The Sadistic JRPG on Switch

Death End re:Quest 2 is the sequel to Compile Heart and Idea Factory’s Visual Novel JRPG and is now available on the Nintendo Switch. Death End re:Quest 2 is again a delve into the underworld of gore as you the player tries to figure out mysterious goings-on in the world, a very different affair from the Neptunia series. You play as Mai Tayoma who after a long abusive relationship with her father kills him in the most brutal manner after he decides he wants to kill her. After finding out her mother is dead she decides to pursue her sister and travels to Le Choara to the Wordsworth Academy looking for her, the town in which Wordsworth Academy stands is said to be haunted and there is many strange goings-on in the town as people started disappearing. Mai Tayoma is keen on finding her sister who is thought to have been in Le Choara but is also nowhere to be seen so now begins the search for her.

Unlike the first game Death End re:Quest 2 takes place in the real world, it’s still completely fictional but the characters this time are not stuck in a virtual MMO. Mai with her dark past easily makes friends with the new girls at the academy some of whom also have skeletons in their closest and throughout the game gains a stronger bond and understanding, and with a much darker tone to the first game, it really makes those horrific bad endings that much more uncomfortable to see. Death End re:Quest is an incredible follow up to the first game, the tones in comparison are much worse so if you are sensitive to subjects of sexual, physical and mental abuse then you have been warned, they all feature here.

Gameplay remains the same as the first game and takes place in an arena with a circular boundary. Dealing damage knocks enemies backwards and can be knocked into other enemies and to the outside boundary where they will also take damage, knocking enemies into each other is the key to winning battles easy as they will take the most damage but is a satisfying mechanic over the series I have enjoyed, the battle areas also bring back the stat-boosting nodes which will boost your power and increase your glitch mode which will allow you to transform into a more powerful but very scantily clad form.

While I appreciate another JRPG on the switch at any time I do have some big issues with the Switch version of Death End re:Quest 2. It has some performance issues and they are highly noticeable, it looks a lot worse than the PS4 port and suffers greatly with framerates. The visual novel parts of the game look good but are hampered by the fast-paced action battles that suffer greatly in performance. Sadly the graphical downgrade means that some of the game doesn’t look as dark as it does on the PlayStation version, this is exceptionally noticeable during exploration, the colours in the Switch port are a lot less vibrant and you can notice visibly fewer textures on buildings and reflections that are otherwise there before are completely missing altogether in the Switch version. I’d feel pretty sour to own a Switch OLED model and see the game look how it does on it.

What I would say is that the Switch version of Death End re:Quest 2 does come with all previously released DLC included in the Switch version and at a lower price so if anything you won’t have to shell out on costumes, Item Sets and boosters again as they are all here and can be toggled on and off pretty easily from the menu so you don’t feel like you need to use them although some of the boosters may come in handy here as the difficulty of the game is pretty high at parts so you may end up buying them anyway.

Personally, I still prefer the PS4 over the Switch for playing Death end re:Quest 2 purely on the aesthetic and performance reasons as these really are important factors to enjoying the game, The fact the game can’t even meet the minimum 30 frames per second in battles is very disheartening, it’s quite clear the developers had issues with getting the game to work with sacrificing huge details to the environment and still it struggles.

A Switch Review Code was provided by Idea Factory International