Tamashii (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 11.04.2020

Review for Tamashii on Nintendo Switch

Platformers in the indie game scene have come a long way since the days of freeware on Newgrounds. Some titles like Hollow Knight or The Messenger, have managed to eclipse of the longest reigning classics of all time. Standards have gone up, and even putting out a retro style pixel art platformer is still going to go up against some real heavy weights like Shovel Knight or Blasphemous. What can a humble little titles like Tamashii bring to the table? Find out as Cubed3 trials and errors its way through this problematic platformer.

Tamashii is what happens if a teenage Hans Giger found Newgrounds or eBaums World in the mid '00s. Remember those brutally hard platformers like N or Meat Boy? The kind of games that were designed in a way that required perfection and knowledge of the level layout? The ones where players had to constantly retry the same stage over and over until it was memorized and then had to be perfect with the jumps, timing and momentum? That is Tamashii.

Getting good at platforming can be incredibly satisfying. Indelible classics like the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, or the recent Celeste have very carefully designed stages that will put gamers to the test, but at the same time offer some wiggle room for experimentation and expression. Sometimes a simple mid-level checkpoint can make a difference. In Tamashii, the designer probably placed the platforms first, spaced them out very specifically, and then surrounded area with instant death traps and threats. All of this is compounded by the fact that most levels have a puzzle element within them that is required to progress. Being able to jump and double-jump a way through these gauntlets is not enough. Being able to perfectly drop clones and have them land on switches to open doors while running at top speeds is only one aspect to contend with.

Screenshot for Tamashii on Nintendo Switch

Being a challenge is one thing, but some of these obstacles are ruthless and dirty. The irony of it all is that Tamashii stops being hard after each respective stage is memorized and the pattern is understood. This is a game that tests memory and reflexes, not intuition or high level play. Anybody with no self-respect can play the easy setting that offers a slow-mo mode that will provide a ton of practice, but at that point why even bother? In spite of the incredibly flawed gameplay, and frustratingly cheap design, Tamashii does manage to feel satisfying thanks to its presentation and style.

The aesthetics and art in Tamashii is something that is rarely seen. As mentioned earlier it invokes the look of H.R. Giger bio-mechanical nightmares that are infused with an 8-bit pixel sensibility. The lack of detail and low-rez chunky sprites add an extra layer of evil and satanic aura around the entire product. The deeper a player goes into Tamashii, the more insane and twisted it gets - as if the game itself is corrupted and tries to claw its way out of the game console. This is the highlight of the entire experience; seeing just how far and macabre it can get. Progressing will make really unusual things happen, and once in a while there are some legitimate scares or gags that can tingle a spine or two. Is it worth it to endure some extremely frustrating and exhausting trial and error obstacles? It depends on how much of a diehard horror fan the user is.

Screenshot for Tamashii on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Take away all the disturbing and horrific imagery, and Tamashii becomes a run-of-the-mill, trial-by-error indie platformer. It will test one's patience and frustrate to no end, thanks to its design and structure. It is much too rigid to allow anyone to get immersed in, and the tedium of having to memorize a new level only fills the soul with regret. The horror flourishes are what save this otherwise subpar title.

Developer

Digerati

Publisher

Digerati

Genre

Puzzle

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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