[Nintendo Switch] Mato Anomalies Review
Mato Anomalies from Prime Matter and Arrowiz is a new turn-based JRPG for you to check out on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Mato Anomalies review!
Mato Anomalies from Prime Matter and Arrowiz is a new turn-based JRPG for you to check out on Nintendo Switch. You’ll be exploring the neo-futuristic titular city, which pays homage to Old Shangai. You’ll be taking on the role of dual protagonists Doe and Gram, who must investigate the many bizarre anomalies around the city. They’ll also dive into the rifts that will allow them to battle against the demonic creatures known as the Bane Tide that want to wreak havoc to bring the city down.
Each character will take care of exploring either Mato or the rifts. Private Detective Doe uses his confidence and special skills to search for clues around the city, gathering intel to find out what is really going on behind the scenes and why the anomalies are taking place in the first place. The mysterious exorcist Gram will be the one in charge of fighting against the corrupt creatures that want to escape from the rifts. Think of Gram as a cyberpunk ninja that can slice and dice his way through any enemy on his path.
Doe has a special ability known as Mind/Hack to interrogate those that keep secrets in their hearts. Mind/Hack is a card game that you’ll use to dive into the minds of special NPCs during the many quests that you’ll take on. You’ll be confronting not only the host but also their inner demons. To win, you must use your cards to lower the host’s Mind Power to 0. Things will start easy enough, but you’ll soon unlock and collect more card decks that will add some extra wrinkles to the system.
There are several decks to use during your time with Mato Anomalies, with each card having a specific effect that can help you succeed. You could use a card to boost your persuasion power or a card that can boost your defense while also allowing you to draw an extra card on your next turn. Another deck might give you access to cards that can give you a boost to dodge or one that will grant you an extra action point and draw one card, as long as you manage to avoid taking damage during the previous turn.
When exploring a Lair, turn-based battles will begin when you run into a monster. What this means is that each character will take a turn to choose from the different available actions. Your characters can attack, use an item, or use a skill. Since all characters share an HP pool, teamwork is a must, or else you’ll be quickly defeated. Since each character’s skills can deal a specific type of damage, you’ll have to find which type of damage can be used to exploit each enemy’s weakness.
You’ll have to play for a bit to learn what the skills are for each of your characters when exploring each Lair. Some will be better at acting as support characters, while others can be better at dealing considerable damage to the Bane Tide. Along with their regular skills, each character will also have a unique ultimate skill to exploit. To use one, you’ll first need to fill up the energy bar. Once that happens, you can unleash Gram’s Evil Must Be Eliminated to deal 300 slash damage to all enemies, or Smoker’s mighty Counter-Violence, which will deal 600% Crush Damage to a single target, which can certainly help to turn the tide of battle.
By defeating Bane Tide, your characters will gain experience points, which will allow them to level up. When this happens, a character will earn Talent Points. These can be spent in one of three Talent Tees: Ying, Yang, and Ultimate. By balancing things out, you can boost a character’s stats – attack, defense, evasion, critical hit, HP – as well as unlock new skills and even make the energy bar fill up at a faster pace. Upgrade your character just right, and you’ll be able to have it deal extra damage to elite enemies and bosses.
With ten chapters to play through, there’s plenty of story to experience and a lot of rifts for you to visit. You’ll have to make the most of Gram’s might to defeat all of the monsters you’ll run into. On top of that, there are many quests to complete, both of the story and sidequest varieties. There will be up to seven story quests in each chapter and up to eight sidequests to take on in each of said chapters – except for the first one, which has no sidequests since it functions as a prologue and a general introduction to the world of Mato Anomalies. Be sure to check your emails to find out more about story quests and sidequests so that you can see everything that the game has to offer!
The rifts that you find will lead you into a variety of Lairs. Lairs are the dungeons in the game and will exist as Lairs that will help to progress through the game’s main story. If you want to take on more sidequests and boost your group’s power, then you’ll need to visit the optional Lairs. In there, you’ll be able to battle additional Bane Tide to level up and gain new weapons and additional Gears. There is also the random Lair. When you enter, you’ll be taking on procedurally generated dungeons that will have a ton of powerful Bane Tide to battle, but the payoff is certainly worth it since you can gain access to the rarest weapons and Gears in the game.
Gears are key if you want to form a powerful group. If you connect sets of Gears from the same manufacturer, this can activate Set Effects for a bigger boost. They can provide your characters with a boost to the team’s HP, attack, defense, slash damage, pierce damage, or crush damage, boost debuff resistance, increase critical damage, lower damage received after being hit once during that turn, increase counterattack damage, increase the damage dealt based on lost HP, increase accuracy, boost the area of effect damage, boost how much gold and experience points are received after a battle, increase damage dealt to enemies affected by an abnormal status, or boost how much HP is recovered from healing, to name some examples.
Mato Anomalies is an interesting turn-based JRPG with some visual novel elements here and there. It mixes genres to give us a quirky story that will certainly go places as you try to find a lead on the next Lair you’ll have to visit so that Gram and the group can defeat the Bane Tide with their many skills. The game’s story is presented during conversations with NPCs, cutscenes, visual novel-style segments, and even motion comics. Mato Anomalies is out on Nintendo Switch with a $39.99 asking price. You can also get the Mato Anomalies Deluxe Edition for $44.99, which includes the game as well as the following additional content:
Treasure from Heaven (Mind Hack Card)
Early Spring (Mind Hack Card)
Witness of Truth
Special Weapon’s Pack
Special Gears Pack
Digital Art Book
This Mato Anomalies review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Prime Matter.