One part visual novel with one part futuristic racer, Nirvana is basically the same game as the original Switch release, fully titled Nirvana: Pilot Yume, only without the explicit content. Unfortunately, both the visual novel and racing segments are not particularly polished, creating more frustration than fun.
Although the art style in the visual novel segments is pleasing, selecting dialog options is way more tedious than it should be thanks to an awkward color choice. Since the text merges into the background texture of the dialog options, reading each option is nearly impossible. For a game originally designed around showing skin, there is more detail in the lore than originally expected. There is a lot here for interested players but most of the dialog can be skipped by mashing the continue button if inclined.
Every so often, the text-based novel section is interrupted by a racing mini-game. Here, the player is simply tasked with making it to the finish line, avoiding hazards along the way. This is unique because the player isn’t necessarily racing against a clock or other players. These survival matches are much more difficult than they should be.
Unfortunately, each track is designed to cheaply kill the player with jumps that cannot be cleared, forcing a full restart without checkpoints. Making matters worse, each unsuccessful attempt causes the screen to glitch out which makes the game more unfairly difficult.
Story-wise, each failed attempt severs the connection between you and the racing portion. Once all connection is lost, the player will face negative consequences from both a gameplay and story standpoint. The camera angle is also in parallel with the vehicle, making it nearly impossible to see into the distance. By the time you see that orange barrier coming your way, it’ll be too late since all obstacles fly at the player much too quickly. Moving left/right also takes a lot of time and judging distance is nonexistent.
At least the original release has some lewd content which could have pleased pubescent teens but there is no worthy payoff here with this toned down port. Even if you enjoy the Matrix-plug-into-your-head plot, there is no escaping the purposely low-poly and always frustrating racing segments.
Not As Good As: most other RedDeer releases
Better Than: a new F-Zero or even a new Wipeout game
Wait For It: the next Matrix movie
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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