Effie: Galand’s Edition is a 2019 platformer which has come to the Nintendo Switch this month, centering around the aged knight, Galand, who talks about himself in the third person (when you die, one of his phrases upon his regeneration is “Galand was aged, but he could still become a hero”), and opens each of the handful of chapters talking to his granddaughter about his quest which you are about to play, in flashback.
The game is largely a lot of collecting runes and smashing various parts of the scenery to boost your health, plus jumping and climbing up onto platforms, but while it reminded me of the simplicity of the old Ben 10 games on the Sony PSP – from over a decade ago – there’s also a lot of its problems. However, the last chapter is one long Boss Battle, where you have to defeat the evil Melira, and while it involves six WWE-style brawls and a lot of precision jumping, I did think at first that I’d have to complete the entire thing in one go in order to complete it – which is practically impossible. If I’d had to go back to the start every single time I died, I wouldn’t have bothered, but after two brawls and a load of jumping, a third of Melira’s strength is diminished, so at least it’s forgiving to a degree.
Effie is Galand’s granddaughter, and he tells her this story in flashback, but he omits to tell her some of the problems while playing – even though it should be obvious at the end of the third chapter for me, since he fell through the floor, for no apparent reason.
But before I get to the problems, an amsuing thing in that when certain baddies make a grumbling sound over and over, they sound like Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons after he stands on each of the numerous rakes in the Cape Feare episode!
The problems include:
- It’s annoying that after completing a level, I can’t go back and replay that one. There’s only the option to Continue or start a New game. So, if I want to get reasonably perfect gameplay out of this, I have to complete the whole thing first before I begin again. I just wanted to do them in turn.
- It’s stupid you can strike out at baddies, but when you do that, the action thrusts you forward, and if you’re close to the end of a platform with no floor underneath… you disappear into an abyss. Even when there is a floor, you might’ve climbed up quite a number of sections to get there, that to redo all that takes ages, which is just irritating. I’m all for a challenge, but not an irritation.
- Frequently, baddies run and fly all around you, so if you constantly lash out at them, I find I’m actually hitting them while they’re off camera. This was a ‘feature’ of the Ben 10 games, though, so I’m used to it.
- The monsters aren’t very bright and tend to get stuck on parts of the scenery, plus they can throw stuff THROUGH the scenery! Hence, it’s clearly a broken game. In normal circumstances, you’d hide behind a pillar to avoid being struck by something, but whatever they’re throwing at me still flies through them!
- Talking of ‘broken’, the gameplay sticks, as if the Switch isn’t up to it. Plus, the slowdown of the game is making my Switch glitch out in connection with the Elgato 4KPro60 capture card, so it restarts capturing footage whenever it feels like it, so I lose segments of the gameplay. Why is this happening?
In fact, as I mentioned above, at the end of the Vineyards level (the third chapter), it was so broken, my Galand appeared in the floor!
- After each level, the game places me somewhere outside, and I’ve no idea where I’m meant to go, It should at least give me a visual indicator. I had to look at walkthroughs online to figure it out.
- There are no achievements on the Switch, whereas I saw there are on the PS4, based on a walkthrough I saw.
- I’m guessing that the opening ‘chapter’ is technically a prologue, but it’s labelled as Chapter 1. Then, Chapter 2 (Windmill City) is also labelled Chapter 1. So far after that, the third chapter is labelled Chapter 2.
In closing, I’ll say that I’d rather the big chapters were broken down into smaller chunks. The Ben 10 game chapters only lasted around 10-12 minutes maximum, generally, and these chapters go on for 40-50 once I’ve edited out my mistakes, so smaller would be more manageable, so you know you don’t have to try and complete a whole one in one sitting if you’ve only got a few minutes to play.
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- Developer: Meridiem Games
- Publisher: Meridiem Games
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.