Nine-Parchments-Nintendo-Switch-Review Nine Parchments Nintendo Switch Review

   11/12/2017 at 18:09       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - RPG, Shooter, Top Down, Nintendo Switch

Review by Ashley Fiddes.

 

Nine Parchments is a a co-op action RPG game from Frozenbyte, the developer of Trine and (the imo excellent) Has Been Heroes. 

In Nine Parchments you lead an apprentice wizard of your choice (eight different wizards to choose from, two available at the start, with six unlockable through quests within the game) on a mission to build their grimoire with lost spells. To do this you and your chosen companions travel across the world defeating a variety of different enemies with a variety of spells. 

The twenty four levels are beautiful and treacherous in equal measures with enemies gradually spawning in greater and greater numbers and water traps everywhere.  To help even the odds you are given three starting spells, my chosen wizard Gislan was the healer and as such had access to an area of effect healing rift alongside a death ray and lightning haze, as well as a blink ability that can teleport you out of a tight spot (or into a water trap if you are as careless as me) and a second chance where the game will respawn a randomly selected character within the group.  

Throughout the game there are eight boss fights, with six of them resulting in a new spell (you can select one of three), each of the spells I selected brought something new and fun to the game be it the flaming catapult weapon which I could drop mid flight on top of the enemy to an electric bullet that zips between enemies.  My absolute favourites through were the ray weapons, on their own they are just a beam of light that deals damage to an enemy but when you co-op with another wizard you can cross the streams to create a combination attack that looks cool and hits hard.  

The actual gameplay starts simple with a few unaspected enemies on screen at a time allowing you to casually flip between spells as their individual mana pools begin to run dry but it soon becomes clear that these are designed to teach you about resource management as once you reach the later levels you find yourself surrounded by enemies with different elemental affinities, an enemies element negates the damage done by spells of the same element, this means the game is almost a puzzle game as you run/blink around the map flipping to a spell getting some important damage off before flicking spells to deal with your next enemy.  Add in elemental shields and AOE shield along with enemies that can straight up block any attacks from the front and it can reach the point of almost overwhelming.  Having said that, although there were times I was killed by the sheer number of enemies on screen it only took one or two attempts to formulate a plan of attack and come out of the battle with nary a scratch.  

The locations are all very nicely designed and each of the main level hides five collectables along with a number of chests which grant you a selection of items from experience points, a hat (vanity items of which there are 31 available within the game) or even a staff.  There are a large number of staffs which offer various buffs to your characters abilities and some are the starting point for character quests.  These character quests, once completed, are what unlocks the additional six avatars for you to play through the game with. 

Each character has four variants which are unlocked by playing the game to the strengths of your characters ability, such as healing a certain amount in one battle for Gislan, and each variant can be levelled to forty (variants can level to sixty on hard mode).  Each level grants you a skill point which further assists in your growth from apprentice wizard to full on battle mage.

At the time of writing this I have just finished the main campaign after roughly 8 hours of play but with so many unlockables left to find and spells to try (each playthrough you keep your level and equipment but spells are lost) I can see myself delving in again soon. 

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Enjoyed this, cheers!
 
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