Poison Control (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Eric Ace 11.05.2021

Review for Poison Control on Nintendo Switch

Going a slightly different way than typical NISA games of strategy RPGs, this third-person shooter is developed by the same team that made the ill-received Princess Guide, though this shows much improvement. Following a mysterious story of the main character dying, sent to hell, and meeting a demon named 'Poisonette' who together you set about purifying various hells as a way to hopefully head back up to heaven.

Poison Control might be a hard game to actual find any information for, because at least in the United States, merely typing 'poison control' brings up the emergency number and contact information for help if people have consumed poisonous substances. Ironically, this has next to nothing to do with that, instead having players take the role of someone fallen into hell who is forced to shoot their way out with the help of a demon girl. For something that its major colour pallet is pink and black, it pulls off its style relatively good. However, one of the things that stick out through every part of it is a lack of consistency. Some parts are very good, engaging, and interesting, but they are lost in a mire of derivative gameplay, boring loops, and simply bad design choices.

Screenshot for Poison Control on Nintendo Switch

It has a good opening where the main character mysteriously dies and ends up in hell. Immediately he is attacked by a demon that tries to kill him, but oddly just takes his body, starting a strange partnership where they take turns using it. The beginning also opens up with frequent allusions to sex jokes, even though they rapidly disappear from the rest of the experience oddly. Its main story revolves around each dungeon having some girl in emotional distress.

Many of these parts approach very dark themes, such as abuse, murder, sacrifice and so on. While that would be very interesting, they are touched on only lightly, causing a major let down. By having so many, all treated to very short stories, they all blur together. It represented an awesome opportunity to dive into some fascinating personal "hells," but it was largely missed. The only one that really was memorable was about the girl who's dog died, and she was killing other creatures to 'fill heaven up so it would come back.' Again it is actually a good plot, but far too often many of these simply lack any depth to them.

Screenshot for Poison Control on Nintendo Switch

Gameplay revolves around a very repetitive flow of picking a level, listening to some annoying banter from side characters, then entering a simple dungeon with the goal of shooting and cleaning everything in the way. The shooting aspect is typical enough, and the cleaning system was interesting in theory, but ends up being woefully annoying. At any time the player can send out the demon-girl Poisonette, who runs around, lighting up 'poison' patches on the ground - these are then purified and removed from the map. They give some small bonuses of money, ammo and health.

The issue is, it's really, really repetitive - nothing about this changes during the game. She runs slow, and there is an aggravating two second delay where she jumps and celebrates after each run. Any single dungeon will have players sending her out easily over 100 times or more. While there is some perhaps unintended tactical interests late-game, such as using it for a reload or a quick heal, by the time that part hits, this feature is far past its welcome.

Screenshot for Poison Control on Nintendo Switch

Regarding the story, it is like much of the game in its quality inconsistency. By far the best parts are the 'heart to heart' which are outstanding illustrations of the protagonist and Poisonette discussing the dungeon, along with a small choices that boosts stats. They occur often early on, but unfortunately become rarer as the game goes on. The worst part is the 'Higan radio,' which is two side character girls who are never shown, but talk constantly about the dungeon, often giving a slew of JPOP-like references and culture. They talk more than most characters in the game - this reviewer rarely skips dialogue, but by the end was skipping aplenty.

The overarching story, while plot hole-ridden, was interesting, but is feed into too little and too late to really be recommended. It is touched on early, dropped completely, then suddenly at the end a bunch of surprises and twists come from nowhere, yet it is literally characters that come from nowhere and can't be cared about. Likewise, the gunning is very lacking, so many of the weapons just are not that good, from very bad start-up or cooldown times, to lacking damage. This was beat using the starting three weapons, which generally were better than most others. In the end, as the game went on, the worse it got. Nothing new changed, and when the story finally got interesting, it was a reminder of how much slog it took to get to.

Screenshot for Poison Control on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Ultimately, Poison Control is a let-down of how good it could have been. Utterly lacking in the cohesive element, some parts absolutely stand out, where so many others fall far short. The shooting is serviceable, the 'cleaning' gets old fast, and the story doesn't really go anywhere. Poisonette and the main character have a great dynamic, which serves to only show how short other aspects really fell short.

Developer

Nippon Ichi

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
imjamesgrech

There are 1 members online at the moment.