Review: Aragami: Shadow Edition - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review: Aragami: Shadow Edition

by James Charlton

Cross-playin' Ninjas

The last real ninja stealth game I can recall is Tenchu, and one of those hasn't come out on Nintendo systems since the Wii in 2009. Now here we are with Aragami: Shadow Edition, ninjas are back and ready to kill fools from the shadows!

As is tradition for a lot of third party and indie titles coming to Switch, this first came out on other systems a few years ago, but comes with the extra DLC included (last year's Aragami: Nightfall).
Another exciting addition is the inclusion of cross-play with Xbox One and PC, something that we at the Famicast appreciate thanks to certain people on staff not having a Switch yet.

Now on to how the game plays. Well, it's pretty much what you'd expect from a ninja stealth action game, you avoid the enemies' line of sight by sneaking around the environment - only killing when no one is watching. The levels are usually based around reaching a certain point in the map, or collecting an object to fulfill the objective. The cool part of movement in this game is that you can teleport from shadow to shadow, meaning you barely have to use your legs to get around if the environment allows it (similar how you move in some VR games).

There are also unlockable moves that lets you do cool things like remove bodies, or turn invisible for a short while. These moves use expendable "Shadow Essence" so don't expect to be spamming these moves and turning into an invincible / invisible monster.

Now onto the cross-play co-op mode! I doubt many, if any reviews will be tackling this as it's not been a huge part of the marketing behind the game, even though I think it should be, it's amazing!
Despite me being on a Switch and my ninja buddy being on Xbox One, we got partnered up in no time. The characters actually spawn on top of each other, which reveals to me this was possible a last minute addition. Indeed the story mode doesn't reference the fact there are two ninjas in play, so I'm probably right. I don't care though, taking out enemies together is fun, and the levels allow plenty of "you take out the guy on the right when I distract him" type of situations, good times! Communication is handled by Nintendo Voice Chat, check Skype or Discord for details.

Lastly, a brief note on the visuals, there's no beating around the bush here, it looks like a slightly crisper PS2 game. The graphics are not bad, but just don't expect anything mindblowing. The cell-shaded look is quite pleasing though, and the overall Japanese visual aesthetic is generally done quite well. The music is passable, but the faux-Japanese voices sound like someone machine translated random words and played them backwards.

If you like challenging, stealth action games, and long for an online co-op game on your Switch, and are not in the least bit a graphics snob - you'll have a good time with Aragami.

Final Score: 8.0

Review codes for both the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions provided by the publisher

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