Generation
after generation, a chosen hero rises to claim a legendary sword that can seal away
the ultimate evil. Some of these heroes triumph while others fall, but the
cycle has been in motion for as long as anyone can remember. Elements of this
premise may sound familiar to Zelda fans, but The Swords of Ditto boils this
multi-generational legend into one game. This approach allows players to see
the consequences of their success or failure, and work to defeat an evil sorcerer
once and for all.

This
cute, top-down action game tasks you with taking down Mormo, a powerful
apparition fighting to control the region of Ditto. You can scale Mormo’s tower
to face her with little preparation, but that’s inadvisable. Instead, the best
route is to explore the four dungeons placed throughout the procedurally
generated world to collect more powerful weapons and weaken Mormo’s power in
the final battle by destroying magical anchors housed in the dungeons. Destroying
these anchors gives Mormo fewer minions and less health in the climactic face
off, but I was most excited to collect my favorite weapons to use on the hordes
of creatures.

While
the vinyl frisbee and exploding drone are powerful and versatile, I often made
a beeline for the final dungeon the moment I found the powerful laser ring that
burns through enemies with its focused beam. You can also further customize
your hero with stickers that grant stat buffs, resistances, and abilities. My
favorite combination of stickers made enemies drop healing items more often,
while protecting me from bombs and boosting the power of my sword. The stickers
in the shop rotate, but I never had any problem readying my character to delve
into the dungeons.

Slashing
through the dungeons with the legendary blade is fun and familiar, and simple
puzzles break up the pacing and often deliver worthwhile rewards. I like that I
can decide how much I want to prepare for the battle with Mormo, but the
repetition of the dungeons grated on me after a few playthroughs; I was sick of
the dimension-shifting theme by my fifth incarnation. While the world and
dungeons are procedurally generated to help each play feel fresh, I dreaded the
repeated themes, rooms, and bosses that appeared in the dungeons. However, thanks
to the rewards, I preferred completing them to bolster my arsenal and weaken
Mormo in the final battle.

Each
hero has one life and a set number of days to defeat the villain. If that hero
succeeds, Mormo disappears for 100 years until the next hero rises. Statues are
erected in that hero’s honor, and the world becomes a little greener in the
evil ghost’s absence. However, if your hero falls, Mormo assumes control of
Ditto for 100 years until the next hero is chosen. In this case, the world
takes on a darker color palette, statues of the hero are torn down in favor of
monuments to Mormo, and NPCs are less optimistic. I love seeing Ditto’s state
continually improve or worsen based on my success or failure, but after
repeated victories or defeats, the changes become less noticeable.

The
roguelike elements help alleviate some of the repetition, but dying and losing
progress on a character is demoralizing. Thankfully, your money and shards you
looted from enemies carries over. You can also buy extra lives using your
shards, but they’re expensive and don’t get passed down to the next hero. However,
several secret upgrades are passed on to your next character, making for
rewarding exploration. From an orb hunt that adds extra days to each timeline,
to a quest that has you searching for baby penguins to upgrade your bomb
capacity, these meaningful diversions proved most helpful in my
multi-generational journey.

Despite
its repetitive nature, The Swords of Ditto delivers enjoyable combat and
enticing rewards to discover. I love seeing how the world changes based on how
I did as the prior hero, but much like The Swords of Ditto’s name implies, the
playthrough are too similar to feel like unique, standalone legends.



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