Dark Souls Remastered is a shining example of a good remaster. The updated version of the game features only minimal changes to the version initially released in 2011. Outside of updated graphic support, everything in the game is exactly the same. Unless, of course, you end up playing Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch.
Due to Nintendo’s traditional button mapping and the physical layout of the Switch, you’ll need to get used to having the A and B buttons swapped. While that’s common for all Switch Games, in Dark Souls, you don’t have a chance to get familiar with the controls before running into fights you can’t win.
Which brings to mind that famous Ginger Rogers line about dancing backward and in heels. Which is a pretty great metaphor for Dark Souls as a whole.
That said, if you’re willing to relearn Dark Souls with the same punishing learning curve, the Switch version of the game is pretty great at bringing back the feeling of pointlessness that categorized the initial release.
Sure, you can remap skills to your heart’s content, but where’s the fun in that?
And while Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch may not be as pretty as the Xbox One, PS4, or PC versions of the remaster, the Switch edition is still a far sight ahead of the inital console release from 2011. So every now and again you find yourself perched on a mountainside, taking a glimpse at some stunning virtual vistas.
Granted, that typicall means you’re about to get slaughtered and forced to look at the old “You Died” screen, which has not been updated. Its as crushingly archaic as it always was. And that’s the kind of detail I can’t help but truly enjoy.
The Switch version of the remaster also comes with some cutesy Amiibo functionality, but like the Skyrim port, the amiibo support in Dark Souls exists so that you can change your protagonist into a Nintendo character. Essentially, it’s a silly gimmick not worth using for anything other than a sight gag.
Now, we’ve had over seven years to enjoy the base game, so none of that is worth rehashing, unless of course, you’ve never played the game. And Dark Souls is something to cross off your gaming bucket list. Dark Souls makes you the best version of your gaming self. You have to be patient, pick your battles, and perservere against brutal odds.
If you have never played Dark Souls, do yourself a favor and play Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch.Because you can play it on the subway or bus on your way to work. And that’s perfect, because commute time is about as long as the average Souls beginner can go between deaths.
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you out. You’ll still get the miserable “You Died” screen, but at least you won’t be lost and getting one-shot quite as often.
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