Switch Re:port covers the Nintendo Switch port/version of a game newly released on the platform. Simultaneously released on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is probably the only original Atelier game since Atelier Sophie that has piqued my interest this much. I enjoy playing all the Atelier games and even like when Gust tries out new things like Nelke that sadly wasn’t great overall. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a fresh start more or less for the series for a variety of reasons. While my full review of the game will go live in the near future, I’ve been playing the game on Nintendo Switch and have come away very impressed with the conversion.
Over the last few entries, Gust has been keeping the frame rate more or less the same across PS4, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch when it comes to targets at least. Atelier Lulua was the most polished of the Nintendo Switch entries but it still didn’t feel new enough. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout on the other hand is excellent both visually and when it comes to performance on Nintendo Switch. In terms of content, all platforms get exactly the same DLC, gameplay content, and this is the same game across PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. There are multiple visual tweaks and changes for Nintendo Switch compared to PS4 Pro, however.
Barring the foliage being turned down on Switch compared to PS4 Pro, the biggest real visual issue is with shadows. This is reminiscent of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA where the shadows were very low quality on Switch and had flickering issues during movement. Other than these, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout looks as it should on Nintendo Switch. The UI is crisp and character models look exactly like they should in both docked and handheld modes. One aspect that stands out more docked is shimmering for some things in the environment. This is a lot less noticeable while handheld and really sticks out in some areas when docked on a TV.
When it comes to performance, Atelier Ryza runs smooth almost all the way. There are instances of slowdown in larger crowded areas like the Steeple Reservoir in the opening moments of the game however. I noticed no issues during combat from what I played. Movement is very responsive and it feels so nice to finally have a portable Atelier of this quality when it comes to the technical aspects compared to earlier ones on PS Vita and even Nintendo Switch. Even load times aren’t bad like a few earlier entries. Gust definitely has treated the Switch version brilliantly.
Overall, Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout on Nintendo Switch is a fantastic conversion. If you’ve been turned off the series after Atelier Lydie & Suelle’s technical issues on Nintendo Switch and have been waiting for something that runs and looks great on Nintendo’s hybrid system, this is it. Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is by far the best looking and running Atelier game on a portable ever. The gameplay enhancements make it more welcoming to the point where I can safely recommend this to anyone alongside Atelier Sophie as the best entry point into Gust’s excellent franchise.
Looks and runs excellent almost always
Welcoming to new players
Shadows are low quality and flicker