I recently got my hands on Daemon X Machina, the new mech action game for the Nintendo Switch, and I was immediately dazzled — not by the power and might of my giant robot armour, or the weighty action of sci-fi combat — but by how much fun it was to style my mech and its pilot in some fly as hell fits.
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Joy-Cons are small. They are designed so that Switch can be a sleek, nearly-seamless handheld gaming device. Hori’s Split Pad Pro is what happens when ideas like “small” and “sleek” and “not ridiculous” are tossed out the window. The more I play with them, gripping them in my larger-than-average hands, the less I mind their chonkiness and lack of extended functionality.
Daemon X Machina, out September 13 from Marvellous, is a game about gigantic customisable mechs. Here is another way to describe it: the worst filler episode of your favourite anime series. It is a mess of a game, with a story mode chock full of unintelligible cutscenes, repetitious anime tropes, and a core of mech gameplay that is highly customisable but starts to blend together due to repetitive gameplay and drawn out gunfights.
Daemon X Machina, out September 13, is a stylish third-person action game from Marvellous with a feedback loop fine-tuned for finding fun in blowing stuff up, getting money, and upgrading your mech. The fact that it’s on the Switch makes its snack-sized levels ideal for grinding on the go. The game dishes out chunks of fun anime-style action on funky colour palettes. It gets a little repetitive, and the plot is barely intelligible, but there’s still a decent amount to like about Daemon X Machina.
The Nintendo Switch in handheld mode is essentially a game controller cut in half with a display wedged in the middle. Hori’s Daemon X Machina Grip controller, launching in September in Japan, is a more literal interpretation of the concept. Update: And now there’s a North American Amazon listing for it.
I knew two things before playing Daemon x Machina. First, it has a wonderfully inscrutable name. Second, it has giant robots. The latter part is all that really matters to me — I adore mechs, from Gundam to Armoured Core.
After playing Daemon x Machina’s demo, I’m excited for the full game, even if the action doesn’t quite have the gear-grinding grit that I crave.
When game developer Kenichiro Tsukuda was a kid, he took apart his Famicom, the Japanese version of the Nintendo Entertainment System. He was annoyed that the cable that connected it to the TV was too short. “I wondered if there was anything I could do about that,” he told me recently. “And my parents got mad at me.”