The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED] is an ambitious attempt to modernize an old classic in order to keep its memory alive. Through detailed research and hard work, the production team tried to expand the experience while keeping the same ‘feel’ and emotional flow of the original masterpiece from 1987.
The whole point of transgression is to shock you out of complacency and that isn’t always comfortable. The obvious example there is any transgressive artwork that offends people since that has clearly made them uncomfortable. The Eternal Castle isn’t ever offensive, but it will certainly make you uncomfortable. Instead of relying on something as relatively mundane as causing offence, the developers have instead done everything to challenge the senses and everything we understand about video games. Right down to the very idea that a game’s value can be found in completing it. I’ll never finish The Eternal Castle, and I think that that is simply magic. I truly love that the game is so utterly and completely happy to do that to me.
The Eternal Castle Remastered isn’t for everyone and I can easily imagine many prospective players being turned off by the controls or the abstract visuals, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s a strong addition which adds depth to the Switch library, and it comes absolutely recommended to anyone with a taste for those bygone classics or eccentric art-house titles.
The Eternal Castle: Remastered is a fun cinematic platformer that sparks imagination and frustration as you make your way through the minimalist levels. The developers have taken the genre and made it their own by implementing more action-centric elements and branching paths. The Switch version sadly has a few bugs that will send you to an early death, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to see this mission through until the end.
Confusing marketing and a visual choice that impedes while in motion will probably alienate potential customers. The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED] is targeting a narrow audience, with a 2-bit CGA graphics gimmick. Some will enjoy it a great deal. Others, like myself, will develop eye strain, and end up reaching for FLASHBACK instead.
The switch is not the system to play this on. Ive only played in handheld mode. I dont know if its better on the TV but from what I’ve played you can avoid this game. It struggles on the switch. Has a hard time maintaining a stable frame rate. Its especially prevalent in the Forgotten City level with everything going on. Combine the with the developers choice to add a response delay and youve got some downright unplayable sections.
The game is buggy as well. The checkpoint system is a gamble. Sometimes it’ll spawn you next to your last checkpoint. Other times it’ll spawn you at a random checkpoint including the one at the beginning of the level. Sometimes it’ll spawn you on a floor below in front of enemy turrets. In once case on the aforementioned Forgotten city Level it spawns me falling to my death instead of on the bridge where the checkpoint actually is.
The ai is pretty brain dead so kind of evens out any artificial difficulty the developers tried to put into the game. Enemies struggle with platforms. Get stuck in corners. They do however know to fear the flower you can wield. So much so a boss will even jump to his death just to avoid it. The soundtrack as gorgeous as it is, is marred by technical issues as well. Its particularly bass heavy which causes it to clip….incessantly. Making some sections unlistenable.
There are some fun bosses and interesting ideas in the game. And like I said the soundtrack and sound design are great when they work. The visuals are a nice treat during cutscenes but cumbersome during gameplay. More often then not you spend your time trying to distinguish what things actually are. Is that a ladder, a door, an enemy or just background detail?
Ultimately this is a game to avoid in its current state. If you must play it seems like the it actually works on the PC. So maybe pick it up there for now. Hopefully it gets patched.