Mononoke Slashdown is a hack-and-slash action game from Arc System Work. A decent hack-and-slash title is always a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. Does Mononoke Slashdown make that cut or should it be slashed from the wishlist?
In a peaceful town, waves of evil creatures start invading. It is said that evil is spawning from evil stones and the only one who is brave enough to try to save the town is Kagemaru the ninja. Kagemaru is armed with Ninjitsu arts, a katana, Kunai dangers, and a few magical spells.
The story is broken down into chapters, each consisting of six missions and one boss stage. At the start of every mission, a bit more of the story is revealed They also feature a challenge to complete, which adds a bonus at the end. Challenges range from defeating the stage within a set time or completing a combo of a given amount.
Most levels were just jammed packed with enemies. As you defeat them, more respawn. While the six missions were fairly easy to complete and most challenges were completed on the first playthrough, the bosses are entirely different. The first boss felt like it was harder than the end boss of some games. The grind of going back to earn coins to purchase upgrades for weapons and other things became monotonous very quickly. Once a mission is completed, you move on to the next location.
Starting with the good things about Mononoke Slashdown. There is a nice Ninjutsu guide or digital user manual that further breaks down the story, controls, skills character information, and, last but not least, gameplay hints. This was a nice touch, and the fact it was on the main menu rather than hidden somewhere is a plus.
Graphically, it looks great on the Switch as you dash and attack countless enemies on the screen. The controls handle really well giving you great control of Kagemaru, which is nice when you are in the middle of a combo and need to dodge an attack. Additionally, all of your weapons, armor, and spells can be upgraded.
Unfortunately, all the good qualities of Mononoke Slashdown can also be the bad points. As good as Mononoke Slashdown looks on the Switch, it still feels limited by small stages. More places to play would have been a welcome addition. Although the controls handle well it still feels like it’s lacking something in the actions or attacks. Upgrading weapons, armor, and spells is great but it just doesn’t feel worth the grind.
Although Mononoke Slashdown has its fun parts, it gets rather old quickly. The grind of going back to missions over and over just to purchase the items needed to stand more of a chance against an overpowered boss becomes tedious. The asking price of $6.99 doesn’t seem entirely overpriced, yet it still feels your hard-earned cash could be best spent elsewhere.
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