Neversong Nintendo Switch review: far from the same ol’ song

Metroidvania games seem to be popping up like crazy as of late. There is a possibility you could miss out on a good one as a result, but these are always fun to come back and discover. In fact, I’ve never even heard of Neversong until I was introduced to it by a colleague.

Like most Metroidvania games, it’s all about the quaint beauty of what you find within the world as you explore through it. And while Neversong’s overall game length isn’t quite as extensive as other titles on the market, it packs quite a bit into its short but sweet adventure.

In the game, you play Peet, a kid who goes investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend in the midst of an imaginative, but dangerous, town of Neverwood. Along the way, you’ll visit six different areas, each with their own bosses and other terrors, as you attempt to fend them off with a spiked baseball bat, and work alongside buddies and a helpful bird to find out what’s going on.

Where Neversong truly excels is within its story. It’s fascinating to see how this all unfolds, thanks to fun dialogue that doesn’t really stay too down in the dumps, even though the tone is definitely about on the same level as, say, Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro. There’s also some interesting twists, and even time for a song or two, playing out rather beautifully when the situation calls for it.
As far as gameplay goes, Neversong has a bit in common with the indie darling Hollow Knight, although there are some differences when it comes to getting around. You can use a pair of gauntlets to grab ropes and find better maneuverability; and your pals can lend a hand in certain situations too, even with something as simple as a few words. It can be a little loose at times, especially with character control, but it still works. And the boss fights are a lot of fun, albeit a little challenging.

When it comes to presentation, Neversong also scores an impressive win. It looks gorgeous with its well-designed world, and the animations are pretty well done. There’s also a bizarre approach to character design that must be seen to be believed. The music is also terrific, thanks to some awesome piano tunes that play consistently in the background. Get the headset for this one if you can.

Alas, the journey does come to an end all too soon. But a game like this is really more about that the destination anyway. Neversong has more than enough within its few hours of play to warrant a look, and the exquisite soundtrack and engaging storyline will keep you intrigued as you continue on your way. There are better Metroidvania games out there, and yet this one gets a hearty recommendation as well. There’s always room for one more, right?

RATING: 8/10

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