I became intrigued by Made In The Abyss for Nintendo Switch when I read a headline on another game review website that said “Don’t let your kids near this game” and they hyped it up to be quite horrifying. Despite the cute graphics, they promised that the game was deeply disturbing.
I don’t find it THAT disturbing yet… but your mileage may vary. The game is based on an anime by the same name which I have not yet watched. The anime is supposedly so disturbing that it is illegal in Canada? I read that in the comments on this other gaming site.
I pondered for days if I should or should not buy the game as I do tend to frighten quite easily. But on the other hand, I love anime like Re:Zero (one of my favorites) which is also disturbing, I mean that one villain ate his intestines and it was quite graphic. And he too died over and over in horrifying ways. I even like Brynhildr in the darkness even though it’s graphic not only violently but sexually as well. And most recently, I enjoyed Promised Neverland (which was actually the last anime I watched which yeah it’s been a few years now. I’ve been busy lol.). While Promised Neverland also featured orphan children being eaten and abused.
So what the hell, I thought, why not? Let’s check this out… and what I found wasn’t that scary – a bit graphically violent maybe. But not scary yet. I figure I’m about 5-6 hours in maybe roughly so it’s still early.
What I did find though was a storyline I really enjoy so far. Which briefly in these first few hours is thus:
Oh yeah the game is actually two games in one. I picked the one that followed the anime and have not tried the other one yet.
So the one I’m playing goes a little bit like this…
There’s a strange abyss with wonderful ancient relics and treasures. Some of these treasures are so incredible they can change the fate of a country in a war or even the fate of the entire world! But the problem is the really powerful relics are far deep into the abyss. And to make matters worse, there’s a curse that causes you to become sick and even die as you try to crawl out of the abyss. Once you pass a certain point, you can never return.
Treasure hunters are ranked by the color coded whistles they wear with White Whistle being the one granted the deepest access to the Abyss and risking their lives for humanity. The main character’s mother was one such treasure hunter; her name was Lyza the Anihilator, and Riko wants to grow up to be just like her. Riko’s mother, Lyza disappeared into the Abyss and was never found and presumed dead, so Riko has been raised by the orphanage and learning to become a treasure hunter herself.
At this point it definitely gives off some Promised Neverland vibes. Like I can just tell that this orphanage is using these kids and that it’s not a good place for sure. There are torture chambers and strange devices in the kids bedroom and people patrolling to make sure the kids don’t escape.
Riko is famous for getting into trouble. But that’s not all. Riko is famous for another reason too… Lyza gave birth to Riko inside the abyss. Riko is the only human “Made” in the Abyss. But she’s not alone…
Early in the adventure, a relic robot who lost his memory appears. The kids sneak him into the orphanage as another kid and name him Reg. But Reg has mysterious powers he can’t explain, and they seem to activate whenever Riko is in danger.
Together, Riko and Reg sneak into the Abyss to search for Riko’s mom, Lyza, prompted by the discovery of her whistle and a mysterious letter that claims her mom is waiting for her at the bottom of the abyss.
Alright I’m digging this story.
Gameplay… is another matter… this is different for me… and honestly… a little bit difficult and challenging for me. It’s not my normal turn based combat or no combat at all. It’s an Action RPG and heavy on the action. It autosaves and it’s a good thing it does cuz I die a lot.
Another pet peeve is that you can only carry so much weight in your backpack. I hope to God there is a way to increase that weight capacity later. If you become burdened you walk so slow and can’t pick things up etc. so you miss out on treasure.
There is a crafting system and fishing system and cooking system which is nice but feels bare bones compared to other games with that feature, but it comes in handy, because not only do you have health and stamina to worry about but also hunger.
You can also observe animals and monsters with your monocle device and add pages to your discovery journal about these creatures.
The graphics are… kind of cute? I guess. I want my husband and I to do a couple cosplay as Riko and Reg because I’m light skin and my husband is brown 🙂 It would be cute. I do like the anime aesthetic. But there’s some things that just bother me. Their hands… and the environment graphics look… bad… And not only that, but the graphics aren’t where they need to be in order to be scary. I was only disturbed so far by one scene of a creature eating some dude, and my disturbance was not as great as it would have been with higher end graphics.
I think the anime probably comes across darker and scarier because it won’t be so pixelated and polygonal and stiff. I’m not usually one who even cares about graphics, but this game’s graphics detract some from the vibe and story and atmosphere and that’s a bummer. I wish it had used more anime cutscenes too because all of those look really nice – the one I have seen so far that is lol.
The characters are diverse in looks and range from tall to short to fat to slender and young to old and different skin tones and hair colors etc. Nice touch. I think in the other game you can actually customize yourself and your robot relic companion. (don’t quote me on that though I might be wrong there.)
There’s not much in ways of equipment and items and upgrades it’s kinda bare bones. At least at this point, around 5 hours in.
Voice acting is pretty cringe but typical of most English dubs. There may be a way to switch to Japanese voice acting. I haven’t checked. One thing I can’t stand is the constant “Ready Riko” “Over here” etc every freaking 20 seconds. I wanna punch both of them in their cute huge faces. LOL.
Music is forgettable. I think there was a vocal track with a cutscene but not until after 3-4 hours into the game. I think I remember liking it but already forgot the melody, a week later.
Overall it’s a game I’m mostly enjoying for the story and characters which are both interesting.
Replay value will also be high since there’s a whole other game after I finish this one.
Voice Acting: 2/10
Replay Value: 10/10