Review: Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle (Switch) – Switched up and titanic in size

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Attack on Titan 2 from Omega Force invites players to take on an epic scale battle of titanic proportions against unimaginable flesh-eating giants that seek to do only one thing: Wipeout humanity as they fight for survival. It’s time to power on the Switch and dive into the Final Battle that ushers in brand new features including elements of Season 3 in our review for Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle.


Pros:
+New Territory Recovery and Character Episode modes add extensive replayability to the game
+Brand new features from Season 3 expand upon the experience
+Performance, sound, and graphics are amazingly well-done on the Switch
+Controls ported over rather well, allowing for a full-on experience while on the go

Cons:
-Battery life can be problematic to some while playing on the go
-English dubbing would help with player immersion as text can be slightly hard to read on the Switch while in handheld mode
-Territory Recovery is locked behind main campaign progression


Attack on Titan is a series I’ve come to both love and hate for various reasons across the board. It’s a series that I’ve struggled with over the years after having dove into the manga’s, consuming them as if my hunger for more would never be sated. Unlike Sword Art Online, however, I began to grow tired of the stories I had watched that often involved drama between Eren, the leaders he serves beneath, Armin, and the always-growing Titan threat that they face.

Over the years, however, that has slightly changed now that I’m giving the series another chance, building up to the momentous release of Attack on Titan Season 3 on BluRay and DVD. Surprisingly enough, however, a miracle was just on the horizon, one that would reinvigorate my interest in the series from one studio I’d never expected to do it as of recent, despite having played and reviewed the initial release on PlayStation 4: Attack on Titan 2, a follow-up to Omega Force and publisher Koei Temco’s previously released action-adventure title within the series.

Surprisingly enough, however, Omega Force has come back once again, offering an even deeper experience with all-new content, a Nintendo Switch release, and tons more replayability than the title previously had just a little over a year ago. But now, here we are, tearing into the Nintendo Switch version in an all-new follow-up review. So, what’s first? Well. Let’s talk about the Nintendo Switch experience first and foremost.

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The newest of two modes is locked behind main-campaign progression

It really is a titanic package in a hand-held turned console hybrid and it works rather well

One thing I love about the Nintendo Switch should be quite clear by now. I was a huge Vita fan just a few short years back. That’s not to say I’m not still one, but the Switch has slowly begun to find a special place in my heart as it reinvigorates my childhood love for everything Nintendo.

This partially due to the fact that Nintendo isn’t scared to take risks once again. They’re allowing games such as this very title, Attack on Titan 2, to find a home on their handheld turned console hybrid. Surprisingly enough, however, is that it works rather well on the Nintendo Switch.

Just like its PlayStation 4 sibling, the game runs about as smooth as you would expect for the hardware that it’s on. Load times are short, graphics are great, and most importantly is that all the features its bigger brother have, are all intact right out the digital gates. You’ll find yourself sooner-than-later darting about the local terrains, knocking down giant naked humanoid creatures before moseying about the local hangout spots within the walls.

On the technical side, we do have a few things to discuss in their very own sections when it comes to the semi-open world hack ‘n’ slash adventure that’s been enhanced thanks to the latest batch of content released for the game. This includes some minor bug fixes, some gameplay element tweaks, and an extra added level of immersion. This includes added game modes, new story elements, and even brand new modes that have been added to the game.

But let’s talk about how it actually plays on Nintendo Switch before we really dig into the meat of things.

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Gameplay on the Nintendo Switch translate rather smoothly, making it a bold, and daring adventure

One of the biggest concerns I had when hearing about a Nintendo Switch edition of the game was how it would handle. Not because I don’t enjoy the Joy-Con controllers and what they have to offer, but rather because of how over-responsive the controllers can actually be from time-to-time (here’s to staring you down Fortnite).

Two things were noticeable almost instantly once the games prologue training mission began: The controls were fine-tuned to adjust to the player. It wasn’t hard to adapt to as the button orientation remained the same from PlayStation 4, allowing for minor adjustments to the size of the Joy-Con’s themselves and their responsiveness.

Luckily, this wasn’t an issue and allowed for a quick transition from one platform to the other. HD rumble works rather well, giving some added weight to the experience, allowing a Titan to rumble one side of the controller while the other controller responds slightly weaker. While this could purely be a placebo effect, it did remain slightly consistent ad helped with the level of immersion experienced while playing the game. An added bonus if you ask me.

The graphics didn’t really take a major hit and neither did performance

One of the impressive things about this game isn’t one that I’ve not seen get discussed all that much in other reviews: Performance and graphics. The reason these two are so important for this review is that the Nintendo Switch is a very diverse and capable piece of hardware. It’s not one that just bats an eyelash and calls it quits.

