Sclash (XSX) Review

Maximum Entertainment and Abiding Bridge released Sclash, an easy to play but difficult to master 2D samurai 1-v-1 fighting game. The gimmick revolves around tension and split-second decision making as each bout is loaded with drama as death comes from a single strike.

Visually, the hand-drawn Japanese calligraphy art-style is impressive and carries weight. Instead of being seamlessly fluid, animation is purposely limited to make the wispy visuals. Not to be confused with low quality, the visuals make this game what it is. The visuals are also joined firmly with the subtle beats of an ancient Japanese soundtrack.

Impressively, there are several modes of play. The single player campaign takes a couple hours and contains a surprisingly deep drama filled narrative. Although the voice acting is a little inconsistent, overall it is a satisfying experience that doesn’t allow itself to overstay its welcome. At times, the player needs to face bosses, chipping away and their health through multiple required strikes whereas a single blow can send you back to the restart point. There is plenty of nuisance here as patience and reading your opponent becomes necessary for success. Button mashing and charging with haste will always see your end quickly.

In addition to the story mode, which features many unlockables that are usable across all modes, there is also the standard tournament-style mode. And if you don’t want to fight against the AI, both online and local multiplayer is available.  Unfortunately, I tried to get into an online match several times but couldn’t find a single match.  Hopefully more players start playing because the one-strike bouts are pretty intense. There are also dozens of Achievements spread throughout all modes of play, adding even more replay value.

Fighting is a mix of striking, dodging, parries, and managing stamina. Each action depletes the stamina cooldown timer and some actions, when successful, can replenish the meter. Fighting against the AI, especially with some endurance matches in the campaign, can be tough simply because you fall with one hit but winning requires several blows against your opponent.  Thankfully, the lenient checkpoint system restarts the player right at the beginning of that battle so backtracking is kept to a minimum.

Even though Sclash is based upon patience, knowing when to strike, and reading your opponent, it is approachable.  In fact, this one-hit kill simulator, I think, is more approachable than most popular fighting game franchises. So this is sort of a good fighting game for non-fighting game fans. And if you are a fan of the Street Fighters, Mortal Kombats, and Tekkens, the single-strike gameplay could be the refreshing twist you never knew you wanted. 

SCORE: 7.5/10

Not As Good As: One Strike (Switch)

Better Than: Nidhogg I or II

Wait For It: Bushido Blade HD or a new sequel

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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