Never have desserts tasted better than when you add combat to the proceedings, and I think developer Pixellore ran with this concept for their title. Remilore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore is a rogue-like isometric anime adventure that puts you in control of Remi. She awakens Lore, your magical book friend, who joins you as you battle through Ragnoah, which is a magical mech-ridden world full of procedurally generated battles as you try to escape and defeat the Android antagonist Choux.
Each level is a procedurally generated slew of elevated paths leading to compartmentalized battles. These battles you must win by defeating all the enemies in the enclosed area in ford to progress forward. You’ll have to explore and sometimes backtrack in order to find the next area of action, which is made even more challenging by the fact that you cannot view a holistic level map showing everywhere that you’ve been. Instead, you see a small locked map in the lower right hand corner, only showing you a close proximity relative to the player.
The combat overall is solid, you dash with the B button, cast magical spells with the Y button, and attack with different combinations of the X and A buttons. As you’re performing a combo, the changing button prompt in the upper left corner of the screen updates you to show which combo move can be performed next. Dodging enemies, waiting for them to complete their attacks, then dashing in at the perfect moment always felt satisfying with the solid combat foundation.
Your weapon arsenal is just as varied as the combos you can perform. You will find a rose bouquet, balloon swords, oversized flaming hammers, and blood thirsty katana blades make slicing through hordes of mech enemies feel satisfying. There are seven different types of weapons, all with incredibly different combat play styles adds greatly to the replayability and fun factor.
It also adds to the rogue-like decision-making, as I found that playing with the heavier weapons was not for me. However, after picking up a giant hammer because of its bullet spray magic ability, I began to love the hammer gameplay and how intuitive this system was to push you towards using unfamiliar weapon types. You’ll unlock these weapon tiers as you defeat Remilore on different modes, of which there are plenty of in the post-game content.
Magic abilities accompany each weapon with one sword I enjoyed using having a tornado ability, while the next was a slowdown mechanic bringing those mech enemies to a crawl ready for slaying. Weapons can also have a passive combat ability, from freezing enemies to draining their lives, and again slowing them down. These three different variables of the weapons, passive weapon magic, and magical abilities, give you literally hundreds of play styles to learn and adapt to.
As you defeat enemies, you’ll be picking up the desserts they drop which is the in-game currency and it’s also how you refill your mana. These desserts can be scooped up from smashed environmental objects in each level as well, giving you tons of treats to spend upgrading every aspect of gameplay in Remilore. These range from increasing my chance to receive better two-handed swords, then upgrading my spells by making store prices cheaper. All these upgrades will eventually make you an overpowered killing machine when even battling with a hot dog on a fork.
Although currently I’ve unlocked everything I’ve wanted to and have thousands of desserts saved, I still need them to refill my mana, but I wish there were still more upgrades to unlock as I continue to play past the story. Along with desserts you can pick up mystery scrolls and these scrolls can help you by filling up your health or hurt you by lowering your max health. When having a great run with my favorite magic ability, I unfortunately picked up a magic scroll that took my spell away and replaced it with one that didn’t work well with my play style. Adding variation in each run, these scrolls are your risk to take.
While playing through, Remilore has a lot of light-hearted dialogue as you explore the story but don’t be mistaken, learning the enemy attack patterns will take quite some time to get down, so expect to die often in the beginning. With each each having four levels, three regular combat playthroughs, and the last being a boss fight, when you die no matter what part of the act you’re in, you return to the first stage of an act. Each time with a little less of your coveted desserts, but your progression intact. At first I felt bummed that I had to play through the first three levels of each act if I died at a boss, but it adds gravitas to every situation because you really want to survive that battle.
I have to mention boss fights, because these battles and mid-level boss fights are amazing. Every I found myself dashing and dodging these bulleted laden areas, it reminded me of a bullet-hell shooter, scrambling to get a perfect hit and was immensely enjoyable. Even the regular mech monsters have enough enemy type variation and progression to keep you engaged with the combat as you progress through Remilore.
The dialogue is fully voiced in Japanese which is a nice inclusion, but can get distracting as Remi and Lore talk a whole lot during combat and the large subtitles take up a hefty amount of the screen, especially in handheld mode. I loved the soundtrack and it definitely had an anime flare to it with action-packed bravado. The visuals were bright and colorful, and character models were equally as impressive with their animations while playing.
Overall, Remilore was a surprisingly fun action title as the combat proved to be one of my favorites in the hack-and-slash genre. The very approachable combo system and magical counterparts made it way to jump in and very rewarding to master. After playing through the rogue-like multiple times in different modes, I still had weapon classes to unlock and different gameplay modes to try. I wish the overarching progression system was much deeper, but the incredibly varying weapon classes and new combos to learn made each playthrough a unique procedurally-generated experience.
Nuke the Fridge Score: 8/10
- Fun and engaging gameplay
- Great combo driven combat
- Plenty of quality content to enjoy
- Story is lackluster
- UI is not always intuitive