I will clear up the confusion right away in this first sentence: This is a review of the Scarlet Nexus game, not the anime. I have avoided the anime thus far as I didn’t want to spoil the storyline for myself. I will be watching the anime now to better take in the storyline and will update this review if the anime is worth a watch.
With that out the way, Scarlet Nexus is Bandai Namco’s shot at creating a Platinum Games game after their very successful jaunt into the soulsborne genre with Code Vein. It seems to have become a habit that Bandai have taken a look at successful games recently and decided to create their own games in these genre but with a little bit more of an anime flair and for the most part both Code Vein and Scarlet Nexus succeed at doing so.
Firstly, with Scarlet Nexus let’s talk about the combat as I am sure that the first thing we all think of when it comes to Platinum Games style games is in fact the combat and ultimately this is 1000% where Scarlet Nexus shines. This is the most Platinum Games game I have ever played not created by the famed studio.
Ultimately Scarlet Nexus is a hack and slash where you are tasked with taking down “others” by whittling away at their health or stamina bars until you can perform flashy moves designed to destroy their brain, all the while using a combination of sword attacks and your power of psychokinesis – combining these sword attacks whilst chucking shit at your enemies is wicked fun and I had a blast with it from start to finish.
You are also accompanied with a team of up to 8 people with different powers you can combine with your own, creating insane results. This can range from setting fire to your sword or the things you chuck at the enemies right up to slowing down the world around you for small amounts of time. This keeps the combat fresh for the full 40 hours it takes to complete both characters playthroughs.
Which brings me nicely onto the story of the game, at the beginning you are tasked with choosing to view the story from either Yuito or Kasane’s point of view and whilst the storyline ultimately begins and ends in the same place, the middle region of each character’s campaign is fleshed out enough to warrant playing through both to fully experience the story.
The story is pretty much just okay though and whilst I found myself often checking my phone during the visual novel cutscenes – it was just enough to keep me interested for 2 playthroughs of the title.
Also… I like visual novel formats as much as the next weeb but if you are going to create an accompanying anime which (as far as I can tell) tells the same story, why not use the already created anime assets to tell the storyline? It just seemed a little odd to me and I imagine is going to turn off some potential players of the game.
Between each of the games chapters, Yuito or Kasane are tasked with giving gifts, going on bond episodes or just generally building relationships with your team. If I am totally honest, I found this quite overwhelming by the end and found that trying to build relationships with 8 different characters a bit fragmented and annoyed me to the stage I just ended up skipping these cutscenes.
I had a lot of fun with Scarlet Nexus and whilst most of the story beats fell a bit flat, the overall story was great fun with exciting combat from start to finish but I felt that the game could have been improved with anime scenes over the visual novel style of storytelling
with this in mind I give Scarlet Nexus a 7.5/10