[Nintendo Switch] Nocturnal Review

by EdEN, Owner

Nocturnal from Sunnyside Games and Dear Villagers brings us a gorgeous 2D action platformer in which you must bring light to a world engulfed by darkness. Check our Nocturnal review!

Nocturnal from Sunnyside Games and Dear Villagers brings us a gorgeous 2D action platformer in which you must bring light to a world engulfed by darkness. Take on the role of Ardeshir, who, after returning home, finds that what he used to call home has been completely destroyed. You’re a member of the Order of the Enduring Flame, and you must find out what has happened to your brothers as you try to free the island from the dark fog that will instantly chase you on sight. It’s an adventure that, at times, reminded me of the classic Prince of Persia series, which is certainly not a bad thing!

Nocturnal Review - 1

As you start to explore the island, you quickly realize that fire is going to be your greatest ally in the fight against the dark fog. First of all, lighting your sword on fire will allow you to get a light source to help you explore each area. On top of that, it can be used to deal extra damage to enemies during combat. It can also be used to light up the many torches you’ll find along the way so that you can add a bit more light to this dark world as you solve the lite puzzles you’ll run into.

You’ll control Ardeshir with the left analog stick as you jump around each area with the B button. The Y button will be for your main attack, while the secondary attack will be mapped to the X button. You can roll and dash with the ZR button, which will be very useful for avoiding incoming attacks. Once you obtain the daggers, you can aim with the right analog stick and throw them with the ZL button so that you can deal some damage to your opponents from a safer distance. Oh, and you can interact as needed by pressing the A button!

Nocturnal Review - 2

Lighting your sword on fire will be needed in order to keep the fog at bay, but it will also be useful for the puzzle-solving side of things. Lighting up a torch can help by making a platform appear. Lighting several torches might be needed to activate a moving platform or to open up a door. And on top of that, lighting up your sword will allow you to deal extra damage to enemies while also setting them on fire, which can deal some extra damage over time. Torching one enemy while you dash towards the other one to avoid an arrow to the knee as you deal the final blow does have a good feel to it!

By defeating enemies and destroying objects, you’ll start to collect some of the in-game currency that will allow you to obtain what the game calls Phoenix Gifts. The first ability you can purchase is Fire Heal, which allows you to press and hold down the L button for a couple of seconds to heal two health points. As the name suggests, this consumes fire, so you’ll need to have a lit sword. After that, you can purchase a health extension to boost your overall health, a speed boost when you have fire, increase the duration of fire, boost healing efficiency, and unlock Embers Throw, which allows you to launch fire wave attacks.

Nocturnal Review - 3

I did run into a couple of issues while playing Nocturnal. The first one is minor since it involved my Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and the HD Rumble. One time I was defeated in combat by one enemy just as I defeated another one, and this made the controller vibrate non-stop. Even after the game reloaded from the last checkpoint, the rumble kept going. I had to go to the console’s main menu to make the controller stop vibrating so that I could then return to playing Nocturnal. The other one involves the game’s framerate, which starts to get a bit choppy when playing the game in Portable or Tabletop Mode. I was able to adjust so that I could get the time right for battles, but your mileage may vary.

Nocturnal brings us a gorgeous 2D action platformer. It’s a game that will sometimes remind you of the classic Prince of Persia series thanks to its animation and themes, as you imbue your sword with the mighty flame that can help you cut through the deadly fog that has engulfed the island… and your former Order brothers. Other than the game having some framerate hiccups in Portable and Tabletop Mode and my Nintendo Switch Pro Controller acting up after an untimely death and vibrating non-stop, this was an entertaining journey. Nocturnal is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag.

Nocturnal Review - 4

This Nocturnal review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Dear Villagers.

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