Ska Studios surprised with this game that was the starting signal for the Souls formula in both dimensions. A challenging title with the aesthetic characteristic of the creators of The Dishwater and Charlie Murder, who now comes to Nintendo Switch with a port without news, but with the challenge intact. In this analysis of Salt and Sanctuary, we expand all the details of its gameplay in both the dock mode and portable mode.
Two years have passed since Ska Studios returned with this profound tribute that also meant the freeway to Souls type games, also in 2D. Few things have changed since then in Salt and Sanctuary, except for the subsequent release in PC and PS Vita that we saw a year ago, so it is no wonder this new version feels like a glove. This edition for Nintendo Switch is a direct port of the original PlayStation 4, so you can expect the same features, without any kind of addition.
In its original release, the game arrived in English, but with the passage of time, it has included a translation into Spanish that, although it is not the best, helps to understand the background of its history. Only the messages of the players will make you raise an eyebrow when you do not finish being well represented with the change of language.
With the Nintendo Switch version, it is not the first time that the game is taken to a laptop. The title was made Cross-Play with PS4 when it was launched on PS Vita last year, but the fact is that the peculiarities of this game so dark that sometimes requires a larger screen to perfectly detect all the elements of the stage. Especially, some traps and hidden enemies that can play tricks on us if we are not really attentive.
The version for the Nintendo machine behaves perfectly, as expected for a 2D game of these characteristics, making the game run smoothly at 60 frames per second with the console in dock mode. In portable mode, we have found some very slow punctual slowdown, but that can affect some combat. Also, and as a personal appreciation, we thought that the image was by default something darker than the other versions for a game that is already very gloomy, that plays a lot with the concealment of traps, enemies and unstable platforms, using consumable torches. On a TV this can be adjusted by the screen’s own brightness options since the game does not contain own gamut options, but in the portable version it was not possible to retouch the image brightness,
A new opportunity to discover a very striking title, which knew how to detect the best of Souls mechanics.
On the other hand, the options of being able to expand the HUD of the image in portable mode are appreciated. While on a TV, the menus are well framed, in this mode it can be somewhat more expensive to read all the information about the objects or comfortably view the statistics of our team. So, you can expand this HUD over 100% to make it more comfortable, but while team management wins whole, it comes with the counterpoint that, while we’re playing, the health bars, energy and object boxes will also consume a good portion of the game screen.
The game also has multiplayer options in local mode. Making an offering in a sanctuary, a second player can be invoked, although for this you must have a character created in a second account in the console. In Switch, this option is maintained, but it can not be invoked by using a joy-con command since Salt and Sanctuary makes exhaustive use of all the buttons. It will be necessary a Switch Pro Controller or a second set of the two joy-con enjoy this mode.
In short, the Switch version of Salt and Sanctuary is a direct port that offers no addition to the original version of the Ska Studios title. The game never had DLC either, because what it offered from the first moment was already an experience that felt complete, with a multitude of enemies, final bosses, different zones and secrets to explore and that is precisely what we will find in this edition. A new opportunity to discover a very striking title, which knew how to detect the best of Souls mechanics; that feeling of being lost in a hostile world in which you are slowly and painstakingly moving forward, to take it to a 2D environment that was later followed by numerous other proposals.
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Salt and Sanctuary do not seek to innovate and do not deny its inspiration. But once you accept them, you will find a more than the solid title, full of challenges, which translates the Souls formula into two dimensions, mixing everything with the Metroidvania genre. A long and exciting title, which will now also delight Nintendo Switch users.
- Deep and well-constructed progression system
- Labyrinthine and well-connected level design
- Deep and challenging
- Some color filters tarnish the image too much.
- Specific problems when facing combat and during platform jumps.