Dark Souls is a series that has given me a roller coaster of emotions. No matter how many times my character dies and I become enraged enough to rage quit playing it, I somehow always find myself returning back to the twisted and hostile world of the series. And while I thought I was finally finished with the unforgiving game of magic and frustration, I once again find myself playing through Dark Souls another time on another console. If you want to see my full thoughts and review of Dark Souls Remastered, you can check it out right here. This time, however, Dark Souls Remastered hacks its way onto Nintendo Switch and is ready to take its dark world into the portable realm.
Luckily for fans of Dark Souls, the game on Nintendo Switch is the same as every other console version of Dark Souls Remastered. The entirety of the main game, and all of its DLC, is included on the cartridge. That may not sound like much but it’s a good selling point for those who love the series and were worried that some compromises were going to be made to bring the game to Switch.
Additionally the game runs pretty well while the Switch is in portable mode at a consistent 30 fps, though it’s not as good as the smooth 60 fps you’d find elsewhere. When docked the game will be displayed at 1080p on the TV and will be scaled down to 720p when playing in portable mode. It’s not too much of a compromise, but I did find that the game can be a little too dark while playing portably. This is easily fixed by adjusting the brightness settings in the menus, so it won’t be a big deal to most people.
If there’s one thing I found incredibly weird with Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch it would be the inversion of the face button controls in the menus. Normally the A button on the Switch is used to select and confirm options, while B is used to cancel and go back in menus. With Dark Souls Remastered, however, this is reversed and similar to how the game controls on other consoles.
Why this was left like this and not changed for Nintendo Switch players is anyone’s guess, but it took me a tiny bit to reorient myself while playing. There were quite a few times I mistakenly pressed the wrong button (thinking I was hitting confirm in the menus or dodge while moving) and did something I didn’t want to. Luckily I didn’t die too many times because of this but it was frustrating when it did have that result, and it will probably end up being the same for other players too.
Playing the game online and having players come into your game is exactly as everyone would expect it to be. Provided you have an active Nintendo Online account you’ll be able to invade other players’ worlds and ward off invaders from yours, or work cooperatively together when needed. There isn’t much difference here compared to the other console versions of the game, with the exception of up to six players being present in one world and dedicated servers.
Boss battles and other challenges can be (somewhat) easier when other players are at your side, so it felt good being able to let others join my game without much hassle. But in typical Dark Souls fashion you’ll still have those instances when you’ll get that one guy who is coming to start trouble, and you’ll just have to deal with it.
Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch is exactly what it needs to be for everyone who loves the series, a portable version of Dark Souls. If you’ve played the game before on any other platform, then you know exactly what you’re getting here. There is some amiibo functionality with the Solaire of Astora amiibo, but it doesn’t give you more than a “Praise the Sun” gesture from using it.
I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by not using it in my game, but the hardcore Dark Souls fans will still find themselves picking it up, even it’s just to praise the sun whenever they want early on. I’ve had more than my fill of this rough and challenging game, but for anyone interested in playing Dark Souls on the go, this is the best way to do so.
These impressions were based on a digital review code of Dark Souls Remastered for the Nintendo Switch, provided by Bandai Namco.