Nine Parchments is the latest attempt to produce a game of similar dynamics to Diablo. Many games have failed trying this and Diablo is still a highly played game, even if it has been out for ages. Each attempt has differed in ways which have never affected gameplay or the general dynamics of the game.
This title is certainly a much more lighthearted affair. It’s about a group of students who are seen as unworthy of using high-level spells. During this discussion with one of the wizard bosses, something happens and nine parchments fly off and scatter around the mysterious lands. It is important where I have referred to a group of students, as this game is 100 times better to play with friends, either coach co-op or online. It game was made to play with friends and this is telling whilst you play. Therefore, most of my play through was with my pregnant wife, who was a boss at Diablo and has the current temper of a Diablo boss as well(!)
The game, itself, looks crisp and draws upon a range of colours I have often related to as Nintendo’s special colour palette. They have a cartoon style which is shown with the different characters and the range of enemies. Most enemies you meet will either glow red or white. White would mean they are immune to ice, while red shows they are immune to fire. Simples. The backgrounds use a range of good textures, and this game doesn’t seem to show any fallbacks on being on the Switch. The fault I found is not with the graphics engine, but more the boring and bland scenarios in which you find yourself. They just didn’t offer any wow factor or amazement. For example, seeing the mantis the first time was kind of cool, but didn’t stagger me in anyway. I just found it all a bit boring and that never bodes well for a game – the enemies seemed very repetitive in looks.
Some people will love, whereas others will hate the narrator present in NP. He is a constant and, well, let’s say completely the opposite to what you were thinking. Saying that, I didn’t mind him and he made me feel like I was inside my own very version of Blue Planet (without the amazing things to look at). The music was slightly repetitive, but uplifting, and reminded me of The Lord of the Rings. At times the tempo grew, and with great anticipation, you were ready for the onslaught… the onslaught that never came. Unfortunately the music felt like someone had got a half decent CD and pressed play. At no point did they consider that they had to try and match the music with what was actually happening in the game. It’s like they tried hard, but didn’t quite get there.
When it comes to gameplay, there are a few things of which to be aware. Firstly, you have to use both analogues in NP: one for moving and the other for aiming. This caused a lot of confusion and bad aiming for me, as I was so used to Diablo where you didn’t have to use the second analogue. This was especially made tricky by ‘friendly fire’ being on. I was constantly shooting my pregnant wife, which put me in all types of danger. Secondly, the weaponry you get is only mapped to one button, meaning you have to scroll through each type of attack. This was quite frustrating and took a while to get used to. I found it quite tricky to go from a fire move to an ice move, especially when some evil monster was attacking me and ended up dying far too many times.
Considering I was playing in Normal mode, I was constantly dying and decided I was just pretty poor at the game. Either that, or it is really hard. The areas were a little bland and didn’t really give much space for exploration – this might be why they decided not to show a map on the screen. Due to this, you will find very little replay-ability with the game and after your 10-hour play through, may never come back. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just something to think about.
Overall, Nine Parchments is a solid game which lacks certain aspects that would have made in very good and rival the best. I have spoken to the guys on Twitter who have said that a big update is coming. However, you can only review what is on offer.
If you’re at uni and you want a 4-player game, then this could be the way forward,but don’t expect Diablo..
Nine Parchments is out now on Nintendo Switch.
- Developer & Publisher: Frozenbyte Games
- Players: single-player, co-op
- HD options: up to 1080p
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.