[Nintendo Switch] Archetype Arcadia Review
Archetype Arcadia from PQube and Kemco is a dark sci-fi visual novel in a post-apocalyptic world in which a disease makes people self-destruct. Check our Archetype Arcadia review!
Archetype Arcadia from PQube and Kemco is a dark sci-fi visual novel in a post-apocalyptic world in which a disease makes people self-destruct. The disease is known as the Original Sin, and it’s so deadly that it has wiped out most of humanity. You’re looking for the few remaining survivors that are hiding out there in the world, trying to stay from contagion. You’ll take on the role of Rust, older brother to Kristin, who has fallen ill due to Original Sin. Rust wants to do whatever it takes to help her, so he ends up looking for a way to cure her before it’s too late.
For those affected, Original Sin causes insanity, sensory illusions, and uncontrollable self-destructive urges. The only way to try and keep the symptoms at bay is to spend time inside of the virtual world known as Archetype Arcadia. This is a virtually immersive video game world full of people and monsters. By wielding a special game device, you’ll be able to use powerful memories and avatars to fight against each other. Being in the virtual world of Archetype Arcadia slows down the effects of the Original Sin, but there are also severe consequences to consider. This is a Rated M for Mature experience where your choices matter.
If you’re new to the visual novel genre, then you should know that games in this genre certainly do its name justice. They exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, so they can vary in length, going from short, bite-sized ones that take an hour to complete to gargantuan journeys with dozens of hours worth of content. Archetype Arcadia is of the second type, offering many choices to make along the way, as well as different endings to reach, some of which are good, some of which are very, very bad.
Some visual novels feature voice acting, an element that is a bit expensive to implement for games, such as visual novels that can feature a book-worth of story and dialogue. This is why not all visual novels have voice acting either for their main characters or for a narrator who takes care of moving the story forward. Do know that the voice acting in Archetype Arcadia is in Japanese, so unless you’re familiar with the language, you’ll have to do a lot of reading!
There are different specific moments in Archetype Arcadia where you’ll have to make a choice that will have an impact on the branching story. Be careful, though, because this choice could lead to a bad ending! While Rust is the main protagonist, there will be times when things shift in perspective. The game will let you know about this as it switches to another character’s point of view.
Since you’ll be diving into the virtual world of the titular Archetype Arcadia, you’ll need to take on some battles against other characters, monsters, and even bosses! These are handled by way of cards that can be used to summon avatars into combat. Only glowing cards in your bag can be used to summon avatars to fight for you, and any cards that receive enough damage to be will have a cooldown preventing them from being used. As avatars – and players – receive damage, they will progressively take on a reddish hue that will end up completely engulfing them when their HP has run out.
You’re very much new to the whole thing, which is why your first encounter with a monster while encouraging, does not end up in a good way. Why, you might ask? Because right after you defeat that monster, you run into a boss who completely destroys you. It turns out that the boss knows your sister in-game and just happens to be a former player who was corrupted by the game, thus becoming a monster. But after it caught a boss by surprise and defeated it, it gained a God Fragment, thus becoming a powerful boss.
The bad news is that all of your avatars are defeated, and the cards used to summon them end up losing their glow, becoming fragmented in the process. When all of a player’s cards end up like that, and there’s no way to defend against a monster or a boss, it will start to receive direct damage and will eventually have its whole body turn red. A few moments later, it will start to melt away and get a game over. Plot twist: Rust is seen by the game as a guest, so he’s respawned by the game after his game over, and then he and his sister are helped by another character to escape to a safe zone. How will this change Rust’s approach to this virtual reality world? You’ll have to play the game to find out!
Archetype Arcadia is a dark sci-fi visual novel in a post-apocalyptic world in which a disease makes people self-destruct, thus forcing them to don a set of goggles that transport them to the titular world of Archetype Arcadia where the illness is slowed down… except they will still be in great danger! Other players are trying to win the game, which is done by using avatars to defeat not only monsters and bosses but also other players in order to keep their cards glowing and have a shot at redemption. Archetype Arcadia is out on Nintendo Switch with a $29.99 price tag.
This Archetype Arcadia review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PQube.