Review: Poison Control
Nippon Ichi Software, known for the Disgaea titles, now comes with a slightly smaller project: Poison Control. The trailer for this title intrigued me to give the game a shot, is the game interesting enough to recommend? Let's find out!
You play Poison Control as someone who wakes up in a literal hell. Your goal? To find the way back to the world of the living. Your other goal is to face this hell with the two souls in your body and to cleanse it of the poison that dwells there. You fight against enemies, but also against your environment. The game tells the story in a great way, but the story itself is only okay . You can't completely customize your character, but you can give it a gender and voice. Since you have to share your body with Poisonette, this comes with special powers. You can shoot poisonous bullets to defeat your enemies, as well as temporarily leave your body to draw poison from the environment.
Unfortunately, this is where the game falls short. It's actually a very stylish game with a lot of charm and nice characters, which is held back by the boring gameplay and a low fun factor. You can switch characters at any time, but Poisonette is mainly in control of your body. You have to reload fairly quickly and then you have to pick up poison from the ground to refill your bullets, here is a meter in the picture. When you've picked up enough poison, you'll return to your original spot. Then you can start shooting at enemies again. This is actually a big part of the gameplay and one of the most annoying things to do in Poison Control.
Besides that, aiming for the Nintendo Switch in this game is simply not possible with the standard joy-cons and motion controls. Your ammo also runs out very quickly, something that could sometimes wake me up. The level design has little variation and so do the enemies. There is always a certain thought behind every level, this keeps it interesting from time to time.
Each level, or Belle's Hell, is created when a young woman lets go of her dark thoughts. Hello Persona? However, many of the topics covered, such as suicide and depression, can be quite intense. Cheers, though, because there's another game that tries to encourage talking about these kinds of taboos. Unfortunately, the stories never get the attention and depth they deserve in-game, but hey, it's still a fairly small project. I didn't expect Persona quality storytelling, but a little more than we get.
The game has quite a bit of depth at times. You have different loadouts and weapons that you can switch between and you are also challenged to explore. The characters, including for Posionette, have a lot of charm and they therefore hold the game on their hands. The way characters talk to each other and how these are developed is downright good! Unfortunately, the animations do not always match this. When the story is well written, I can sometimes lose myself in an emotional piece, unfortunately this is often not the case.
Graphics and UI
The graphics are actually pretty good. The color palette matches the theming that the game tries to stick to. All the characters look unique and cool, including the enemies! The UI and menus also made me really happy; it just had that Persona-esque style and how could you not like that? The performance on the Switch was also fine and I noticed little to no issues with it. The framerate was just smooth, technically quite a good game. Unfortunately, the controls are still quite clunky and old-fashioned.
Poison Control is not a great or groundbreaking title. However, it is a game that tries new gameplay elements, although this does not always work out well. It is therefore only a small project from a studio that is mainly engaged in role-playing. I can recommend the game to anyone who wants to play something different on his or her Switch and is open to something unique. Not perfect, but probably worth a try for some.
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