Swords & Souls: Neverseen has been knocking around as a Flash based offering for home micros now for a few years. And like many successful indie titles, we now find it reaching the Nintendo eShop. What you get here is a turn-based RPG stacked with knowing, wink-wink humour. But one that deviates from being a cookie cutter experience with a couple of unique twists.
You can easily break down the gameplay into three distinct phases. First up is one of the interesting foibles that set this slightly apart from the RPG norm. Training and leveling up isn’t as simple as a skills tree, XP points, or any of that malarkey. Here, you have to play little rhythm-action minigames to beef up your floaty Rayman-esque character. It is genuinely fun.
Swords & Souls: Neverseen: chains and combos
I am a sucker for this kind of thing. My very favourite role players are those with button presses, chains and combos. I would happily take Vagrant Story and Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door to a desert island.
The combat – and second aspect of the S&S experience – is a fast paced, perpetual and un-pausable turn-based affair. Your avatar will attack automatically. You have the ability to block, deflect and even counterattack with a well-timed button press. You can also switch things between several different attack types once you have mastered them – utilising magic, melee strikes, ranged combat and more.
Training and building
I would have liked to have seen more of the timing stuff manifest itself in the battles if I am honest. But you can’t have it all. To begin with you are woefully underpowered, so training, building your camp and living quarters, and interacting with the NPCS – the third portion of the package – is essential.
Progression through the map will unlock new battles, quests, and upgrades from recognisable array of RPG staples. A tavern is the place to go if you want to temporarily hire some prime thugs to accompany you on battles. In the market you can buy potions and magical elixirs, and there is of course a trusty blacksmith you can help you improve your arsenal.
Swords & Souls: Neverseen: funny and fun
During your quest there are a series of collectible books, and also fish to catch. You can inventory all of these collectibles in a village museum, much the same way as similar galleria encountered in the Paper Mario-verse.
The game is shot through with a constant stream of humour, looks fantastic and is a breezy ten hours or so of thoroughly entertaining action. Training dojo aside, you won’t be seeing something that is reinventing the wheel, you will see a lot of RPG tropes, and you won’t find the plot as memorable as a Squaresoft classic. But you will certainly enjoy yourself and play with a broad smile across your face.
Training sessions are good