Swords of Ditto, 100 year curse – First Sip Review

The Swords of Ditto, and the newly updated Mormo’s Curse Edition. Is an ARPG developed by onebitebeyond. Devolver Digital are in charge of publishing duties.

Story 4/5

The Swords of Ditto has a fun story about a witch and a hero. The Hero is the titular Sword of Ditto, who is tasked with defeating the other titular character. That’s right, Mormo the witch. Both The Sword and Mormo return every 100 years to face each other again. This cycle existed before you (as the game opens with you taking the previous hero’s sword). And continues after you, well after your first character at least. In an interesting tutorial level, the boss Mormo just straight-up kills you.

However, the story does not end here. After 100 years of Mormo’s rule, a new Sword is chosen. A spiritual mentor named Puku (who seems to be a giant beetle of some sort). Leads you around the collect toys, destroy Mormo’s anchors and ultimately defeat the evil witch. But, even if you can achieve this, it isn’t the end of your journey. Because the ultimate goal, isn’t just to take Mormo down, it is to destroy her curse.

To sum things up, the story of The Swords of Ditto is an epic adventure that spans hundreds of years.

Swords of Ditto gameplay
King’s Motel, what size beds does it have?

Graphics 5/5

The Swords of Ditto uses a bright colorful cartoon style. Big, bright and bubbly, the art style involves character with huge heads, eyes, and smiles. Everyone seems so happy you might even forget that the world is ravaged by evil. The cuteness doesn’t stop at the characters though. Even the art-design and choices like outfitting your hero with stickers and toys.

Enemies are also pretty bright and varied. With a ton of cute and not so cute designs to see. However, even the not so cute ones still have that cartoon charm to them. The game also uses a lot of anthropomorphic animal characters such as a cat, penguins, a walrus, etc. Once you finish the first run you’ll even be able to pick the design of your character via a badge system. Which means you can be a rabbit, human, frog, box robot or anything else you’ve unlocked.

Swords of Ditto gameplay
Where is the tire mascot getting the hose from?

Sound 4/5

The Swords of Ditto uses a fairly bright and fun soundtrack. One that fits very well with the art style they have gone with. In the game, you can fast travel when you find and activate a magic bus stop. Assuming you already have the kazoo the game forces you to pick up pretty early on. And when you use it the music that plays as you teleport is…unsurprisingly it’s kazoo music. But even the non-kazoo music carries the same kind of bright happy feelings, in the day at least. When it gets to the night though the music gets a little darker, a little scarier. But ultimately it remains as light and fun as the visuals.

Characters don’t talk, they sometimes make a little noise but there is no real voice acting. As the game is very similar to the Legend of Zelda franchises early entries this fits well too.

Sound-effects are pretty standard, they work well, they are appropriate and sound good.

Swords of Ditto gameplay
Watch out for the magic schoolbus!

Gameplay 3/5

The Swords of Ditto is very similar to the 2D Zelda games in terms of gameplay. Combat is fluid and smooth, overall it’s quite fun. The world is procedurally generated so each run will be different, which means exploration is generally pretty required. There are some stickers you can get to alleviate some searching by showing you where some things are on the map. Stickers augment various things, increasing your stats. Adding elemental attack or resistance. Even giving you extra abilities like a charge strike (however most of these abilities are learned as you level up rendering the stickers somewhat worthless).

Toys are also pretty varied and can be upgraded in power or augmented with elements. Giving you a range of options to try out, likely you’ll find a setup that works for you, but you might still need to change things up depending on who you’re up against.

So why is the score relatively low? Well, The Swords of Ditto does a lot of things right, a lot of things that were done right in the Zelda games and other similar titles. But the game is also creative and the developers have added other features to the game. These features range from frustrating to annoying and all the way to absolute game killers.

Swords of Ditto gameplay
A pleasant day with the cutest toy store in the land

New features and why they weren’t tried in other games

The biggest thing that The Swords of Ditto tried and received very mixed reception with is the time limit. When your run starts the game counts down to the fight with the final boss. This boss fight will then happen whether you are ready or not. While this is an interesting idea, it ends up being very counterintuitive in an ARPG. Because chances are you have been conditioned to explore and grind in an ARPG, but Swords wants you to rush to the end.

Now it seems the developers listened to the community and added the free Mormo’s Curse patch which had the option to remove the timer. However, with the leveling system in the game, once you reach Mormo’s level the timer kicks in again. Leveling up is done by, defeating enemies, exploring dungeons, opening chests and completing side missions. What this all means is that even without the timer looming over your head, you’ll still naturally hit the level and have the timer kick in well before you are ready in most situations.

Is there a way around it?

Well, you can rewind time by offering celestial shards to the whale god Serendipity. But each time it gets more expensive. And the game doesn’t warn you that those same shards are used to bring items over into the next run.

Another interesting feature is Mormo’s curses. After the first run, Mormo will cast a random curse on the next run. These curses make the game harder, but again they are more frustrating than anything. For instance, she can summon a spirit called The Nemesis, who follows you around and is unkillable, he can also walk through walls and over pits which means he will almost always be in your way before long.

Swords of Ditto gameplay
And the record for most versatile vinyl goes to the vinyl record.

Overall

While The Swords of Ditto has its share of issues, especially when they try to break the standard Zelda format. The game is still well made and for the most part pretty fun. It also has local co-op, and now that Steam has Remote Play you can play couch co-op with someone nowhere near your couch. The art and music are fun and bright and combat is for the most part satisfying. As long as you aren’t dealing with the Nemesis getting in the way all the time. While it may make the game much easier, I would also like to be able to lose the timer altogether and just explore to my heart’s content.

In Coffee Terms Muggy

In Coffee Terms

The Swords of Ditto in coffee terms is like a classic latte. The flavor is nice and they have even dressed it up a little with a picture in the foam and cute cup. You take a sip and it hits the spot, it’s delicious and satisfying just like you remember, maybe even better. But then as you continue you to drink it, you realize that the barista has been trying to add their own flavor to the classic blend. And while it’s a flavor that isn’t bad it just doesn’t go well with the latte. If you like a mixture of sweetness and a little bitterness, you’ll find them here, but then you’ll be faced with a sour taste that belongs in a cake more than a coffee.

The Swords of Ditto Links

Website: http://www.onebitbeyond.com/
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/619780/The_Swords_of_Ditto_Mormos_Curse/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onebitbeyond?lang=en

The Swords of Ditto Review Summary
  • Story
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Gameplay
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