Systems years later released the third one in line for the Wii. It was improved, but in all the wrong ways. The game system was left largely unchanged, which was fine, but now the voice acting was far too forced, and the script was oddly... meme-y, and purposely trying to come off as bad instead of being such. As a result it was mostly forgettable, despite how legendary the second one was.

So that brings the review to the first new Alfa Systems release in 12 years. Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire follows the same pattern of the past games of alternating between story segments, followed by a level and a boss, then more story. Players take the role of one of five destined sisters who instead of banding together to defeat a demon terrorizing the land, decide to fight each other for the love of a guy. The story itself is not serious at all, and many of the segments were actually fairly funny, if entirely too short. One such example of the humour is finally making it to the guy, only to find out the girl has not even ever talked to him, rather just stalked him from the bushes.

Screenshot for Sisters Royale on Nintendo Switch

Each girl has a different regular shot, a special magic/familiar attack, and a bomb. These can range from shooting ahead, homing, hitting around the character and so on. Score boosts are awarded for staying close to enemy shots and not being hit. As far as shumps, it is fairly good, though there is not much in general that delineates one game from another. The only things that sticks out is that this is actually fairly easy, only a few romps through is enough to mostly never get hit. The graphics are colourful and watching the shot patterns would be mesmerizing if you did not have to dodge and weave through them.

The negatives are, first, a lack of co-op, and secondly the short story, which is unfortunate. It is hand-waved away due to the plot of 'there can be only one winner,' but co-operating was what made the early entries in the series so memorable, playing together while experiencing such a vocal treat. The other major problem is how short this is, and especially the story. Shooters of this type aren't necessarily long, but at least in the past for Castle Shikigami there were thousands of lines of dialogue and story, meaning multiple play-throughs to understand what was happening (or until you got tired of trying to figure out what was happening).

Screenshot for Sisters Royale on Nintendo Switch

In this, each story segment is but a few lines or quips back and forth between the sisters before it is onto the next level. It is unfortunate as some of them are actually really funny, like the middle sister Ece trying to practice giving her rehearsed 'hero' lines, and no one listening. It is no exaggeration that a play-through might have the main character at sub-fifty total lines. With no co-op (meaning no dual-character story) the entire journey is woefully short on substance and story.

This is by far the biggest knock against it, as this is what made the previous games so fun and enjoyable, and there is little here beyond one or two quick run-throughs. This is sufficient on all technical levels, but it just never reaches any sort of magic. Given its 'pedigree,' if it could be called that, it easily could have achieved some degree of infamy, but as it is, it is a very fun but forgettable experience. Unfortunate. One can always wait for Castle Shikigami 4 though!

Screenshot for Sisters Royale on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

For what it is, there are no major problems. It plays well, and the story is fun, if not incredibly short. The whole thing is fairly easy, and it is altogether far too short. With a "story" that is only maybe 50 lines long for each character, and only five characters available, there is regrettably little reason to replay this, as it can be blasted through far too quickly. It's actually decent, but just too darn short, and with too little to it.

Developer

Alfa System

Publisher

Alfa System

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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