There are certain games that inspire port begging. In many cases, it is understandable. Vanillaware’s 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of them, with people asking about Switch and PC ports since its 2019 PS4 debut. Now in 2022, part of that “wish” is coming true. After some time spent with its prologues, it is clear that this could be a perfect fit on the Switch.
Part of this is due to 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’s nature and the way people may use their Switch systems. It is a hybrid console, after all. It also happens to be one with a library filled with adventure games and visual novels. While playing these titles on a big screen can be great, there’s something intimate and engaging about having them on a smaller screen in your hands. It’s like going through a favorite book. In its early hours, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim feels well suited to the platform. Everything is right in front of you. It’s clear and easy to read. The control system adapts well to it.
The whole “being easy to read” element is an especially important one. It’s something I was concerned about going into 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim again. It was very easy to parse on the PS4, of course. But I’ve experienced Switch ports of games that are fantastic on other platforms, but end up being a bit of a letdown here due to factors like legibility or how well they hold up on a system that is less of a powerhouse. There’s no such issue here. Everything is clearly represented, and the UIs are handled well. The first impression I got from the prologue chapters is that it is efficient and elegant, just like the PS4 release.
I’d also say, and this may sound silly, but I feel it is more immersive. I am a huge fan of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. I love its characters, its story, and the designs of both allies and enemies alike. By the time I got to the end of Iori’s prologue, I felt more invested than I did the first time I played. Granted, this could be because this is my second run through the game. There are already established connections pulling me back into it. But I can’t help but feel part of it is the fact that having it in my hands, reading through it as though I was settling in with a beloved sci-fi novel, allowed me to lose myself in a way I couldn’t before.
Especially since it seems like there isn’t any lack of fidelity so far. The characters’ prologues ran as well on the Switch as they did on the PS4. The same went for the RTS battle segments. Vanillaware’s art still offers the same ambiance. The initial quality feels fairly identical. Granted, this is only my take after a few hours.
The Switch version of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim makes a good first impression. This is the sort of game that can hook people in its early moments, so it is critical that the prologue chapters put their best foot forward. With the PS4 version, people knew they were getting certain audio and visual quality. So far, this port seems like it is doing its best to offer a similarly memorable experience.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim will come to the Nintendo Switch on April 12, 2022 in North America and Europe and on April 14, 2022 in Japan. Digital and physical pre-orders are open. It is already available on the PS4 worldwide.