Ever wanted to play Diablo with cute character designs in an over-the-top anime world? The appeal of RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore is in its infusion of Japanese animation and tropes with isometric hack and slash gameplay, that at first glance looks like it could resemble a classic dungeon crawler. That’s where the comparisons end, because for better or worse RemiLore goes off and does its own thing.
Reluctant Magical Girl
RemiLore’s whimsical plot focuses on Remi, a lazy anime girl in a magical world. After cleaning her school library as punishment for being a ditz she finds Lore, a talking book that starts yapping at her and excitedly teleports them to Ragnoah, an alternate dimension. Here, Remi must fight against the onslaught of Mecha-monsters that have made their home in Lore’s absence and find his master to save the world. So really, the story is just cookie cutter stuff that could be lifted from a hundred other big eyed teenage girl & magical companion journeys, but it does it well enough.
There’s plenty of little character development moments throughout the fight to keep you invested in the duo, as shallow and odd as they can be. The constant prattle of hyperactive Japanese dialogue can also be amended if that’s not for you, as the game tells you kindly throughout loading screens that the voice can be turned down in the settings.
Hit me with your Broomstick
RemiLore is visually very nice to look at, with great animation and set design but it can start to get a bit repetitive towards the end. Once you’ve explored the first set of levels, the rest can start to look a bit samey. The boss battles are fun, the enemies are nicely designed, but again there’s not a huge range of variety. Nicalis has billed the gameplay loop as “Rogue-lite” which can give you an idea of what you’re in for. While Diablo comparisons are easy to make upon first seeing the game, it’s really just because it’s the first isometric dungeon crawler that comes to mind.
This is a roguelike with some options to use some spells and comical weapons such as broomsticks and frying pans. Spells are tied to the weapon you’re using, so you have to take that into account when changing weapons. You pick up desserts instead of gold, spending cakes and ice cream as currency to upgrade your character. There’s a skill menu that opens up some options for Remi, but it’s not in-depth enough to really focus on.
Roguelike or Roguehate
The main problem with this roguelike style of gameplay is the implementation of permadeath. There’s typically 4 stages per act, so if you got up to the 2 – 4 boss and died, you would have to go back to 2 – 1, the start of the act. You might carry some of the upgrades along, but it’s annoying to have to not only fight through the minimally different stages but go through all the same story beats as well. It might be a staple of the genre, but permadeath doesn’t fit this game at all.
It’s going half in by saving at the end of each act, but robbing you of starting from the start of the stage. Some games like Enter the Gungeon let death become its own thing, with the huge range of different variables to each run that make it fresh and rewarding on a new playthrough. In RemiLore, there’s not much other than slightly different maps and a repeat of what you’ve already done.
It’s not a particularly hard game, but in the opening areas you can die easily because health potions are scarce. Perhaps it’s a lesson in how to play it, but the game really doesn’t have anything combat wise to make up for it. It’s a basic hack and slash which can be satisfying and fun for a while, and the controls don’t falter at all. There’s just something missing that makes the gameplay ascend to another level before it’s all over. The game is relatively short with some additional game modes and co-op to flesh it out a little, but it seems like they are heavily emphasizing the procedural generation aspect as being able to provide ‘Unlimited’ gameplay. It really only does for people who love that roguelike stuff, which at this point is starting to wear thin for a lot of people.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for RemiLore was provided by the publisher.