Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), PS4, PSVita, Xbox One
Developer: Wolf Brew Games
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Release: 7th December 2017 (Switch)
Okay, I´ll make this short, since neither I have the motivation to write more than Slain Back From Hell deserves nor should you want to read more than you need to know. One of the more recent Switch jump´n runs that exploded onto the eShop is bad, like really, really bad, sitting comfortably in the gap between funny badness and garbage.
Slain Back From Hell loosely revolves around the revived hero Bathoryn, who seeks revenge on his murderers. Unfortunately, he didn´t anticipate to land in a bland narrative full of cryptic monsters, generic dialogues and boring “cutscenes”. Sure, a jump´n run doesn´t need a plot but this game actually puts a lot of effort into its story compared to other indie games but lacks even the tiniest bit of creativity.
The only good thing that actually comes to mind when I´m thinking about Slain Back From Hell is its presentation. As bland the story might be, the areas and heavy metal soundtrack are actually quite nice. I like the different colour palette for each area, the detailed pixel art style and the overall crude look. These were the aspects that got me hooked for the game too and the only reasons I was interested in the first place. So yeah, it looks and sounds pretty good, while finally running on 60fps.
The mentioned 60fps were also the reason why I delayed this review so much because I wanted to give this game a chance. Originally it ran on 30fps on the Switch, which made this whole game even worse, naturally, I hoped the increased frames would help the fluidity but sadly, Slain Back From Hell is still an unresponsive mess of a jump´n run fighter.
Moving, fighting, simply everything you do here feels slow, clunky and wrong. Jumps, for example, are way too low and short to work with the moving platforms, traps and what not. Fighting monsters consists of a 3 hit combo with animation priority, where every slash takes forever and feels way too weak for such a huge sword. Often I simply ran, hit, ran, hit … it´s simply not fun. Last but not least, changing direction or stop moving altogether, requires planning ahead for at least 1 second since it needed an extra animation for every single move.
Additional, the level design is just clustered with one hit traps, normally only detectable once you´ve already died from them, enemies that blend with the brightly coloured environments and many other tiny problems. When I didn´t die because enemies spawned right in front of me, a trap insta killed me or something else I couldn´t possibly see coming in the first try, I still didn´t have fun because Slain Back From Hell feels awful to play.
After Troll and I, Slain Back From Hell is probably the first game to make me as upset as I´m now. I expected something from this game and its nice visuals but what I got was a horrible mess of a jump´n run fighter or so, not worth any penny, despite the fact it now runs on 60fps and might look appealing for some.
[A Review Code was provided by Digerati Distribution]