Wednesday, December 06, 2017

"Slain: Back from Hell" Switch Review

After a bungled March 2016 release plagued by bugs and dopey design choices, developer Wolf Brew Games took the flood of negative feedback into account and quickly reworked the title from the ground up, rereleasing it less than half a year later. The result may not have been perfection, but was closer to the original vision projected in teases and interviews.

Now "Slain: Back from Hell," which takes more than a few cues from "Castlevania," arrives on the Switch with reputation intact. Its 16-bit, side-scrolling sensibilities are a natural fit for the console -- especially in handheld mode -- and is all the more crucial because of how slow Nintendo has to re-implement the Virtual Console of the Wii, 3DS and Wii U that allowed gamers to rebuy classic titles.

After your curmudgeonly hero is revived from death by an alarmingly pushy spirit, you're off on a platforming, sword-swiping escapades filled with swarms of creatures of the night out to stop you from vanquishing the great evil that you've been summoned to confront.

Tight controls and delightfully corny 1990s-style visuals and storytelling are the main draw here. You will need to get over a resentment of overtly cheap enemies and choke points to fully enjoy yourself, but figuring out the quirks of advancing is much of the fun.

On its chosen level, "Slain: Back from Hell" rarely fails to slay.
Publisher provided review code.

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