With the ability to control and manipulate time, you'll set off on a journey that will recollect the memories of a man's past life. In Arise: A Simple Story, you'll get to experience said man's key life moments, including all of the highs and lows that brought him pure joy and heartache. With the definitive addition including gyro support for controlling time and a dynamic photo mode, this game has finally made it to Nintendo Switch three years after its initial release in 2019.

The Good

Arise: A Simple Story plays out like a 3D platformer with fixed camera angles, however what makes this game special is that you as the player can move time forward and backward (optional gyro added to Switch version), which is especially useful as the character's world crumbles around him. This creates for some uniquely fascinating platforming puzzles and combining this with a grapple hook and the ability to be flown through strong air currents brings a new spin to the Super Mario Galaxy formula.

The story-telling is told with such beautiful dramatisation that throughout its 10 chapter adventure, I often had the notion that no other medium than video games could possibly tell a story in quite the same way. One moment I was controlling the wind in order to hop from one sunflower to another and in the next, I was reminiscing about past losts and heartache as the character flew through the sky.

TL;DR

  • Universe-altering platforming
  • Beautiful story-telling that only a video game could achieve

The Bad

3D platformers are my jam, so I can certainly be critical of them when I notice some things that just aren't quite right. For the most part, Arise: A Simple Story features ingenious gameplay but it can leave levels on sour notes when the depth perception isn't quite right, leading to easily misjudged jumps. During these moments, they're often the case of awkward camera positioning, distracting effects and misconceiving shadowing

This review is specifically focusing on the Nintendo Switch port (I mean, we're Switchaboo, it's a little obvious), so I need to point out just how rough some edges look. While the developers have clearly done a lot to get this stunning game running on the hardware, it's instantly apparent just how inferior this version is to its counterparts. The gameplay is the most important aspect and throughout most of the platforming, the performance holds up, so props for making that a priority, but various dynamic shots take such a substantial dip in visual fidelity and frame rate that it can be difficult to ignore.

TL;DR

  • Occassionally wonky depth perception
  • Performance issues due to hardware limitations

Final Score: 8/10

I adored Arise: A Simple Story and loved everything that it did from its platforming ingenuity to its touching story, but its shortcomings also cannot be ignored. And yet, where it lacks the most is not even its own fault but rather, the hardware itself; this Switch version is wonderfully ambitious and it certainly allowed me to enjoy the game for what it is, however its sacrifices makes me come to the realisation that I would've got much more from it had I played on a different system. So if I was to ignore that and judge Arise from a platform-agnostic perspective, this game is an experience that'll stick with me for many years to come.

Thank you for checking out our Arise: A Simple Story - Definitive Edition Switch review, thank you to Untold Tales (via Wire Tap Media) for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: