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Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle (Switch) Review

September 12, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
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Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle (Switch) Review  

On the face of it, it is frankly really funny that I elected to do this game. I’m not a huge Dynasty Warriors fan, nor do I really like most anime games. Oh, also, I know nothing about Attack on Titan. Like, never have watched an episode or know even the basic ideas of it. Still, I was curious enough to try this game and from an academic viewpoint, I liked playing it, in practice though, it is kind of a mess.

Honestly, I’m not sure how you differentiate this game from the original Attack on Titan 2 game are. When I started it, it went through a whole host of “You’ve unlocked (xxxx) item!” notifications, once, and I was never able to find it again. So, I’ll talk a bit in generalities about the game and my overall thoughts.

In AoT 2, you start the game creating your own custom character, male or female. You are then thrust into a military school and squad, all while trying to defend the city against ever approaching Titans. You kill the titans by (generally) striking the back of their neck with your sword.

So, that’s the very basic gist of the game. There are other systems like managing your gas/weapon conditions, directing your teammates to attack or defend, using subweapons, etc. There is a lot of actual nuts and bolts gameplay in here that is solid.

I should mention the “ODM”, or Omni-Directional Mobility thing. This thing functions a lot like Spider-Man webswinging with Just Cause’s grapple hook thing. Two wire tethers shoot out from your body and can attach to buildings or even the ground. They then pull your character with forward momentum, letting you reach some fairly decent speeds, along with this air-dash that you also have. The ODM relies on gas, and you’ll have to periodically refill the system with pickups or your reserves to reactivate it.

This system takes a bit of getting used to, but generally feels pretty good, in theory at least. I’ll detail what’s wrong with the game below.

One odd bit is how you actually fight the Titans. You have to hold R to bring up the aiming reticle, then you have to zoom in with the ODM to a Titan’s neck, or knee, or other area, to make a strike. This is made problematic with the technical issues I ran into. It also just feels kind of awkward. You usually press Y to swing around, but you have to press X to actually swing towards a Titan to get ready to attack it.

Aside from Titan-fighting, there is a whole other part to the game, which is almost Fire Emblem-esque. You can go around the military school you are at, talk to different people, craft new weapons/gear, buy items, and so on. There are a ton of different characters you can converse with, like Eren, Armin, Mikasa and so on. When talking to people, you’ll have dialog options to increase your relationship with them. When you reach new ranks with these characters they will be more effective in the action parts of the game. You can also play as certain characters in alternate modes, which is a part of the “Final Battle” upgrade.

Here is the real biggest problem of the game and the reason why this is a somewhat negative (and extremely late) review: playing it on the Switch is really terrible. There have been some great Switch ports (Doom, Skyrim) and some gnarly ones (Dragon Quest Builders 2, Bloodstained). Sadly, Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle falls into the latter category.

Here’s a good example, the timing/attacking on Titans is fairly split-second. Especially if you are trying to boost into the attack, which helps to amplify it. However, the framerate tends to dip badly, which can affect the actual timing of when you’re pressing X, rather than when the game thinks you are pressing X. This effect gets magnified the more characters flying around, or Titans there are on screen. Even in one of the earliest training missions, I noticed that the game speed would just drop like a stone, on occasion, even without there really being much going on.

It’s really a bummer since I think if you are a fan of the franchise it does have a lot to offer. The main game is plenty long, and the additional DLC stories, Dynasty Warriors-esque territory system, a challenge mode for specific characters, etc. It just doesn’t mean a ton because the basic gameplay is really frustrating to play. I’ve waited almost two months for some performance patch or even hope that it’ll get fixed, but nada. If you have the chance, then picking this game up on the PS4, XB1 or PC would be vastly preferred.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Had this been a different version of the game, the score would probably be an 8.0, or possibly even higher. But because the timing in the game is compromised, which leads to bouts of frustration, the score has to be lower. The fact that it’s even running at all on a Switch is somewhat impressive but I’d rather take a stable game than a non-stable one. I still did manage to draw out some fun in the game though, and if you have the prior version or if this game is entirely knew, the “Final Battle” upgrade is a good use of your money.