[Nintendo Switch] Young Souls Review
Gorgeous 2D RPG beat ’em up Young Souls from The Arcade Crew and 1P2P Studio is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about it in our Young Souls review!
Gorgeous 2D RPG beat ’em up Young Souls from The Arcade Crew and 1P2P Studio is ready to go on Nintendo Switch. You’ll be taking on an adventure with twins Jenn and Tristan, orphans who have been taken in by a scientist who has taken care of them as his own. One day, the professor goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and this makes the twins spring into action right away. They end up finding a hidden cellar they had no idea existed, where they locate the Moon Gate portal, which sends them into a parallel world where goblins rule.
You can dive into this adventure either on your own or in local co-op as you take on each of the different biomes you’ll explore, defeating anyone foolish enough to stand in your way. The game can be played in one of four difficulty settings. There’s Relaxed, which is a good option for younger players or those who don’t have that much experience with beat ‘em ups – just be sure to turn the profanity filter on! Balanced offers a more difficult journey, but it won’t be anything that you can’t get used to. The developers recommend that you play in Challenging, which is the original difficulty for Young Souls. And then, there’s Expert, which dials the challenge up to 11, so you need to make every action count!
Your character is controlled with the left analog stick. If playing in local co-op, each player will control one of the twins. When playing on your won, you’ll have to tag them in and out as needed by pressing the L button, but you can take advantage of this by letting one of them rest and recover while you attack with the other one. When playing in local co-op, the tag button turns into the assist button! During combat, press the tag button, and your character will teleport to its teammate’s position to unleash a powerful attack.
Regular light attacks are mapped to the Y button, which you can use to combo your way towards victory. If you press and hold down the Y button, you can unleash a charged attack, but you’ll have to be careful when charging since it will leave you open to attacks. While unleashing a combo, you can hold up and the Y button to perform a launcher attack, which will make lighter enemies go up in the air so that you can follow up by jumping with the B button to continue attacking in the air. Press down and the Y button, and you’ll do a sweep during a combo, which is a quick downward strike that will slam enemies into the ground.
Sprinting and then jumping will open the door for you to use a diving attack by jumping and then pressing the Y button. If, on the other hand, you press the Y button while sprinting on the ground, you’ll do a sliding tackle that can launch lighter enemies in the air. When an opponent is stunned, you can get closer and grab them with the A button. After this, throw them with the Y button to deal damage on said enemy and on any of the teammates it lands on. There’s also a handy dash attack that can be used during a dodge roll. If you’re surrounded, then spin the left analog stick around and press the Y button to use a whirlwind attack.
You can block with a shield or a weapon by pressing the ZL button, but this won’t block 100% of the damage. Depending on what weapon you’re using, you won’t be as protected as if you were, say, using a shield to block. But if you block at the exact time when an attack is about to land, you’ll execute a parry, which will stun your opponent so that you can then counterattack. Some enemies have a parry resistance, so you’ll first have to empty their parry resistance bar before stunning them. To do a dodge roll, press the R button so that you can get out of harm’s way. Sprinting is done by double-pressing the left analog up, down, left or right.
You need to keep an eye on your Stamina bar since Stamina is used for rolling, dodging, and sprinting. It will recharge over time, but it will stop recharging when you attack. What weapons can you use to attack? There are short swords, which are the most balanced of the bunch, and can be used along with a shield; long swords, which are more powerful but need to use two hands to handle them; daggers, which allow you to attack at a faster pace but have a shorter range; hammers, which are heavy but can still be swung with one hand; and axes, which are slower and heavier than long swords, but axe attacks can’t be interrupted.
Weapons will use mana cells – concentrated magic – to unleash more powerful attacks. The magic accumulates in mana cells when you attack enemies or parry their attacks. Each weapon will vary in how many mana cells it has access to, which you can increase by way of upgrading – more on this in a bit. Some weapons allow you to cast spells by way of mana cells as well. These spells are split into two different types: offensive elemental spells and summoning spells, which can bring allies into play.
Along with weapons and armor, you also have accessories to consider. Accessories include bows, bombs, mines, a grappling hook, a totem of vampirism, and a warp medallion. As expected, the bow will allow you to use a limited number of arrows to attack from a distance. Once all arrows have been fired, you’ll need to wait for a while for all of them to refill. Bombs make things go boom, and you need to be careful because the blast can also hurt you. Same goes for mines since after you set them down, their blast can damage your characters. The grappling hook is used to bring an enemy towards you or to send you flying in their direction. The totem of vampirism is a very useful gadget that zaps some of the energy of any enemy that walks into its range, channeling it to the character who placed the totem. As for the warp medallion, it allows you to teleport over a short distance by pressing the Zr button.
Below each character’s portrait is the total number of lives available. This will dictate how many lives each twin can be revived after falling in battle. Your lives are reset after you complete a dungeon. If you’re playing in local co-op, one of the twins can be revived by the other. When playing on your own, every time you attack, some of the damage dealt goes into the recovery gauge, which is right below your HP total. Said recovery bar will recover gradually when one of the characters is tagged out.
The twins have three stats that can change during their adventure: Strength, Resistance, and Stamina. Strength will directly affect the damage dealt to enemies. Resistances will have an effect on each twin’s HP. As mentioned before, Stamina is used for special actions such as rolling, dodging, or sprinting. The twins can boost these stats by training at the happy Fit gym in town, so be sure to visit the gym as often as possible so that you can keep up with the increasing challenge as you progress through each dungeon! You will earn gym tokens when you sleep, and it’s thanks to said gym tokens to boost your stats.
Equipment will also have an effect on stats, and it will also affect your character’s movement speed based on it the weight of equipment. Weapons can be upgraded at Lundgren’s, with some of them having more upgrade levels than others. Armor is upgraded at Cannery’s, and as is the case for weapons, not all pieces of armor can be upgraded all the way. Accessories are upgraded in exchange for Guardian Tears. You can also get sneakers at Solid Sneakers to gain access to passive abilities. While some weapons and pieces of armor have penalties to consider, if you have to have a helmet paired with the right armor, you’ll get a set bonus that will increase your defense, making it worth your while.
When the twins go to sleep after a long day, the experience points (XP) they gained at a dungeon will be incorporated. As expected, XP will increase the twins level, and as their level increases, their stats will also increase. Strength and Stamina will benefit from a level up, and the higher the twins level, the better their odds of surviving the challenges presented in the next dungeon they explore.
While the gameplay in Young Souls has been designed to provide a challenging but rewarding experience, the developers are aware that not everyone likes to play games that way, so they have offered plenty of accessibility options so that you can tailor your experience until it feels just right. What can be changed around? You can decide to lower the damage to players, increase the damage done to enemies, activate an autoblock, make it so that blocking cancels attacks, make your character invincible while dodging a special attack, boost the stamina refill rate, boost the speed for cooldowns, increase your attack speed, lower the attack speed of enemies, and increase or decrease the speed of gameplay.
I had been looking forward to playing Young Souls since it was announced for consoles, and I’m here to report that the wait has been worth it. This is a gorgeous and very fun beat ‘em up with an RPG twist that will keep you busy for a while. You can take on this journey on your own or with a local co-op partner as you unleash all of your might on a quest to save your foster parent – and the world! Rated M for Mature Young Souls is out today on Nintendo Switch with a $24.99 asking price, and it’s one you should definitely add to your collection.
This Young Souls review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by The Arcade Crew.