Rather, it continues to press on, delivering some of the best handheld and console experiences since the device actually launched. Fortunately enough, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle actually benefits from this added sense of usability. Luckily enough, the game actually shines in both of these fields thanks to what seems like an enabled Dynamic Resolution Scaling feature that seems to tone the game down only slightly in hand-held mode from 720p to slightly under, but keeping an almost consistent framerate of 30 fps even during the most intense moments of the game.

Docked, the game seems to hit just around 900p, offering a slight change in performance as well, holding steadily at 30fps, which is almost identical to that of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox versions of the game. The major change here is that draw distance, sunshafts, and a few other graphical tweaks have been toned down only slightly.

Regardless, there’s not much change in graphical fidelity, but it does hold up when you moved to the docked mode of the Switch, which is a lot to say for one little handheld device. If you want direct comparisons to PlayStation 4, that’s going to be a little tough as you are comparing two distinctly different hardware types, but above, you’ll see a few samples of the differences in the graphics, which are to say, aren’t all that much.

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The Switch’s battery life does take a minor beating from Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle

As someone who plays the Switch quite a bit on the go, it was quite clear that this would be an important talking point about the game, as many of us Switch owners do play in both handheld and docked modes when given the chance. First, we all know the Nintendo Switch (current model) holds between 2 to 6 hours of battery life depending on the game being played.

Additionally, this also varies based upon the features of the game, whether or not it’s using WiFi, whether or not you are charging your Joy-Cons as you play if you’ve been playing it without the Joy-Cons being connected. All things considered, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle will eat through your battery rather quickly. In three different situations, we found the battery life to last around 2.5 hours, which to some, may seem rather quick, but fear not, that was using the Switch in its kickstand mode while at a cafe.

The above test also meant that the Switch was eventually going to need to charge the Joy-Con’s themselves. Our next test, however, came out a bit different with an added extra thirty-minutes of gameplay with the Switch having the controllers docked and fully charged. While the minor change could be slightly different based on how new your Switch is, it does go worth noting that you’ll want to carry a portable charger with you if you plan on taking this game on the go.

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Now, let’s talk about that brand new content, which can be purchased as an upgrade or with the game

Along with a swarm of changes being made to the overall quality of life to the game, Omega Force has also included roughly eight hours of brand new content to enjoy, which can be found scattered throughout the actual game itself, but also through new menu options when you decide to jump right on end.

So what exactly is new? Well. More than you’d expect from one such expansion/DLC. Luckily, enough, Omega Force hasn’t drawn back their punches, but instead, decides to go full-steam ahead and barge right on in without any questions asked. Content such as Character Episode Mode and Territory Recovery mode, both of which, add a ton of extra replay value including stories from Seasons 1 through 3 of the anime, new playable characters, new equipable armaments such as the ‘Thunder Spear’ and even the Anti-Personnel Omni-directional Mobility Gear.

Just don’t expect to spend your credits from the base mode itself in Character Episode Mode, it won’t work, this mode is an entire beast of its own and its actually rather well done as it gives life to Armin’s Titan form itself, as well as a few new and surprising elements to enjoy. For some, the Territory Recovery Mode is where the game will actually shine. It’s a more open-ended and freeform experience, something quite different from other portions of the game.

This is where Omega Force really shines thanks to their Dynasty Warrior style offerings in this mode, which sees players and their squad head out to cut down the titan menace, each encounter being made available through mini-missions that roll out over time. The resources in this mode, fortunately enough, can be used in the Character Episode Mode, enabling you to gear up your characters in that mode so that they can have the advantage against the titan menace.

It’s not a bad overall experience and thankfully, the DLC is not just added fluff, but quite a bit more story and gameplay elements than before. The only thing I was sad to see? We still don’t have an English dub, which would make it a bit easier for some to enjoy, as there is a lot of reading that takes place between all four modes the game has to offer. Especially when hunting down Armored Titan’s with the Thunder Spear itself.

The only part that’s hard to chew off? The $39.99 price tag for the DLC or $59.99 for the overall experience.

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This is it, Scouts, it’s time for our Final Battle, and this is one heck of a ride.

When it comes to delivering content to their games, Omega Force isn’t shy about what they’re going to give us and Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle just happens to be one of those examples. This expansion/DLC doesn’t just deliver a small set of features but comes with a rather sizable package including brand new characters, weapons, story elements, and enhanced gameplay features from its latest patch and content drop.

Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $39.99 (DLC) | $59.99 (DLC + Full Game)

Toss in the fact that you can see Attack on Titan collide with Dynasty Warriors in the Territory Recovery Mode, you have a lot to look forward to and it just seems this game could be getting bigger and bigger as Season 3 gets underway on Funimation. Just don’t forget to take advantage of those new ranged weapons and enjoy what we could consider being the best version of Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle thanks to the portability of the Nintendo Switch.


Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game. For information about our ethics policy please click here.


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About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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