Xuan Yuan Sword 7 (Switch)

Xuan Yuan Sword 7 makes its way to Nintendo Switch after releasing on other platforms back in 2020. The Chinese mythology-based action RPG is the latest entry in the long running Xuan Yuan series published by EastAsiaSoft.  The game released on Nintendo Switch on May 30th, 2024.

The story follows Taishi Zhao, a young man who after the loss of the rest of his family, lives a peaceful life with his younger sister Xiang. As you’d expect, the peaceful life ends abruptly when the army arrives in the area, kicking off a turn of events that sets off the games plot, with the pair travelling on a journey across China in the midst of war. Without spoiling too much, the story of the game is engaging with it being set on the backdrop of Chinese mythology, giving the games world plenty of depth with mysteries to unravel combined with more historical aspects that revolve around the civil war.

The story of the game is one of its greatest strengths and has some great characters.  Clocking in at around 20 hours long, the game doesn’t overstay its welcome and tells its story without feeling bloated or overly long. Overall, I found myself enjoying the story of the game a lot with its interesting plot and great characters.

The game plays out as an action RPG with fast based combat from the outset. The combat starts out simple, with extra abilities being unlocked throughout the game allowing more varied ways to dispatch enemies. Dodging attacks and using your abilities against enemies is important here.  Enemies also have a meter similar to the stance meters found in games like Sekiro which once filled, opens up an enemy for a finisher move to do huge amounts of damage, finishing off most normal enemies and doing huge damage to the game’s bosses. While I found the combat of the game fun, the performance of the game struggles a little in this area, with occasional fps drops being noticed in combat, despite this I feel the combat is still good however the games performance on Switch can hinder this somewhat.

Outside of combat, most of your time will be spent in the game’s world travelling from place to place with some side content scattered along the way. One notable piece of side content is Zhuolu Chess, a board game that I found surprisingly fun, strategizing to defeat different opponents.  Travelling around the world fighting enemies can be fun as you move between quest objectives, alongside fast travelling to get around without the need for running all the way back. The game also allows you to craft different items to help you through the game, using items gathered from the enemies. This can be useful, giving the party some valuable boosts. The world itself is fairly linear which I find to be a positive as its not a huge open world with repetitive side content scattered around it, opting for a tighter and more well directed world that lets you progress through the game smoothly.

Overall, despite a few performance issues, the gameplay is strong with some great combat alongside exploring the games world and crafting new items and gear being fun, with a few fun pieces of side content to enjoy alongside the main quests.  

Unfortunately, the visuals of the game are where the games port to the Nintendo Switch falls short of the versions of the game released on other platforms. While the art direction of the game itself is great, with some interesting enemy designs and landscapes, the quality of the visuals has been significantly downgraded as the game made the jump to the switch. This leads to the game looking rough as the game also struggles to load in textures while moving around the world, with the performance of the game not being too great either, with frame drops being noticeable occasionally, with the game aiming for 30fps. Cutscenes look better than the rest of the game however, with better models for the characters.

The rough performance is a shame as the core aspects of the game are fantastic and with some patches from the developers the performance of the game could be more stable for a smoother experience. The music and voice acting on the other hand is fantastic, with a great soundtrack alongside some great voice acting. While the game only features a singular voice acting track: Chinese, the voice acting is great and really brings the characters to life with great performances from the main characters.

Overall, Xuan Yuan Sword 7 is an interesting action RPG with a compelling story and characters combined with some fun combat. However, my issues with the game don’t lie with the game itself but with the port to the Nintendo Switch, with disappointing visuals and performance holding the game back from being a great addition to the Switch’s library of RPGs. The series was admittedly unfamiliar territory for me before playing this game, but I intend on checking out a few of the other games in the series as despite the issues with the port, I found myself having a good time with the game.



A fun action RPG held back by a disappointing port to Nintendo Switch.

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