Death end re Quest | Review | Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Compile Heart
  • Publisher: Idea Factory
  • Release Date: 27/04/2021
  • Price: £26.99 / $29.99
  • Review code provided by Idea Factory

Introducing: Death end re;Quest Switch Review

I remember a time when it was a challenge to find a classic role-playing game for any current gen systems. Namely the time period between the Xbox and Xbox 360. Sure, they existed, but not as commonplace as they are today. It could have also been an issue with my console of choice at the time. Either way, It goes to show that even niche markets have a strong following and that there’s something for everyone out there today. Even bizarre titles with a strange blending of genres, like Death end re Quest, as you’ll find in my review.

A Peaceful Mourning re;Defined

Death end re;Quest review

When I first started my review of Death end re Quest, I thought I had accidentally jumped into the popular anime, Sword Art Online. Though the story draws parallels, it sets itself apart for a strong narrative it can safely call its own. The protagonist under your control, Shina, is a developer of a Virtual Reality RPG. It turns out, she’s gone missing in the real world for roughly a year and has been trapped inside the game of her creation, World’s Odyssey. She doesn’t recall a lot and has no idea where her body is in the real world, or why she’s stuck in the first place. That’s not the worst part. If she dies in the game, she dies in real life. Further, if her body is found and unhooked from the VR tech, she’ll die. The only way she can be freed is by completing the game. Sound familiar?

Despite the odds stacked against her, she isn’t alone. As fate would have it, a fellow coworker and developer, Arata learns of her peril and can lend a helping hand from the real world. Through his investigations and assistance with debugging the code of the game, the two unravel a deeper plot. I really enjoyed the story and the way the narrative was presented. More on that when we look at the gameplay. Overall, it shares similarities with other media but still feels fresh with a lot of twists and revelations.

The Dynamic Duo re;Connected

Death end is a role-playing game which breaks the mold in more ways than one. Whenever I start a review, I try to go into it with as little knowledge as possible about the game, as was the case with Death end re Quest. There are actually two main parts to the gameplay. When you’re first thrown into the game, it seems like a standard JRPG.

The battle system is unique in that you input three actions. You chain three attack moves, you can trigger a bonus attack which will launch your opponent around the arena. If the enemy bounces off another enemy, they both take additional damage. If they come in contact with another party member, your teammate will take an unqued attack and send them flying. Bounce off the wall and even more damage is detracted from their hit points. Prior to slating your attacks, you can move freely about the battle area to try to line up the best possible route for maximum damage. It’s possible to wipe out five enemies in one move. The battle system is still turn based but it was a fresh approach. One that was thoroughly satisfying.

Outside of the standard RPG mechanics; like leveling up and equipping better gear, you’re exploring an oddly deserted world full of bugs and glitches. These problems aren’t an issue with poor development but are attributed to the plot of the game itself.

Such a Novel re;View

BDG Death end re;Quest review

The second aspect to the gameplay is what caught me unawares and had me baffled for a bit. I got to the point where I had been everywhere on the map and couldn’t figure out how to progress. It turns out, Death end re Quest is also a Visual Novel style game. At certain points, you need to switch from the in-game world to the real world and control Arata. Here you investigate odd occurrences and fix lines of code within the buggy game to help Shina. You do this by interviewing other coworkers and visiting questionable locations. There aren’t a lot of variances to the gameplay here as it’s story based. But it was a great way to blend the action of an RPG with the story elements of a Visual Novel. Death end re Quest performed both portions exceedingly well and created a memorable gameplay loop.  

Imaginations and Machinations re;Played

Death end re;Quest Switch review

The story and gameplay certainly took center stage during my review of Death end re Quest. It’s in the graphics department where I started to run into issues. While playing in handheld mode, the graphics are washed out and flat. The backgrounds were unimpressive and the character models a bit blurred. That’s not as big of an issue when jumping to the big screen, fortunately, because a lot of the other assets are wonderfully rendered. The Visual Novel images looked crisp and clean. The RPG battles show off a lot of impressive attacks and skills.

My other issue leans more toward the morality side than the technical. I wasn’t shocked to see a fair amount of fan service in the game and I’ve reviewed other games with similar content. I don’t judge games for this inclusion as it’s up to each person to understand the ratings and what they’re ok with. In Death end, however, they clearly identify one of the main characters as a fifteen year old girl and then repeatedly show her practically naked, with the option to view her as such at any time. This just didn’t sit well with me. I’m not going into the discussion of fake digital characters versus real life or how other characters in digital media can be portrayed as a young, scantily clad child but aged as a 300 year old and get away with it. Rather, let this serve as a warning for the content found within.

Getting back on track, the music wasn’t memorable in any way. I didn’t find myself humming battle music or searching Spotify for the sound track, but that’s not to say it was bad. It served its purpose in filling the muted world and matching the tempo of the action. The voice acting was well done but the continual grunting of the characters when exploring the RPG world drove me nuts.

Final re;Sult

To conclude my review of Death end re Quest, I’ll say that it offers a stellar performance if you can look past the fan service. The gameplay was unique and kept me engaged during the battles. Swapping to the Visual Novel side of things prevented it from growing stale and kept the whole experience fresh. There’s a lot of content and the story is thought provoking and presented in an exciting way. Ultimately, I enjoyed the game and would recommend it to any RPG, Visual Novel and anime fans.

Pros

  • Exciting Story
  • Excellent Blend of RPG and Visual Novel
  • Fun Combat Mechanics

Cons

  • Bland Graphics in Handheld Mode
  • Unsettling Fan Service

Verdict

Death end re;Quest finds the perfect blend between the action of an RPG and excitement of a Visual Novel.

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