Nidhogg 2 is another in what is becoming a long line of very good indie games that are arriving on the Nintendo Switch. There are so many arriving every day that the really good titles can sometimes feel as though they are being drowned out. That’s the negative of the way Nintendo is doing things right now. The good aspect is gamers who love good independent games really do finally have the perfect platform for it. This game ranks right up there as one of the best independent ports, lovingly referred to as Nindies, of the year.
Like so many of the other Nindies out there, you’ve seen Nidhogg 2 before. It arrived on the PS4 and Steam in August of last year. That wasn’t long after it was first announced at E3. When it did launch on those platforms it was considered a big step up from its predecessor. While the Switch version of the title isn’t anything more than a straight port, it still feels like there is enough different on this version than the previous releases that it’s worth buying even if you already own the console or PC version.
While the graphical look and feel are souped up from the original Nidhogg, they are still not so detailed that they get washed out on the Switch when the game is in handheld mode. That’s a big key to having a successful game on this console. The graphical output is such that the games that are meant to look as though they are picture quality don’t reach that quality. This title is supposed to have a rather goofy look to it and it pulls it off perfectly.
Nidhogg 2 Pulls off Goofy but Gory
One of the best things about this title is that the cartoony look underlies what is actually a pretty gory little game. For those who haven’t played it yet, the point is for the player to take what looks an awful lot like a Bert & Ernie clone through a number of different screens. Along the way, the character will have a kind of one-on-one duel using either a dagger, what appears to be a kind of fencing sword, a broadsword or a bow and arrow. That’s to start out.
As you play the multiplayer mode, you can pick up other items that will be just as deadly. When you do win these running duels, you will stab and eviscerate your way through dozens of characters that can look quite a bit like yours, just different colors. When you take someone down with the fencing sword, you can move it up and down their body and watch the live drain away from them. The broadsword will hack them into tiny bits. If you get disarmed, you can kick the opponent and then stomp them into mush.
The gore still has a cutesy feel because instead of realistic blood, the innards are colored the same as the outside of the character. Still, retrace your steps a number of runs and you’ll notice the rooms are caked with “blood.”
One big positive of the game is that the single-player mode has ramped up the AI to the point where it’s not all that easy to get through all the levels. One big negative, one of the only negatives of Nidhogg 2 is that the people playing the multiplayer mode can be a bit sparse. That means there’s going to be some waiting. Sometimes so long the attempt to connect will hang up.
Even if you aren’t able to go up against another human player, this is the kind of title that is perfect for the Nintendo Switch. If it’s being played on a big screen TV, it looks great and the music that accompanies the action is more than a little catchy. If you’re just wanting to play a quick game on the train or on a plane, you won’t be losing much playing in the handheld version. This is the type of game Nintendo can point to when talking about the success of the Nindie.
- Art style is perfect for Switch handheld version.
- The gore level is just right.
- Doesn’t require hours of investment to have fun.
- CPU AI is surprisingly good.
- Replayability lessens once players have gone through an entire “match.”
- The wait can be long when it comes to online multiplayer
Nidhogg 2 is one of the best Nintendo Switch ports to land on the console this year. There are few games that might actually be more fun in the handheld version than on the TV. The short single player “campaign” is really the only strike against it.