Project Nimbus: Complete Edition has landed on Nintendo Switch. It follows the initial launch on PC and a 2018 PlayStation 4 port. Now, it is time to strap in for this mechanized Switch assault.
Available now for the Nintendo Switch system, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is largely the work of GameTomo and comes with a number of enhancements over its original incarnation. Despite the new play modes, the Switch version of this mecha simulator still retains the same epic space opera that Gundam fans will recognize. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, three factions vie for control on an Earth that continues to suffer the after-effects of a massive world war. Western and eastern fronts have solidified into the US-led CFN and the Russian led UCN. Festering in their shadow is a rogue element of dissidents known as the Children of Fallen Nations, a disgruntled but dangerous enemy born from the ashes of those suffering in the wake of these powers.
With a typical storyline that would snap into any Gunpla diorama, Project Nimbus does not seem to take too many liberties on the Switch. It presents players with the same multi-act campaign as the PC version. Players experience this story through pre-flight briefings, audio logs, and even the odd anime intermission. It all leans quite heavily on ideas taken from the Ace Combat series. This does take some time to settle into and the story campaign doesn’t can mean that the single-player campaign suffers a little, veering between points of view and giving little character to latch onto. It does, however, allow players to get into the action without too much delay.
Starting out with some relatively light missions, the single-player missions throw pilots into a series of mechs and quickly drill players in the basics of combat. The initial combat operations mainly focus on linear escort and attack scenarios that send waves of enemies after the player and their target. This does not change much, even while the game jumps from one faction to another and it isn’t until later in the game that missions get a little more variety, meaning you will have to be happy exploring combat options and learning the layout of your cockpit.
Despite the mildly repetitive nature of the initial story modes, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition manages to pull players through those early encounters with some incredibly responsive combat systems. The controls in each of the available mechs do not involve much variation. Some differences do exist with various battle frames pushing higher and faster. Others, meanwhile, seem to be able to carry different weapon loads. Somehow, this attempt to distinguish beach mech largely falls into the background when playing in any of the game’s three difficulty modes. Instead, combat success relies largely on pilot skill and an ability to coordinate movement in multiple axes while keeping sight of your enemy. It can take a little time to get to grips with this concept even with the brief tutorial. Pilots are expected to learn on the go, meaning you might fail a few times before combat and control all become second nature. Once the movement system, targetting, and radial weapon dial all fall into place combat becomes almost immersive. Above everything else, Project Nimbus: Completer Edition brings some really tight controls and a fantastic combat experience to the Nintendo Switch. Dodging enemy fire, turning, weaving, and fire controls all respond without any sort of delay. This could be as close as you can get to neural synch on Nintendo’s mobile platform.
These responsive combat mechanics have a definite impact on the newest additions to Project Nimbus: Complete Edition. The Nintendo Switch port of this adventure brings two new game modes to the Switch, Warfronts, and a Survival mode. While Survival pits players against an ever increasing difficult wave of nondescript enemies, Warfronts allows players to dispense with the story and shoot anything that moves. Warfronts unlocks a series of missions that tend to, again, center around a series of wave-based missions. The difference here is that Warfronts include a clear progression system. Pilots begin with a bucket of bolts but given time, can unlock a range of dangerous looking battle frames. Resources gathered by blowing up adversaries allow individual battle frames to be upgraded and loadouts customized, providing new ways to gouge a hole in your enemies defenses. This is easily the best amalgamation of gameplay rewards coupled with the game’s combat systems and provides one of the better mech combat experiences across PC or console.
While combat in Project Nimbus is responsive, it never quite feels up close and personal. Fans of mecha anime will be used to watching energy swords blaze across the screen and massive robots relentlessly punch each other into scrap. Unfortunately, the nature of combat in Project Nimbus: Complete Edition, doesn’t ever really give you a chance to utilize the game’s energy blade at all. It might seem like a small gripe, but if you are looking for a brawler like Override: Mech City Brawl, then you are not going to find it here. This isn’t the only disappointing moment in Project Nimbus. While the Nintendo Switch manages to handle Project Nimbus: Complete Edition well enough, I would absolutely recommend playing on a big screen. twisting around the skies is not always the most pleasant experience on the Nintendo Switch’s native screen and picking out opponents on the constrained display is problematic at best.
The backdrops plastered across the Project Nimbus’ scenarios, however, do not benefit from a big screen experience as much as the gameplay does. While the PlayStation 4 port of the original seemed to have some obvious graphical updates, the scenery in Project Nimbus: Complete Edition can be problematic, really only inspiring awe ion the edge of space. Outside of this, things seem to rotate between space stations, coastal towns, and generic mountain ranges. Even when one of these does look fantastic, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition doesn’t seem to improve on the original’s graphical constraints much.
That all said, if you are a fan of mechs, and want to blast off into combat then Project Nimbus: Complete Edition has some great mech combat. It feels like a cross between Gundam and Ace Combat and shooting up the skies in a battle frame is incredibly satisfying. At around $19.99, you could do far worse than loading up Warfronts and taking some pot shots at another giant robot. Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is out now for Nintendo Switch. You can grab it on the Nintendo eShop.