Death end re;Quest 2 on Switch is a Great JRPG Suffering From Poor Performance

Compile Heart’s Death end re;Quest series is arguably one of their more unique IPs, meshing horror elements, and distinct gameplay systems. The first entry quickly grew a cult following thanks to the relative success of its execution, so a sequel was highly anticipated.

When initially released for PlayStation 4, fan reception equaled, or perhaps even rivaled, the first game’s reception. This new entry embraced the horror precedent set by the first game, creating genuinely unnerving scenarios coupled with terrific characterization. Further, the core narrative underneath the fear was enticing, appealing to new players and fans of the original.

However, Death end re;Quest 2 received a lackluster PC port full of performance faults that still are still present today, to an extent. As a result, it made the PlayStation 4 the default recommended avenue for most players. Now, the game has arrived to Switch like its predecessor, and well, it’s a tough sell.

The title comprises three primary gameplay sections; the visual novel esque scenes, battles, and area navigation. All three facets are somewhat equal in frequency, making each component vital to overall enjoyability.

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The visual novel scenarios in the Switch port are expectedly satisfactory as they consist of portraits with changing expressions, so there isn’t much engine demand there. Moreover, the battles are adequate, with arena movement being rather smooth and cohesive.

This stability was a slight shock, admittedly since I was expecting immense frame drops given the usual quality of Compile Heart ports. Granted, clear visibility becomes messy the more enemies and party members are on screen, but it’s never overwhelmingly obtrusive.

Unfortunately, map navigation is arduous to an almost unplayable degree. Simply walking around, when both docked and undocked, almost feels akin to playing a Cloud version of the game. That may seem like an overt exaggeration solely for sensationalism, which is a reasonable response.

Still, I honestly wanted to stop playing the more I wandered the world maps. If this were a more minute aspect of the experience as a whole, I wouldn’t dock it so heavily, but as stated earlier, this is a vital component of the game. Rotating the camera is especially heinous as the frame drops become terribly noticeable.

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This fault is amplified when evading the phantoms causing Game Overs. Instead of feeling the intended sense of unease and fear when having to be mindful of your immediate vicinity, these performance problems make the whole process more of a frustrating, unfun affair.

Ultimately, if you don’t mind inept performance and simply value portability above all else, the Switch port of Death end re;Quest 2 is moderately serviceable and playable. The game itself is fantastic and amongst Compile Heart’s best. However, you’ll need to be willing to accept all too common the negatives of Switch ports. As it stands, I recommend the PlayStation 4 version of Death end re;Quest 2 for those who have the option to play it that way, as that’s currently the most stable and favorable experience.

Death end re;Quest 2 is currently available on PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam, with its Nintendo Switch version releasing February 8, 2022.

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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual.