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The Swords Of Ditto: Mormo's Curse (NS) - no quick fixes

The Swords Of Ditto: Mormos Curse (NS) – no quick fixes

Combining The Legend Of Zelda with roguelikes never quite worked in the original version but can this new Switch edition fix the problems?

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When it comes to updating 2D graphics, of the sort that was used in the Mega Drive and SNES era, there are two schools of thought. Either you continue to use pixels but take advantage of higher resolutions and modern animation techniques, as in games like Owlboy, or you create games that essentially look like cartoons. Thats the approach The Swords Of Ditto takes and it is absolutely gorgeous.

The Swords Of Ditto is, as you can probably guess from a single screenshot, a homage to The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past. Its hardly the first game to be influenced by the SNESs only Zelda title but thats always a risk because 28 years later the original is still as playable as always and the graphics remain perfectly serviceable.

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Thankfully, The Swords Of Ditto is sensible enough not to be a direct copy, as it adds randomised levels and roguelike features to the Nintendo-esque puzzle-solving and exploration. Theres even a two-player local co-op option, but when first released last year on PlayStation 4 and PC there were some serious problems with repetition and unnecessary time limits. And this new version of the game tackles both issues head-on.

Although this is the first time the games been released on Switch, Mormos Curse is essentially a free expansion. So all the additions and changes were about to describe are also available on the other formats for nothing.

In a nod to Links Awakening, The Swords Of Ditto starts with your character waking up on a beach and being quickly talked into retrieving a magic sword from a statue at the centre of the nearby town. Its at this point that you learn the basic gist of the story: the town is under the control of a villainess named Mormo and if you fail to defeat her then everyone has to endure another century of her rule, until youre reincarnated and get to try again.

Previously this means that when you die you lose everything, with only experience and money being transferred over to the next life (plus other items, once you unlock that ability). But in Mormos Curse permadeath is only still present in hard mode, with death simply teleporting you back to your house and robbing you of some of your loot – which you can later recover, Dark Souls style.

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Just as important though, is that the time limit that the original game imposed on players is also gone. This was almost more irritating than the permadeth, as it meant you had to get everything done in roughly an hour of real-time – which made the whole experience seem unnecessarily rushed and ruined the sense of exploration.

There are also other more minor changes, including a number of new toys, which are the games name for Zelda-esque equipment like a boomerang and a switch-pressing drone. These include a Kick me sign you can attach to enemies in order to get others to attack them and useful stickers, which works as buffs and extra abilities, such as the one that gives you a map of all a dungeons treasure.

Stickers are vital because the monsters also have unusual skills and vulnerabilities, from poisonous creatures that force you to use distance attacks to one that curses your sword so that it heals instead of causing damage. There are new ones now too, including nasty wallmaster style beasts that warp you back to the beginning of a dungeon if they catch you.

The Swords Of Ditto: Mormo's Curse (NS) - the dungeons aren't up to Zelda standards

The Swords Of Ditto: Mormos Curse (NS) – the dungeons arent up to Zelda standards

The procedurally-generated game world is reassembled from component pieces each time you return, so the layout is never the same but each area is hand-crafted – so theres none of the sterile sameness that often accompanies roguelikes. It looks great, but this means the overworld is rather small and the dungeon puzzles lack any real complexity or variation. As switch-pressing, floor spike-avoiding problems go theyre perfectly engaging but not in the same way as a true Zelda game.

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Mormos Curse also adds new environments, including an EarthBound style town and a scrapyard full of robots, which adds greatly to the visual variety. Theres also a range of secret dungeons and Monster Hunter style bounties that give you bonuses for defeating more powerful enemies. The endgame also makes it much more obvious what youre actually supposed to do in order to defeat Mormo for good.

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The permadeath and time limit both felt like mistakes in the original game but the inevitable problem with removing them is that it pushes the game much closer to being a straight Zelda clone, but it cant possibly compete on that level because the small, procedurally-generated world and simplistic dungeoRead More – Source

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