In a time where game publishers rarely evoke any emotion other than dread, there is something to be said about all the good that Nicalis has done for the gaming community. Starting right at the Switch system launch with The Binding of Isaac, the publisher has seemingly made it their mission to bring as many great indie titles to the platform as possible. Plus they often go the extra mile with their retail version offering up extras like a color instruction booklet. Who knew that would be considered an extra in today’s day and age?
Two years down the line and Nicalis has built an incredible library of indie gems for the Switch, and that lineage is only enhanced today with the release of RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore. This title, a collaboration between developers Pixellore and Remimory, is a 3D action-RPG that follows the story of Remi. She is your typical Japanese student who accidentally awakens a sentient spell book named Lore. From there the two are transported to a fantasy realm populated by mechanical monsters where Remi & Lore are forced to work together if they ever hope to return home.
The action of RemiLore is described as “rogue-lite.” You begin the game armed only with a household dust broom, which you use to hack-and-slash your way through rooms of chibi-ized killer robots. It’s a very simplistic control setup but it makes for some very satisfying combat especially later on in the game when you’re given access to better grade weapons and magic abilities. The game is divided up into acts with each one containing a certain number of stages you must play through to proceed. It’s a very linear kind of presentation, but the breaks between stages do a great job of keeping the simpler play style from growing stale.
Typically, indie hack-and-slash games can easily fall into the trap of not fleshing out the world or gameplay, and not being able to engage players long enough to see it to completion. RemiLore fortunately does not have this problem. The gameplay is paced perfectly and the anime-inspired world of Ragnoah is dripping with over-the-top color and charm. Everything from the hammy dialog between Remi & Lore to the in-game currency literally being desserts just adds to the happy experience and keeps the atmosphere light and fun.
Rounding out the game is two player co-op letting a second player control the loud-mouthed piece of literature, and an insanely fun New Game Plus mode giving you access to procedurally generated levels and a massive suite of weapons and abilities. There is a surprising amount of content to be found in RemiLore. It’s a blast running through trying to collect all of the unlockable weapons, ranging from the badass to the completely ridiculous. My personal favorite was the balloon animal sword, which I ended up using a lot longer than I ever thought I would.
For as simple of a premise as it is, the story is surprisingly interesting as it is earnest. Unfortunately the Japanese only voice acting does mean those unfamiliar with the language will be stuck reading the text boxes to understand the story elements. This may be a non-issue for some players, but it got on the tedious side for me after awhile. While the worlds of Ragnoah are a colorful marvel to travel through, it is a bit of a shame that we didn’t get a chance to explore more of it. If a sequel were to come from the success of this venture, it would be great to see more advanced RPG mechanics make their way into the game to further flesh out the world of RemiLore. Still, as it stands this is a very enjoyable action-RPG that is a welcome addition to any Switch library.
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 6/106/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Fighting mechanical monsters will always be an absolute blast, and RemiLore brings it up to 11 with its bright style and irreverent charm. Those in need of a truly engaging hack-and-slash experience on the Switch will be right at home with this title.
Evan Roode is a full time journalism student and amateur game historian. His favorite song from Guitar Hero III was “Even Flow”.