Tequila Works - Rime has received a port for the Nintendo Switch. After an initial release on other platforms, can this version rise above the rest?
Whether it's a good thing or not is up to the individual, however the Nintendo Switch version of Rime is my first exposure to the game and while playing in front of a nice big TV is great, I was most excited about having this on the go with me, especially during those long commutes.
Rime begins with you waking up on the shore of a mysterious island and actually gives you no idea how you got there until later on. There are no prompts in regards to what you should do or where you should go and I believe this was done on purpose to allow the player to not only take their time in immersing themselves in this world, but to also encourage exploration as well.
As mentioned above, the purpose of your journey is made clear later in the story, but as you get past your first test you'll find yourself in the company of a fox who serves as your guide throughout your adventure. She (the fox) won't necessarily give you all the answers, but will point you in the right direction if you get stuck.
The goal that Tequila Works set out with Rime was to be able to guide the player through its use of art and music; and this especially noticeable in the environment through its use of visual cues that help you figure out what functions are available to you. For instance, white ledges refer to areas you can actually climb and blue orbs are generally the key to solving puzzles or advancing to the next area.
It has been stated that Rime isn't an open world title and so there are certain events that happen which can stop you from revisiting previous areas. Fear not however as once you complete the game, you can go back and fully explore sections that you didn't get the chance to earlier, which is good news for those of us who like to uncover every secret and find every item, of which there are many.
The puzzle aspect of Rime can vary from being straightforward to slightly more challenging, requiring a little more thought. Completing each one gave me a sense of accomplishment and I feel that in doing so it reached its goal. It was also tied closely to the theme it was attempting to convey whether it was light and dark, or the overall inspiration of the game's world which mirror the five stages of grief.
It was confirmed by the developer that Rime would support 720p no matter which way you decided to play the game. Apparently this was done to enable a smooth transition between modes and for the sake of performance too. Frankly even in 720p, Rime looks great when its docked and you're playing on your TV with the minor hiccup in terms of texture loads here and there, however if you decide to play in any other mode, lets say tablet mode for example, the visuals seem to take a strong hit, creating a very blurry look.
I'm hoping this is something that is planned to be patched in a future update as it makes it really difficult to not only see things clearly, but also fully immerse yourself in that world.
One thing that really stood out like a sore thumb with Rime were the drops in FPS of which they tended to occur the most during key moments or when there was too much happening on the screen. It was mentioned that this version of the game was the most difficult to develop for and along with the undocked resolution issue, I hope this is patched as well to get the most performance.
Overall Rime is a beautiful game and Tequila Works successfully uses the art and sound to take us on this journey of discovery on a mysterious island. The puzzles are satisfying to complete and the characters and odd forms you come across are really intriguing.
My only hope is that some of those nagging issues are sorted out and if so, this will be a worthy addition to your Nintendo Switch collection.
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