DAEMON X MACHINA review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Marvelous Entertainment
Medium: Cartridge/Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

So here?s DAEMON X MACHINA for the Nintendo Switch and if the title doesn?t tell you much about the game which is a fast-paced mech game looking to fill an Armored Core gap in gamers lives then you?re not alone. But now you do know! And we had a chance to see if the game delivers on the promise of being a good mech game and Switch exclusive so if you?re still curious then keep reading!

The story here is that you will play the role of a rookie pilot who you make as a custom character. And everyone else knows you?re a rookie too because they immediately call you Rookie and just like in real life you don?t get to pick your nickname. So get used to it, Rookie!

The story is that long ago a piece of the moon hit Earth and caused mass death and corruption of AI robots. You will join other mercenaries on missions to blow things up and find out the truth! What is the truth? You?ll have to play to find out but in my time with the game I found the story to be ever confusing with lots of unecessary character rambling and important stuff hidden away in the messages asking more effort to uncover and piece together than I wanted to give.

Just know that it could be the kind of plot you either really like or just find that it bogs down the action in each level with tedious setups and at times lots of interruptions in the level. Thank god you can skip all this but you will still have to skip through and wait between loading of things. It also means the game starts off with less time playing it and more time going through dialog scenes and loading. It doesn?t give a good first impression with short early missions mixed in with a lot of preamble but once things open up you will find yourself either paying more attention or just skipping cutscenes altogether to destroy things and not listen to whiny pilots always ask each other what they are fighting for.

But at its core DAEMON X MACHINA delivers on its promise of a fun mech combat game. The action is fast and satisfying and at its best when blowing through waves of AI drones. The game offers lots of customization of your mech and nothing feels bad to use but when you do find your favorite loadouts you can save and keep optimizing them. I really liked dual wielding automatic guns but others might like a sword or laser beam or even a laser sword!

And you will want to always have a sword with you on levels where you use defeat another pilot because the risk of running out of ammo will leave you only with your fists. Going into a fight against another character will require assistive aiming while they dart around and are just a headache to track without such help.

But flying and fighting is what kept me coming back for this game because it does have issues that hold it back from being a must-have. Missions are broken up as individual levels like this is a 3DS game, and they average only 4-7 minutes! So you will spend lots of time just going through cutscenes and loading screens and always back to the empty hanger area that feels like a total waste of time with nothing to explore and could have been in a menu itself.

If this were a semi-open world game with more variety it would be much more enjoyable than being booted from missions to the hanger or dialog scenes and feeling like you have to do lots of work just to get to using the mech again. It is very distracting and breaks the pace of the combat constantly when it would be better to let gamers make a choice instead of always dragging you to an empty area you will just leave most times. And after several hours of this it feels like just doing work to get to the fun part of the game.

But if you can get past the tedious structure of the game between missions then there is a lot to dig into from customizing your mech and pilot to doing a good amount of side missions. And while the online multiplayer is offered I did not find it very active but was enjoyable to tackle a level with more then just some CPU pilots you have to spend your credits on. Credits you could be spending to build a better mech!

And that?s not to say there aren?t more positives because along with a fun core of playing the game it has some good music and the visuals are very pretty with lots of color and cool-looking mechs! It makes you wish the same had more substance to the missions or took advantage of its strengths because with things like deep customization you can spend lots of time making your mech very enjoyable to play and then when you finally do get to the playfield the combat feels over all too fast.

So at the end of the day DAEMON X MACHINA is a mixed bag where where is a lot of content in here but with the lacking variety and tedious loading it feels repetitive just like reading this review! Why it still holds my attention is with fun core gameplay that feels like a good game with the wrong kind of structure. But if you really want a mech game and my criticisms do not apply to you then you?ll have a good time with DAEMON X MACHINA but for others you should try the eShop demo first.

Note: Nintendo provided us with a DAEMON X MACHINA Switch code for review purposes

Grade: B-