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CryMachina Nintendo Switch Review

Fans of the Hack-and-Slash genre alongside Action and Adventure mixed with some JPRG elements will love this new game by Aquaria and FURYU Corporation, as CryMachina is a sequel to “Crystar,” the duo’s previous title. Published by NIS America, Inc., players will dive into the world of CryMachina and Leben Distel, the game’s main heroine.

Waking up in a robotic body after dying from a strange disease two thousand years ago, she gets embroiled in a civil war of machines, wherein the dominant side is feral and monstrous. In contrast, the remaining side comprises several robots with personality data of their past human selves as humanity became extinct during Leben’s death.

Guided by Enoa, Leben and her newfound allies from the Imitation Garden – the last haven in Eden – now partake on the seemingly impossible journey of reviving the human race from extinction, while discovering how to become a “real human” themselves. At first, Leben is conflicted, blaming the past humanity for her strange death two millennia ago, but eventually joins in their quest once she softens up and trusts them.

Positive Highlights

Many players familiar with the quick-paced and high-intensity combat and gameplay of titles such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta will immediately feel at home with CryMachina’s combat. Fans of anime and manga will love its cell-shaded and visual novel-styled graphics, visuals, and cutscenes, giving the feel of Honkai Impact 3rd’s style and theme, although much darker and more neon lights in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting.

Gameplay-wise, movements are fluid and responsive as Leben and other characters easily traverse various in-game locations, such as a gigantic space station. The player can freely roam the game’s stages until they encounter their enemies in combat, giving them free range of movement such as jumping, dashing, and evading. 

Sound quality is great, as gunfire, slashes, explosions, and other bombastic and action-packed sound effects are crisp and punchy. When it comes to the background music, it smartly changes depending on the setting, where you are in combat or just viewing a story dialogue. The Japanese voice acting is great too, showing the talents and prowess of the seiyuu (voice actors) behind the characters, providing raw emotion and giving life to their respective roles and characters in the game’s story.

Negative Highlights

Just like any game mixed with JRPG elements here and there, the storytelling aspect of the game and its pacing have taken quite some hits, as it can get convoluted and confusing if you’re not used to this kind of game genre. At first, it may sound simple – human-like robots wishing to become true humans while fighting against destructive machines – but the more you go deeper with CryMachina, the more twists and turns you will encounter.

Another aspect that can be a negative for this kind of game would be the unavoidable repetitiveness, wherein you will be facing the same enemy types (except for some bosses and antagonist characters) repeatedly in the same stage with some variety tossed in between. Play the story, defeat some enemies, meet goal criteria, complete the mission, rinse, and repeat.

And lastly, although the graphics and visuals are great and beautiful to look at, there are some instances that it can be wonky or jarring when it comes to its lighting and shading. Some stages can be super dark, while others are as bright as a sunny day. Also, the character models tend to pop out more than the background and some enemy designs/models in the same cutscene.

Some Other Stuff In CryMachina

When not combat, the game will heavily focus on its story within Imitation Garden, the only haven for people like Leben and her comrades in Eden. This is considered the “downtime” of the game, wherein you as Leben can interact with various characters present within the haven’s premises.

At first, only a few individuals were present in the Garden. But as you progress through the story, you will automatically unlock some characters (especially the other playable characters such as Mikoto) to spice up your next game run as each of the four playable characters have their unique fighting styles and weapons.

Becoming Truly “Human” Again

As Leben and her comrades under Enoa’s guidance fight through the seemingly endless horde of destructive machines, they will slowly and eventually discover their ultimate end goal.

Once former humans two millennia ago before the extinction of humanity, they are now androids with their former human personalities downloaded to their artificial brains, looking for such answers despite seemingly being impossible.

As players guide Leben, they will experience many twists and turns in their journey against the machines as they hack and slash their way toward their ultimate goal: to become “human again.”

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