Death end re;Quest (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 14.07.2022 2

Review for Death end re;Quest on Nintendo Switch

Idea Factory and Compile Heart once again create a game filled with unequal amounts of terror and aesthetically kawaii characters for Nintendo Switch in Death end re;Quest. It tells the tale of Arata, who as an avatar enters the gaming world of World Odyssey, an abandoned game which somehow has one of its creators locked in. Shina needs Arata's help to complete the game so she can get back to the real world, but doing so is far from simple with death awaiting her at almost every turn, and an evil organisation determined to prevent them both reaching their goal.

From the start, Death end re;Quest makes it clear just how violent the game is. The initial prologue involves Shina dying a horrendous death which is rather mild compared to what follows throughout the game. Just when it seems like death could not be more horrific, a new scenario unfolds, a wrong decision is made by the player and a hideous new death arrives. Alternating between RPG with Shina in World's Odyssey, and a visual novel style for when Arata is in the real world trying to learn more to help Shina, the two gaming styles fit near perfectly. Sometimes it is not always clear exactly what to do next, especially in some dungeons where various levers need pulling to access new areas, but it usually does not take long to work out the next step.

It is certainly a blessing that there are several difficulty levels, as the battle mechanics can seem overwhelming to lower skilled players even when set on easy. Within the playing field there are areas that can damage characters if they step into or are thrown against them. The same is true for enemies and if the knockback technique can be mastered it leads to multiple pronged attacks that wreak havoc to the opposition. Learning to use the battleground successfully can, for the most part, be ignored on easy difficulty, although in later chapters of the game reading through the help screens can help garner enough knowledge to survive boss battles; making sure the best equipment is worn is a must. Electing to play on normal or hard will dictate early mastery to make good progress. Enemies are shown in the overworld so can sometimes be avoided but it is usually best to choose fight over flight.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest on Nintendo Switch

As the main protagonist Shina has a lot of mystery about her, in part due to her amnesia about what is going on in the game and in the real world. She does not have to fight alone, she is soon joined by several other girls who all look a bit odd because they have an alien like creature attached to their bodies - entomas - which are a sign they will eventually go mad. Having an entoma gives them their battle abilities, and makes people call them cursed. The affectionately named 'bugs', despite having evil origins, do sometimes help the girls out in tight spots. Lily, Al, Clea, Celica, and Lucille have distinct colours to their bugs, which seem to suit their personalities. Lucille never walks anywhere as she is tied to a floating chair which seems unique given the other girls use their own two legs. It does not make her a weak member of the party; each girl has her own fighting style, and choosing who to use in the main party can be based on which characters are liked best or which have a style that suits how a person plays. The option to choose means it is advisable to try each new characters out at least once to see if they suit a playstyle.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest on Nintendo Switch

There is a phenomenal level of detail to all elements of the game, and honestly a second playthrough seems needed just to fully enjoy everything. After certain mid to late game plot twists, earlier aspects of the game then make more sense and replaying with that prior knowledge will lead to further understanding. The way some dungeons literally have parts missing matches with the concept of digital bugs (not entoma) creating glitches in the environment. Arata sometimes has to try and fix some of those for Shina and the team to be able to progress, and it is irritating when the game then switches to the other game mode (RPG or visual novel) because it always happens at an intriguing point and it then takes ages to return to the previous one.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest on Nintendo Switch

The dramatic musical score and sound effects most certainly heighten the often tense atmosphere within the game. There is a surprising amount of sweet and humorous moments, some seem accidental, others less so, and they are needed to break up the sheer horror of what the team encounters. The team dynamics alters with each new character added to the team, and they all become friends with Shina and Arata, even if they only see Arata as a teddy avatar and not a human person. NPCs, such as soldiers at a palace, get seen again on later visits (those who aren't brutally killed anyway), and the travelling merchant becomes familiar throughout the game. For those with little knowledge of how games are developed and created, learning nuggets about that are a fascinating part of the game and makes it even more engaging.

Screenshot for Death end re;Quest on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Death end re;Quest is making its mark on Nintendo Switch with a fine balance of cute anime style graphics to temper the exceedingly malevolent and gruesome violence that truly is necessary for the plot. By the time the end game approaches a melancholic air descends because time is almost up for the beloved Shina and her sweet smile. Replayability is a must for completionists who want to encounter every clue in the game, and also for those who love the very screwed up universe in World Odyssey. Apart from occasional confusion on story progression, there are minimal negative aspects, with difficulty levels making lesser skilled players able to enjoy the intricately layered plot and higher skilled players able to sink their teeth into the complex battle mechanics.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Horror

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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 played the 2nd and hated the battle system.  How similar is it?
Also are the deaths just for shock factor?

Dragon0085 said:
I played the 2nd and hated the battle system.  How similar is it?
Also are the deaths just for shock factor?

It is rather similar gameplay so perhaps not for you. Good question, to some extense yes for shock but they do make sense too.

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