Author Topic: Echo Generation: Midnight Edition (Switch) Review  (Read 262 times)

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Offline allysoncygan

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Echo Generation: Midnight Edition (Switch) Review
« on: June 18, 2024, 07:00:00 AM »

Retro-tinged fun for the whole family (well, for you, your sister and your cat)

You’re a teenager in a small town where weird stuff starts happening–a crash outside town, a mysterious corporation, kids going missing. While you might want to just hang out with your friends during a lazy summer, there are more things that you’ll need to uncover. This is the intriguing premise of Echo Generation, a turn-based RPG meets adventure game that grabbed me and came out of nowhere to be one of my favorite experiences on the Switch recently.

Set in the early ‘90s, Echo Generation is reminiscent of other retro horror properties, such as Stranger Things. However, it doesn’t feel derivative; it instead does its own thing, playing with this setting without becoming a cliche or pastiche of the genre. You play as a teen who, while wanting to film a version of a horror movie, gets caught up in horror of their own. Eventually you recruit your little sister and some pets to form a party and battle while going on quests.

Rather than being structured like an RPG, Echo Generation feels a lot more like an adventure game with RPG mechanics. The main focus is on collecting items, unlocking new areas, and finding objects to unlock either parts of the main story path or other items that can help you, such as comic books which upgrade your abilities or consumable items for battle. The adventure mechanics are solid - each new location is really fun to discover, and there weren’t many times that I felt stumped about where to go next. Instead, it felt like I constantly had more I could learn and discover.

The battle mechanics are very fun as well. Echo Generation feels at home on the Switch, because battling feels inspired by Mario RPG action commands, but with even more depth. Basic attacks involve pressing the button again for timing, but more advanced, special moves use small minigames that might require either button mashing, memorizing the order of buttons pressed, or lining up things with precision. Some of these I liked better than others but it always felt engaging, and getting new moves (through the comic books you find) was always exciting because of wondering what possibilities were around the corner.

The biggest thing I loved about Echo Generation was its atmosphere. The art is built of a really appealing voxel art style, but each area feels different and knows how to build up tension. The street outside your house is cheerful and bright, but you’ll quickly discover areas that have genuine moments of horror. There were a few moments I was surprised at how spooked I got while playing, things had lulled me into such a good sense of security. The design of characters and especially the monsters you eventually fight are really excellent, too. I love how this looked.

My biggest wish for this game was having more connection to the story. Throughout you meet a couple of friends and characters around town but I rarely felt any sort of depth there or much personality. There are a lot of charming details to your journey through Echo Generation, but I wish there was a bit more to the characters in particular. I liked a lot of the story beats and ideas, but they needed just a little more emphasis to really make them shine. I liked what I saw; I just wanted more of it.

That said, Echo Generation is a fun, unique way to spend 8 or so hours, and I don’t regret my time with it at all. It’s a charming experience full of engaging gameplay and fun secrets to discover, and should a sequel ever come out I’ll be first in line to discover those secrets as well.

Offline Kairon

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Re: Echo Generation: Midnight Edition (Switch) Review
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2024, 04:53:17 PM »
Wow, this flew completely under my radar! And also seems like an excellent way to kick back and game for a low-commitment 8 hours, which honestly I need more of.
Carmine Red, Associate Editor

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.