13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim had a troubled development, taking around six years for developer Vanillaware to make the game. There were plans for a PlayStation Vita release alongside the PS4 one, but Atlus had to cancel the portable version in 2018. This new Switch edition is a chance to have the on-the-go experience they had originally envisioned
13 Sentinels is a game with two very different gameplay styles. There are multiple combat missions, which have players control the mechs known as Sentinels in pausable real-time. However, there’s also an enormous portion of it that we can classify as an adventure game divided into episodes.
This division is the base of how the plot is uniquely delivered. First of all, the events don’t follow a chronological order. Present, past, and future all seemingly interlace to tell a unique story of people struggling to retaliate against powerful invaders. Secondly, it’s necessary to alternate between the perspectives of the 13 protagonists.
Each of these young people has to deal with unique circumstances, and there are a lot of different sci-fi concepts to keep in mind. It may seem like the stories won’t tie together into a coherent thread, but, as someone who finished the game originally on the PS4, let me assure you that they will.
When we take into account the story, it’s fascinating how the characters all present their unique struggles. Juro Kurabe, for instance, is a young man who loves sci-fi movies and often gets them from his friend Kyuta Shiba. Though he is just a simple high school student, he has realistic dreams of a conflict between mechs and kaiju, some of which Iori Fuyusaka also has.
On the other hand, there’s Natsuno Minami, an energetic girl from the track team. She also loves sci-fi movies, especially those related to aliens. One day she finds a strange creature called BJ in the locker room that mysterious men in black are searching every corner of the school for.
Coming from the past, we have Takatoshi Hijiyama. He used to be under training to be a Sentinel, a recently created technology that didn’t seem like it fit in that era at all. A series of events leads him to the future as he looks for Tsukasa Okino. As he learns about history, he wants to change the tragedy that will soon take place in his time.
Ei Sekigahara is a mysterious young man who lost his memories. His contact with Iori leaves a lasting impression on the girl. A friend of Juro, Shu Amiguchi is a flirt who receives a mysterious transmission through late-night television. Megumi Yakushiji is a strange girl who moved into Juro’s house and seems to have a unique agenda.
All characters are tied with each other in curious ways, and the beginning of the game already shows various relationships. Some protagonists will only be unlocked later in the story, but the early game already shows the important relationships between them and the other main characters.
Playing 13 Sentinels on the Switch has, frankly, been a fantastic experience so far. Transitions are fast, and being able to play the game anywhere is very convenient. Each episode can be played in short bursts, so, as a fan of handhelds, I feel like 13 Sentinels on the Switch without using the dock is a perfect fit.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim on the Switch is honestly a match made in heaven. While I’m still playing through it, and my experience might change, I should at least mention the Switch edition is a great opportunity to get one of the boldest experiences we’ve had in recent times.
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