Project Nimbus: Complete Edition (Switch) Review
Release Date: May 16, 2019
Publisher/Developer: GameTomo/GameCrafter Team
Platform: Switch (previously released on Steam)
I've always felt that mecha games have a lot to balance. Giant robots need to feel "heavy" to show their massive size. Too clunky and they can't maneuver fast enough to be fun, but too light and they feel paper-thin. Anime usually shows robots with thousands of buttons/dials/knobs/doodads so you can use tons of different weaponry and do cool moves. Too many and it's too confusing to be fun, too few and it feels plain. Project Nimbus does a great job of working on the balance to create the feeling of blasting through the skies like the robots in your favorite anime series.
Gamers can choose to play the four-act storyline, an endless to-the-death survival mode, and Warfront, which allows you to upgrade equipment and continue pummeling through waves of enemies. Battles take place across flying cities, oceanscapes, ruined buildings, and more. Most levels and stages boil down to "wave of bad guys come, take them down," though you do run across special mechs or scenarios that do liven up the combat a bit. The problem with levels comes from basic game design. With flying giant robots the open world battles tend to fly up above the battlefield, and indoor ones are frantic skirmishes. The levels look good, but end up feeling a bit samey, especially as you go about doing basically the same thing in each level as well.
The analog sticks run traditionally in a 3D space, with X and B controlling your vertical motion as well. Up and down on the directional buttons change weapons. Part of the skill of the game is dealing with cooldown/reload times of each weapon, which usually causes you to pinball between weapons to maximize offense. There are several mechs to choose from (though the story mode limits your choices) with different loadouts to choose from.
Overall design of the game is solid, with voice acted cutscenes in the story mode and well-designed characters and enemies. There's a little bit of the "floaty" feeling as the game does lean toward the side of control instead of the feeling of mass, but it does still feel like, say, a proper Gundam heft. Perhaps my biggest criticism would be that I'd like to see some sort of multiplayer aspect, such as a co-op survival mode. Until the promising looking Daemon X Machina comes out, Project Nimbus stands tall as the most fun mecha game available on the Switch.
-Well balanced in all necessary areas of mecha-style game combat
-Varied rigs and loadouts to take into battle
-Controls are easy to understand and versatile
-Wish it had multiplayer
-Repetitive mission structure
-While unique, levels end up samey as you focus on frenzied combat over positioning
Special thanks to GameTomo/Game Crafter Team for providing a code for review!