At first glance, RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore doesn’t look like much — in fact, it looks like another run-of-the-mill hack-and-slash title filled with mindless combat and an endless hunt for loot. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll discover a fun, colorful romp that never takes itself very seriously. However, as fun as the game feels during those opening hours, things get a little repetitive a few acts into the story. Still, hack-and-slash fanatics who want an anime-centric adventure with an abundance of loot/weapons, strong gameplay, and a few roguelite elements won’t regret their decision to delve into the world of Ragnoah, even if the game wears out its welcome before everything wraps up.
Before you jump into the action, you’ll need to wade through some visual novel-style exposition; thankfully, RemiLore doesn’t waste a lot of time setting things up. In a nutshell, you play a schoolgirl named Remi who accidentally awakens a snoozing spellbook while spending some time cleaning the library. Startled from his slumber, the book (named Lore) suddenly blurts out a random spell, transporting the duo to the procedurally generated world of Ragnoah. Although Lore possesses the ability to send the understandably irritated Remi back home, they must first join forces to take down a legion of mecha-monsters that have taken control of Ragnoah. Along the way, Remi will learn more about Lore, Ragnoah, the mecha-monsters, and what, exactly, happened to the residents of this strange little realm.
If the story sounds extremely corny and a little thin, then you have a very good ear. RemiLore doesn’t boast the strongest of tales, nor does it really strive to pull together remarkable plot twists or bold storytelling. Instead, it uses a threadbare plot and paper-thin characters to give you a wonderful excuse to gleefully smack around tons of bad guys as you work your way through winding Ragnoah’s winding paths toward your goal. As such, you’ll soon discover that RemiLore wants you to pay more attention to the journey than the destination. Although the game sprinkles some extra story beats in-between levels, they really don’t add much to the game. Additionally, the dialogue that pops up during combat — dialogue that will often go unnoticed when you’re in the thick of the fight — offers up nothing of substance. In other words, don’t feel as though you’re missing anything worthwhile if you decide to fly through these moments or ignore them altogether.
RemiLore has one very good thing going for it: combat. Controlling Remi and using her melee and magic attacks to bring down the assortment of mechanized villains you’ll encounter during your adventure always feels amazing and effortless. And once you use the desserts you’ve collected (the game’s silly in-game currency) to unlock better combat skills, you’ll easily wipe the floor with everything that crosses your path. Granted, the leveling system doesn’t get very deep, but you can still feel a difference once you begin dumping desserts into one specific type of weapon. Speaking of weapons, you’ll have around 200 unique items to choose from over the course of the game (ranging from brooms and hockey sticks to hammers and swords), and comparing what you’re carrying with the shiny new thing you’ve just discovered is as easy as looking at a stat box on the screen. The loot system never feels complicated or overwhelming, allowing you to keep your focus on the action.
Leveling up and mastering different weapon types also allows you to start over with a specific instrument of death when you inevitably meet your maker, which will happen more often than you might realize at first glance. While RemiLore looks like a brutally simple way to kill some time during a rainy afternoon, the game actually provides a fairly robust challenge, even for those individuals who’ve spent a fair amount of time with rogue-like hack-and-slash titles over the years. Granted, it won’t make you break a sweat or sling expletives toward the heavens, but it will occasionally test your resolve — and that’s after you’ve spent a fair amount of time transforming Remi into a spatula-wielding badass. The folks at Pixellore and Remimory have created a fair and balanced combat system that never feels too complicated, lulling you helplessly into a false sense of security. When things start to get heated. RemiLore doesn’t hold back anything.
Unfortunately, one of the game’s selling points — those procedurally generated levels — tends to work against everything the combat gets right. Not only do these levels start to feel samey and generic after the first few hours, but they also frequently hinder your progression. During Act 2, for example, I valiantly fought against a horde of monsters inside a very confined space, an area so small that I couldn’t escape the monsters’ bevy of melee and ranged attacks. No matter how hard I dashed, fought, and skittered around the screen, I couldn’t escape my fate. After restarting the area and venturing forth once again, I found myself in a similar procedurally generated predicament — and then it happened again. And again. Essentially, I had to wait for the game to generate an area that allowed me enough room to fight back before I could continue with the story. As much as I genuinely love the combat in RemiLore, it couldn’t ease the mounting frustration I experience as I waited (impatiently) for the game to give me a level that provided adequate space for a fair fight.
Minor gripes and frustrations aside, RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore offers enough content, gameplay modes, loot, and, most importantly, fun to warrant a solid recommendation. As my fellow We Got This Covered writer David Morgan remarked, RemiLore should carry the tongue-in-cheek tagline “Weeablo,” which, honestly, doesn’t feel too far off the mark. At times, the game feels like a very, very, very simple version of Diablo mixed with some anime tropes and a sprinkling of roguelite elements. And while I don’t think it comes close to having the same level of replayability as Diablo — let’s face it, very few games do — it’s still a title I could kill a few minutes with when I need a few minutes to unwind after a long day. The pull to gather better loot and send Remi’s stats through the roof continued to draw me in after finishing the story, and I suspect I’ll dump a few more hours into the game before moving on to yet another hack-and-slash dungeon-crawler. Assuming, of course, those frustrating procedurally generated levels don’t send me into fits of unchecked rage.
This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game. A review copy was provided to us by Nicalis.
RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore delivers tons of loot-based hack-and-slash joy despite the repetition and a few frustrating hiccups with the procedurally generated levels.