Thanks to Nicalis for the review code
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 02/26/2018
In this action game, you take control of a girl named Remi who joins a magical book named Lore on a quest into another world, where she must help him restore it and defeat the evil monsters that have invaded the land, while also learning more about a strange girl named Choux.
Remilore’s presentation impresses right from the get go with a really, really good menu theme. I’m not kidding when I say that it made it super duper excited to play the game and I was more than happy to let it play a few times before actually jumping in. The rest of the soundtrack is stellar as well, with the stage themes being very memorable and well composed, definitely serving as a big highlight of the adventure.
However, the voice acting can be hit or miss. All dialogue is in Japanese, which sounds fine in cutscenes, but some of the battle cries can become irritating after a while, especially when Remi gets near low health. This can thankfully be muted by having the voices turned off altogether if you prefer, and one of the game modes lets you play through the main game without the story elements.
The game itself looks pretty decent, being an overhead action game with 3D models and backgrounds. In handheld mode everything runs relatively smooth and the game is enjoyable, although I did find that playing in docked mode made some textures stick out like a sore thumb. A co-op mode is also available, though I found the game’s framerate and overall look to tank a bit in this mode, but not too much to be a bother.
Remilore is a top-down action game where the main goal is to make it to the exit at the end of each stage, defeating every enemy in your path while gathering treats, weapons and health items along the way. You have two attack buttons at your disposal, from a basic attack performed by pressing A, and a stronger one that’s used by pressing X. Your combos are fairly simple, so they get the job done just fine when fighting most of the enemies, especially when combined with the dash move. (B)
Every now and then you’ll come across a weapon that can be picked up to replace your current one. These can vary wildly in terms of strength, usually going for a strength range that could max out above your current weapon, but start out a bit weaker than it. Sometimes weapons can provide alternate attacks for the magical book that follows you around each stage, named Lore, though these attacks are mostly just spells meant to help stun or weaken an enemy so you can land more hits on them.
This all means that the combat can get really repetitive rather quickly, though thankfully that’s mitigated a bit due to how each level is structured, being broken up into several arenas where you’re graded on a scale up to S. Clear one portion of the stage and explore a bit until you find your way to the next, repeating until you reach the exit that will reward you with weapons depending on how well you did, with this mechanics and the random level layouts making Remilore feel akin to a roguelike. At any time you wish, you can even open the menu and use the treats you’ve picked up during a stage to buy new abilities for Remi in order to enhance her combat abilities or start the game off with a certain weapon.
When it comes to the game modes on offer, there’s really not much to this game. You got the standard story mode, which are the main levels surrounded by a bunch of story and dialogue during and inbetween stages, a single player mode where it’s the main levels without the story elements, and a co-op mode where it’s the main levels without story and with another playable character on-screen, which I found to be a lot of fun and less repetitive compared to the main game.
One very irritating trait about choosing the differing modes, however comes from how you cannot start a Co-Op game while in the middle of a single player mode, and vice versa. This means that if you’re in the middle of a playthrough you’ll lose all your progress if you want to shift modes. You also need to make absolute sure to select the suspend option in the menu each time you want to take a break from a playthrough, which seems like a bit much compared to a proper save file system. This may seem understandable if they were going for an old-school approach for this, but considering how they don’t even let you add a second player to an ongoing session, (which some other roguelikes have even allowed, or at the very least a separate save for co-op!) it just comes across as a really half-hearted save system. Thankfully, the game warns you before starting a new playthrough if you have a suspended save in progress, but it’s still very annoying.
In conclusion, Remilore is a decent action game, brought down by a frustrating save system and some other odd design choices. While the weapon mechanics and upgrade systems are totally fine, the fact that the game only has one temporary save slot is just inexcusable, considering how this game can take a hour or two to clear and you can’t have a second player jump in without restarting the entire game.
At least your stats are saved across all playthroughs, but I’m baffled at how such a bad save system was included with a fun little game like this. Still, if you keep that in mind and don’t mind the moments of wailing on an enemy for minutes on end when playing alone, this is a decent brawler that’s worth checking out for the amazing music alone. I’m honestly surprised that the physical version didn’t include a mini CD with some of these excellent songs, since this is one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard from a game of this type!
I give Remilore a 6 out of 10.