The Remaster part of this is actually a clever fake background, it was never a remaster of anything. but some sort of “remaster” of childhood video game fantasy. As in remaking the games you want to play as a child with current technology.
The Eternal Castle is some sort of Prince of Persia-esque cinematic platformer game. with some sort of incredibly detailed 2-bit graphics. Despite being 2-bit. it actually manages to look very detailed. and invokes some sort of cinematic feels to it. My brain did most of the imagination. The synth music and ambience is really good for what it’s trying to do. And every stage feels like its own game. it’s just really, really good.
PS: most important point here. The HD rumble in the original joy-con made this game far better than it has no business to be. the Warzone stage feels real because every bullet shot has an impact on the vibration. The monster’s footsteps vibrates the joycon like mad the closer it gets. even the horror feeling and the rest all comes from the HD rumble. Without it. this game lost at least 2 points score from lack of immersion. Play this on the original Switch. or at least use the joycons with HD rumble
You start as a pilot in some sort of spaceship. you crash into an unknown world. as you explore. you found some kind of body horror alien research facility of sort. and it’s slowly turning into some kind of a horror survival game. As you finish the stage. you found a piece of macguffin to repair your ship. you head into the stage selection.
This is when the game really surprised me. i chose one stage. and suddenly im in some sort of post apocalyptic warzone. it managed to evoke the same sort of immersion i felt when i played modern warfare games. tunneling trough the underground, fighting in the front line, attacking bases. etc. while still keeping the prince of persia-esque gameplay.
And yet. after i finished the amazing rooftop chase. the next stage teleported me into some kind of dark forest. and suddenly. this is yet again a horror survival. but more akin to clock tower or sort. where you have an unbeatable monster/ ghost/ thing chasing you and you have to figure out puzzles to survive.
It is these amazing stage immersion design that gave me the amazing cinematic feels each time. even the incredibly simple 2-bit graphics managed to convey what im looking at. And it’s filled with hidden secrets which you kinda have to find. because the items and equipment you find will give your character some sort of new ability or bonus. such as the stealth cloak i found from the war mission turns out to be EXTREMELY helpful in the survival horror stage. hiding from the giant monster was never easier.
Of course, being a Prince of Persia-esque game. you’ll die alot. whether from the enemies or from the stage design. thankfully they provide you with checkpoints and “meditation stones”. where you start after you died. the stones were said to symbolize some sort of “vision” of the future. therefore when you die. it’s just treated as one of the vision you saw. so you can actually do better next time. it’s brilliant.
The gun combat is simple but impactful. while the melee just seems like typical Atari-like spamming. But it still manages to give an amazing experience trough it all. The control might be too awkward an unresponsive. but it’s made like that on purpose to evoke retro PoP games.
The experience playing this game made me really want to talk about it to almost everyone. it’s an easy 9/10 from me.