OSHIIRO – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by Tadasumen and published by Regista, OSHIIRO is a first person horror game with a unique premise. Taking place in a haunted performance venue, the player must investigate the mysteries that the facility contains. This title is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch console, with a link to the game at the bottom of this review.

Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Regista for providing the copy of OSHIIRO that was used for this piece. The provision of this software has no influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.

Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story as I feel the narrative must be experienced first-hand with this unique experience, but I will need to provide a few minor plot details in the review.

Gameplay – the premise of OSHIIRO is a very unique one. The player is sent to the haunted Chiba Legend Arena, where a Virtual Idol performance was set to take place. While inside the facility, the player encounters spirits within the arena and must investigate the mysteries surrounding them. To accomplish this, the player must explore the different areas of the arena and exorcise the spirits they encounter.

The game is split into maze like areas, with the player using a special glowstick to combat the ghosts that appear. These spirits will appear with one of three colors attached to them, charging the player when they are within visible range of them. The player must shake the glowstick to defeat and exorcise the spirits, matching the visible colors as they are in the players range of attack.

However, these colors can switch and if the player fails to match too many times, or the spirit makes contact with the player, the game will be over. The exorcism of the spirits isn’t the only objective for the maps that the player must explore. Within each area of the game, there are color coded stickers of three Idols in Red, Blue and Green that must be located and destroyed with the glowstick.

When all of the Idol stickers have been found and destroyed, the player will clear that level and move onto the next stage of the game. After clearing the introduction stage, the player will be able to select the level they want to challenge next, approaching the game in whatever way they want to. This allows for a relatively free flowing experience before the finale of the story.

The core story mode is not the only option that players have to enjoy with this release. There is a second gameplay mode called Another Mode, where the player can take on the game while earning points for destroying stickers and defeating spirits. This challenge mode makes for an extra level of replay value after clearing the story, giving more for players to enjoy.

There is also a set of bonus mini games, where the player can play a selection of weird and wacky experiences. These include an odd obstacle course controlling a buff man with the power of his pecs, a sushi collecting challenge and a maze where the player is hunted by a smiley face monster. The extras add an extra layer of weird to the package, making for an entertaining showcase of the bizarre games the developer has created.

Now with the gameplay covered, it is time to move onto the other aspects of this release, starting with the controls.

Controls – the controls for this release are laid out nicely, with all of the important inputs mapped out in a comfortable way. The movement and camera uses a twin stick layout, which is common for first person titles and they are very responsive during play. The attack and color change buttons are on the right shoulders, with a refined aim button on the left and an interact button on the face. All of these inputs are comfortable to use, working well with all controller styles.

Difficulty – there are three difficulty settings for OSHIIRO, allowing players to select an option that suits their skill level and offer a greater challenge at higher levels. The challenge in general is well balanced, with a difficulty curve that can fluctuate a little depending on the approach that the player takes with the game. This is due to the non-linear approach to stages in the game, as well as the way that players tackle the obstacles of this game.

Presentation – this is a very atmospheric and dark game, with only the light of the glowstick guiding the player through the darkness of the facility. This works well with the designs used for the spirits, as their jerky animations add a horrific touch to the way the experience works. The Idols themselves have an anime style which is a nice contrast to the horror of the game.

The sound consists of atmospheric sounds, static and jarring screams of the dead that permeate the entire experience. The soundtrack is simple consisting of the main theme for Virtual Idol group featured in the game, this plays when the spirits attack before getting cut by static. There is some good use of voice work in this, with fully narrated story dialogue and Idol voices.

Final Thoughts – I had a good time with this title, as the premise is very unique and the challenge was a lot of fun. This isn’t the longest game and may only take a couple of hours to clear, but there is a lot of replay value on offer as well as the extra content for players to dive into. I very much like the presentation of the game, with the cute Idols and their song that plays during the game.

There are some flaws with this title however. During play, I was able to escape the boundaries of the map and fell for an infinite time, leading me to have to restart the level I was on. There were also moments where enemies fell under my attack and sprung up and killed me, but it didn’t ruin the experience. If you want a unique horror experience, with some weird and wacky Japanese fun on top, I can definitely recommend this game.

In the end, I give OSHIIRO a final score of 4/5. This horror experience is new and unique, with a premise that I haven’t seen used in a game before. The gameplay has a good amount of challenge to it, with a dark atmospheric design that is contrasted well by the Virtual Idol theme it uses. The rather bizarre bonus games add that little more to the experience too. If you want to check this game out for yourself, a link to the game will be below, with discounts for the game.

Link to US Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to EU Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

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