Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

[Review] Xuan Yuan Sword 7 – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Softstar
Published By: eastasiasoft
Categories: RPG, Adventure
Release Date: 05.30.24
Price: $39.99
*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review.

Last year the Xuan Yuan Sword franchise made its way to the west for the first time with the release of Mists Beyond the Mountains. At the time I knew nothing about the series, but I thought it looked really cool thanks to the description and trailers. So I decided to play it on the Switch and I had really high expectations. Unfortunately, while I did really enjoy the game, it wasn’t as good as what my expectations were telling me it would be. 

I basically gave the game a 7 out of 10. That’s a really good score but it’s disappointing considering that I was hoping it would be one of my favorite games of the year. Then the trailer for Xuan Yuan Sword 7 dropped and I was met with the same hype and expectation. I was really impressed by the trailers and all the way up until the game released, I had hope that this could be what I was expecting Mists Beyond the Mountains to be. 

I’m happy to say that my high expectations were met this time, but with just a few small bumps along the way. Before I talk about why I thought the game was so great, it will be important to talk about those bumps first. This is important because they could turn some people away from the game before the game even gets good. 

I almost gave up on the game in the first 30 minutes because of how slow it started. The reason the trailer excited me so much was because the 3D action sequences looked great, but I was just very bored at the start of the game. There was so much dialogue and exposition at the start of the game and many of the early parts of controlling your character was nothing more than walking in a straight line. 

It was nearly unbearable because it was maybe thirty minutes of reading. But once the protagonist joins up with a group of soldiers on a quick mission, the fun really takes over. By the time you’ve completed what can be viewed as a mix of tutorial and prologue and have encountered the first “boss” the game begins to play kind of like Monster Hunter. Exploration of the world is linear but there’s a lot to explore and combat is engaging and lots of fun. 

In all honesty, this was one of the most fun action games that I’ve seen on the switch. I love how fluent and engaging combat is in Switch games such as Monster Hunter Rise and the combat here was pretty darn close. Combat was really fast-paced, especially when there’s lots of enemies nearby and it ran really well on the switch. Sure, when there’s three or more enemies on the screen at once there was some lag but it wasn’t too noticeable and was still lots of fun.

Another aspect of the combat that I really liked was that it wasn’t just about punching and sword strikes. The combat in Mists Beyond the Mountains was turn-based but it was very simple with only a few different attacks you could use. Porting that simple system to the Switch and converting it into 3D would have still been fun but 7 ups the ante by adding different skills and abilities that let you do things like slow down time or absorbing monsters. 

The game also has a really cool place called Elysium that has facilities you can unlock and upgrade that give you different perks. This allows for a ton of customization, and I always love RPG’s that lean heavily into this aspect.

The game takes place in ancient China and you control Taishi Zhao as he travels across the land trying to save his little sister while also protecting the area from all sorts of monsters. I wouldn’t be able to explain half of what the story is about because I knew nothing about Chinese mythology before playing this but there’s a ton of lore and a really strong narrative. The game also looks pretty good. Some of the 3D models don’t look all that great but many of the environments and backdrops look great. The soundtrack is great as well. 

It’s also a pretty long experience as you’re looking at around 20 to 25 hours if you’re casually playing. Let me remind you that this isn’t some blockbuster game. It’s a fairly small foreign studio that’s mostly been known for developing the Xuan Yuan Sword games exclusively in China. So getting a game that looks this good, has combat that’s this engaging while being limited to the Switch’s hardware, and is this long is a treat.

None of the issues that I encountered in Mists Beyond the Mountains were present here either. The localization was solid, what you needed to do and where you needed to go were always clear, and the combat was great. The only two issues I had was that the beginning was slow and some of the puzzles were hard but that’s about it. The combat is a lot of fun, probably the best aspect of the game and it runs well on the switch. 

Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is a lot of fun and it ended up being exactly what I was hoping for. If you’ve never played the Xuan Yuan Sword games or you played Mists Beyond the Mountains and were disappointed, you should 100 percent check out this game. It’s well worth the price and is a great experience overall. 

4.5/5

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