Let’s do this review proper. Push play.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin!
What is Nidhogg 2?
Coming into this review, I had never played Nidhogg, so the sequel was a brand new experience for me. The easiest way to describe this game is fencing/dueling tug-of-war. After a brief stint of character customization, players are matched up head to head (or against the CPU) with the end goal to make it through several screen of your opponents territory to an eventually end point. Only then can you claim victory, and also death, by being devoured in one gulp by the majestic Nidhogg.
You have a variety of weapons at your disposal: a saber, broadsword, bow, and dagger. Each plays a bit differently and provides a variety over-the-top ways to slay your opponent. That is really Nidhogg 2 in a nutshell.
What’s in the Game?
What has been described above is really the essence of this game. It’s a simply formula that really plays out best depending on your opponent. Game options are simple enough, as a single-player, you may choose to play what amounts to “arcade mode”, playing through each stage in sequence against a CPU opponent. This taught me how to play the game, but really left me wanting more in terms of an actual experience. Great, there is an online mode, let’s find game! No dice. I’m afraid either the community has already moved on, or there just isn’t one large enough in place on the Nintendo Switch. I was upset. I really wanted to give this game an open mind, but my experience felt so stale based on the options I had access to, then….I took my Switch to a friend’s house… That is where this game truly shines, Nidhogg 2 almost requires local multiplayer. Within minutes we were shrieking, taunting, and killing each other over and over as we battled towards the glorious death only the Nidhogg could offer. What would be a simple 1-3 minute match against the CPU was upwards to 15 minutes or more as we struggled back and forth from once screen to the next. It truly was a tug-of-war and many laughs were shared between the two of us. This is how this game was always meant to be played.
So What are the Drawbacks?
While Nidhogg 2 was a fun experience, it’s those elements that make it fun that I also feel hinder it. Multiplayer is a must. If you don’t have access to someone local, online is an option, but you are missing out on that interaction, which is so vital. There is no single-player offering of note, so don’t even go into this expecting it. The spawning system can also be a bit frustrating at times. If only player already has momentum in the match and is rapidly moving through a screen, you are often dumped in with little time to react or invincibility frames to protect you. This would lead to a quick death and more progress from your opponent. Perhaps this is just an exploitable tactic that we discovered early on or merely a design decision from the developers? I’m not sure. The weapon match ups also leave a bit to be desired. I found myself really only wanted the saber or broadsword as they were “OP” compared to other options. There is the option to customize those setting before the match, so at least the player can negate those. Lastly, I’m just not a fan of the visuals here. The original game had a very simple almost “Atari” like style.
It was clean, simple, and easy to focus. Maybe its just that nostalgia that bites me? The sequel jumps so far forward with its colors and depths of design. The backgrounds are lush and detailed, but the characters just look….gross. I can’t quite put my finger on why I dislike the character design so much, but if there was a slight deviation there, I would not be disappointed.
Overall, there are more hits than misses when looking at the whole of Nidhogg 2. I don’t think there is enough game here that you will be coming back over and over BUT what IS HERE makes for a great “party game” experience that is well worth taking a look at. I feel that the $14.99 price tag is accurate and if you have a local or even an online play buddy that is interested, you should give this game a go. Let me know how many laughs you have.
Nidhogg 2 was reviewed using a eshop code provided by the publisher. You can read additional information about PSVG’s review policy on our disclaimer page here.