Rating: E for Everyone 10+
We have reached a new level. There is now an anime-like Diablo clone. However, I would call RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore a pleasant indie title that was picked up by Nicalis, who has been fairly quiet since its self-developed title, Blade Strangers, and the delay on Crystal Crisis, set to come out later this year. RemiLore is a relaxing title, perfect for the Switch, to pick up and play for a while.
There is the presence of magic in the world of Ragnoah along with spells that you can use thanks to your partner, Lore, a magic-talking book. There are also robots which may or may not be constructed by magic (it’s not explained how). There is also mention of a character who is able to travel across dimensions by magic and they are the only one able to do so.
A*s is mentioned in dialogue. There is an exchange in dialogue about how Lore, the magic book, is still able to eat and excrete. There is also a weapon resembling a pair of dung piles used as fist weapons with flies buzzing around them.
In true anime fashion, one character is merely “misunderstood” and didn’t have someone to listen to their struggle. This is still a positive point as it ties to the story in a light-hearted manner about the importance of compassion.
Despite its appearance, RemiLore is a fun game. It has a number of well-executed aspects that I enjoy. The character design is charming, the combat system is simple and responsive, and the unlockables available gives the player plenty to do for the replay loop. There isn’t anything complex about RemiLore to give you the sense of gameplay longevity like Dead Cells or The Binding of Isaac but it’s nice to not worry about having too many options available that you feel like you’re not playing the game “right.”
RemiLore starts out (in the tutorial level, if you so choose) with Remi, a high school girl cleaning the library when she sees an odd book. Upon inspection, the book screams and then a portal opens and sucks in the book and Remi into a world called Ragnoah. The book then introduces itself as a living entity named Lore and tells Remi that she can return to her original world by finding the “Portal.” However, they will need to fight through mechanical enemies unleashed upon Ragnoah by another girl named Choux, who is somehow acquainted with Lore.
…And that’s about it for the story. There are a few story details given throughout the game, but the story mainly serves as a backdrop to destroy giant robots with random novelty items. You start out with a broom but as you advance you can get weapons like a war hammer, a pair of scissors, a legally distinct laser sword, and, one of my personal favorites, a balloon sword.
That’s one of the beauties of RemiLore. It offers simplicity with charming and enjoyable variety. There’s a mix of unique weapon types including hammers and fists, each having their own unique attack animation, range, and potential modifiers to make them even more powerful. In true Diablo-esque fashion, you can find new weapons in treasure rooms, randomly generated item rooms, and at the end of each dungeon floor before advancing to the next one. You also have access to a dodge mechanic and a spell that is different for every weapon you pick up. You can dodge up to three times in a row before needing to wait for the dodge meter to recharge. The magic meter recharges at a lower rate than the dodge meter but can also be refilled by defeating enemies.
You can also receive a number of chests at the end of each floor based on your performance. This encourages understanding weapon combos so that you can S-rank each floor to increase the chances of finding a stronger weapon. You are graded on each enemy room based on time, damage taken, and max combo number, then graded on the floor as a whole to determine how many chests will appear (1 chest for a D to 4 chests for an S).
You will also accumulate “desserts,” this game’s universal currency for buying upgrades, unlocks, health/magic refills, and random weapons. These desserts can be gained from defeating enemies, breaking environment items like crates, and also a random chance to get a cache of desserts from defeating a miniboss. Desserts are absolutely important as spells are only unlocked with desserts and are your only way to get better tiers of weapons, and you will need both to advance the later dungeons as the enemies become harder to defeat.
What impressed me the most was the amount of polish the developers put into RemiLore. The game runs at a solid 60 fps in handheld mode and the character models have great HD quality. There is also good sound design, each unique weapon has slight sound effects specific to what kind of weapon it is. Traditional metal swords have a bit of metallic twang when connecting attacks while the aforementioned balloon sword hits with a little muffle thrown on the audio. This is probably something not many people would point out but it’s that little detail that made it fun to play. Unfortunately, there are a few glaring issues that prevent this game from having a perfect score.
I mentioned before the story only serves as an excuse to bash robots with wacky weapons, it doesn’t excuse the lack of any real conflict in the story. There are also too many details left in the air like the origin of the master of Lore and Choux, how Choux is able to make so many robots without even slowing down. It’s not a game-breaker but it’s frustrating when the game chooses to expand on certain bits of lore like why desserts are the form of upgrade currency. Considering the developers took the time to record audio dialogue to play while going through a level, I was hoping for further expansion on Ragnoah.
The other big issue is the RemiLore’s dungeon level design. The game is relatively short, having only four dungeons, each having three floors plus a boss floor. Replayability comes from procedurally generated floors; the enemy rooms are usually good about giving the player enough space so they can move around, test a new weapon if they picked one up, and get accustomed to the dodge mechanic. However, once in a while, room layouts can be spawned that make it near impossible to avoid all the enemy attacks. Add that on top of being able to be attacked while in hit-stun can lead to death rooms.
Ultimately, RemiLore is a fun and well-polished game with a solid combat system but suffers from repetitive and poor level design. I would like to see more DLC from the developers for this game. It has a solid base to be updated on and the core mechanics and fun sound design will have me coming back for a good while.
Review code generously provided by Nicalis PR.
The Bottom Line
RemiLore is a surprisingly well-polished indie title with a solid and simplistic combat system and many unlockables available for repeated play but held back by its repetitive level design.