Review: The Guise – Nintendo Switch Release – Mediocre

Review: The Guise – Nintendo Switch

Developed by Rasul Mono and published by Ratalaika Games for Nintendo Switch, The Guise is a dark Metroidvania where you will play as a little boy who manages to turn into a beast. Metroidvania is one of the most iconic genres of the video game industry and we have some really cool titles getting released into this genre. The Guise is not an old title however it is for the consoles since the original PC version was released back in 2020 and now in 2023, Ratalaika Games is bringing this game to consoles as well so that console players can experience it too. This is our review of the Nintendo Switch release of The Guise in which we learn some new moves and defeat monstrosities while exploring a haunting world.

The story of The Guise follows the story of a little boy called Ogden who is living inside an orphanage along with other children. The orphanage’s caretaker called Mallory has a hidden room inside the orphanage where she keeps her secrets. One day, she goes out of the orphanage and forgets to lock the door. Upon seeing this, the children including Ogden go inside the room, only to find things that should have been left hidden in the first place. Ogden finds a weird mask inside the orphanage where he was not supposed to look but curiosity took the better of him. He puts on the mask and it turns him into a vicious animal. After getting trapped inside the beast’s body, Mallory instructs Ogden to head back to the orphanage and this is where his journey begins.

Review: The Guise – Nintendo Switch

The best bit of The Guise on the Nintendo Switch is its visual detail and level design as well. Going back to my PC Steam release of The Guise, I loved the visual details back then as well and it looks like the Nintendo Switch version is retaining that level of detail and atmospheric visuals as well which is a great thing. The levels feel pretty different from each other and while you are exploring the world, you will actually feel like you are exploring a haunting and dark world. There are different underwater levels and areas as well and your exploration is basically dependent on the amount of progress that you do in the game since you will need certain skills to open up additional paths like the breathing in water ability to explore the underwater bits of the game.

You will meet different NPCs on your journey as well including the children from your orphanage and the caretaker of the orphanage as well however the narrative is all text-based and there are no audio dialogues or anything so the cutscenes play out in the form of a visual novel. These cutscenes are not much but you will see them at key locations in the game. The NPCs will also give you different side quests that you can complete in order to get some bonuses and unlocks which will ultimately help you during your main quest of the game. The overall completion time of The Guise is anyway between 7 to 8 hours depending on how good you get with the combat of the game.

One of the main aspects of The Guise is also its combat system but it is more of a mixed bag. After you have invested some hours into the game and have managed to defeat some of the initial bosses of the game, you will have some new moves and attacks to land on your enemies. At the beginning of the game, you can only land a basic attack on your enemies and it takes some time to getting used to it. It also makes the combat really boring so the combat does not really shine during the initial bits of the game. Once you have made significant progress in the game, only then it becomes much more tolerable and you start to enjoy it. The enemies in the game are not too difficult but the boss battles can become really tough if you are not careful.

Being a 2D Metroidvania, not only do you just move in two directions but the enemies move and attack in two directions as well. However, one thing is pretty odd the enemies are a little slow when it comes to attacking you. They will change their direction, take their sweet time in landing an attack and then turn the other side and attack if you have gone behind their back. While this may give you an upper hand over the enemies, if you love challenging combat in Metroidvania, you might not like the whole slow attack mechanics of the game. Apart from this, the hit points of your own body and the enemies are not always consistent and you will be missing incoming attacks quite often and similarly, your attacks will miss often as well even if they look like connecting to the enemy’s body when you land the attack.

Review: The Guise – Nintendo Switch

The levels in The Guise are not too complex and there is literally zero verticality in them. The exploration is not that rewarding when compared with other Metroidvania games but you will be revisiting the already visiting areas for completing side quests or getting access to some previously-locked areas. While the areas are not locked behind locked doors, initially, you do not have the correct abilities or skills required to access them. Once you have acquired the abilities and skills, you can further upgrade them using skulls that are dropped by the enemies. This is the only in-game currency that you will collect and use in the game. You do have a certain amount of health and if you take damage, you will lose health points which can be gained back by resting at save points or collecting the green material from the killed enemies. Once you have a sufficient amount of it, you can trade it for health points at any time in the game. There is no autosave in the game and you can only save your progress at Save Points. These also serve as your respawn points so if you die, you will respawn at these points which are located really far from each other.

On the Nintendo Switch, The Guise looks and plays just fine. Despite the game looking fairly decent and similar to its PC release, the Nintendo Switch version is not laggy in any way and you will not feel any sort of stutters while playing the game as well. The frames remain fairly steady throughout the gameplay and you can experience the game nearly in its maximum visual fidelity on Nintendo’s flagship console. The controls feel crisp and feel equally enjoyable on both Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. There is little to no difference while playing the game between the two variants of the console.

Final Verdict:

Compared to other Metroidvania titles available on Nintendo Switch, The Guise fails to impress with its dated gameplay mechanics. The combat takes a lot of time to get interesting and you are stuck with a boring attack during the start of the game which takes a lot of patience until you can actually start using advanced moves including a dodge move. The only positive aspect of The Guise is its world design and cool atmospheric effects which really keep you moving forward. The combat does eventually become good but the amount of patience required may not be found in every player. If you have absolutely nothing else to play and if you are itching for a Metroidvania to play on your Nintendo Switch, you can try out The Guise but do not go in with high hopes.

Final Score: 6.0/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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