• Hyper Light Drifter originally released back in 2016 for the PC on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and for the Playstation 4. This after a very successful Kickstarter. While it took some time, the PS4 version did get an update to have 60 frames per second gameplay. And now in 2018, the game has made it’s way to the Nintendo Switch. And while the game might have some slight performance issues, it’s still a fun time on the little machine.

    The plot for the game is very basic, especially since Hyper Light Drifter actually has no dialog whatsoever. Instead the story is told visually, through the use of both animated cutscenes and pictures that tell a sequence of events. This makes the game very importable to other regions that don’t have a text translation for menu navigation. But back to the plot. You play as a mysterious wanderer that has access to ancient technology that he residents of the region apparently have no idea how to use. But you are also suffering from an unknown illness that seems to be slowly killing you. The only thing the Drifter seems to remember is that he has a task he must absolutely carry out.

    The gameplay is done from an overhead perspective, where you travel to various areas in search of keys to open the main door in the game’s central hub location. You start off with a simple one handed sword and the ability to dash, which can be used to move from platform to platform, or evade attacks. Eventually, you’ll get a gun for long distance combat and some small puzzle solving, but you’ll also pickup pieces to construct batteries, and once you get enough batteries, you can exchange them for upgrades like new moves for your dashing or sword. Or you can increase your gun ammo stock or the amount of health you have. The only downside to this is that it seemingly takes forever to get the required parts to get each upgrade. This can make certain sections harder than they need to be if you take a bad path in upgrading your gear.

    Hyper Lighter Drifter is a challenging game regardless, and it’s understandable if people called it a 2D Dark Souls, since it’s basic structure to level design is set up in a similar manner to that series. You have a hub area, and the combat parts can be pretty brutal. While there’s no real penalty for dying other than lost time, the game does autosave after every screen. This can put you in a bad situation that might be hard to get out of. There are health packs that you can carry three of at any time, but your actual HP count is dreadfully low. Your only recourse at this point is warping back to the hub and healing up so you can try again. This of course means resetting most enemy encounters. It’s not all bad though, as the game does get easier as you play, and once you finally conquer a tough fight, you usually don’t have to engage in it ever again, and there are shortcuts to open up. Not to mention that your skills as a player do improve.

    The game does have a few issues with it’s framerate though. While it mostly stays at 60 frames, there are some areas In the game where it dives, which is odd. These instances are pretty much confined to specific locations though, so hopefully the game will get patched eventually. However, even with that caveat, the game is great to play on the go. And the extra content is a nice touch to those who waited to play it on the Switch. While at the current time it’s hard to say if it’s the definitive version, maybe one day, it will be. But regardless, Hyper Light Drifter on the Switch is a great game to play.

    Hyper Light Drifter - Review
    A fun, yet challenging action adventure game that bears a few resemblances to the Boktai series, now on the Switch.
    Our Score8.5
    Positives
    • The challenge in the game will have you think carefully about how you approach combat, and is satisfying once you come out on top of a tough fight.
    • Achievements are still in the game for those wanting more longevity and challenge out of the game.
    Negatives
    • It takes a bit too long to gain the currency necessary to upgrade your skills or gear.
    8.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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