[Beyond PlayStation] Mononoke Slashdown Review
Mononoke Slashdown from Arc System Works is a 2D action game in which you must save the city from the deadly ghosts. Learn more in our Mononoke Slashdown review!
Mononoke Slashdown places you in the role of Kagemaru, a ninja who must save a once peaceful town from the ghosts and monsters that have overrun it. Before you begin your adventure, you can select between the two available modes. If you select Simple, then health will regenerate over time, and Kagemaru will begin this quest with several abilities, making it an easier experience for those that are new to 2D action games. Do be aware that if you select this mode, you wonâ€™t be able to unlock additional game modes once you finish the game. Normal is the regular difficulty setting, offering a challenging but fair experience. Once you finish the game in Normal, you will unlock Hard mode, which is reserved only for true ninja masters.
You can move Kagemaru around with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, double-tapping in the same direction to quickly propel him out of harmâ€™s way. You can jump (and double jump) all over the place with the B button. You can also dash with the L button to quickly move closer to or escape from your enemies. If you want to attack the many enemies that are foolish enough to dare battle against you, then you can hit them with the Y button to unleash a three slash combo (which you can extend with extra hits unlocked at the shop) or use the A button to unleash your long-range kunai. Your ougi can be activated with the X button, unleashing a powerful attack when your power bar is full.
As you start the game (in Normal mode), Kagemaru wonâ€™t have many abilities and skills. To fix this, you need to defeat many enemies to collect a lot of money so that you can purchase items that will boost your ninjaâ€™s defense, attack, and skills. You can buy a better katana to boost your attack, get better armor to improve your defense, purchase gauntlets that will increase the rate at which your long-range attack gauge recovers, boost the damage of your kunai, purchase treasure that will reward you with special abilities, or buy scrolls that will give you abilities. Just donâ€™t forget to equip them after you them!
Youâ€™ll have different objectives to complete in the over 30 stages available in the game. These objectives will include things such as protecting the villagers, defeating all enemies, destroying all sealed crystal, and more. On top of this, at the last stage of each chapter, youâ€™ll run into a boss that will test your skills, bumping the difficulty a bit as you learn its movement an attack patterns to find the right time to attack it. The first boss will give you an idea of what to expect from the other bosses in the game.
On top of the main mission you have to complete to clear a stage, there is also a bonus challenge for you to consider for each level you take on. You could, for example, be asked to destroy all sealed crystals as your main mission objective, while the challenge will ask that you do this within a two-minute time limit. If some of the challenges are, well, proving to be too challenging, you might want to replay some of the earlier stages for some extra money so that you can use that to improve your ninja and take on the challenges that you couldnâ€™t complete before. Completing a challenge will reward you with some bonus money, while also bringing you closer to 100% completion.
Mononoke Slashdown is a fun 2D arcade-style action game that might feel repetitive if youâ€™re not a fan of the gameplay mechanics and of playing the different stages of each chapter within the same small area. This is a short adventure in which the story will be set up with a colorful cutscene, to then be presented to you by way of the text you get to read before each stage you are about to take on – that and the end of chapter splash screens which do look nice. This is a budget $6.99 release, and if youâ€™re looking for some mindless fun, this is the game for you.
This Mononoke Slashdown review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Arc System Works.