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Young Souls Switch Review – A Game That’s Lacking, Especially On Switch

Young Souls Switch Review – A Game That’s Lacking, Especially On Switch

With so many great games out there to play and such little time, it’s hard to be simply mediocre, and unfortunately that’s what I’d call Young Souls. It tries to bring RPG elements into a beat-em-up, but it fails to keep your interest due to the simplistic battle system.

Here’s the lowdown on the throwdown.

Promising at first but fails to stick the landing…

Young Souls Review
Image via The Arcade Crew

Young Souls‘ premise is promising at first. You’re a couple of brave teenagers trying to save their foster father in a fantasy setting with sword-based and sometimes magic-infused combat. The world feels alive, thanks to its striking art style and details around the city, and the dialogue reads naturally with curse words throughout. It gives a great first impression. However, as you dive into the combat, it gets repetitive fast.

Admittingly, I haven’t played many beat-em-ups over the years, but the reason behind that is the formula gets stale quickly. With ten to 12 hours of gameplay throughout Young Souls, the combat doesn’t justify its length, and the environments aren’t exciting enough to carry you through. The Streets of Rage series, meanwhile, switches it up with new areas to explore and weapons to utilize. There’s only so many times we can enter a cave and be thrilled by it in Young Souls, though.

You have a simple combo system with the ability to take your opponents in the air or down to the ground. Thankfully, there’s an ability with each weapon like a fireball or flashy combo, but those come from few and far between with Young Souls’ MP meter. It feels like there’s something missing, like a secondary button input to create more complex combos.

In addition, the bosses feel a bit derivative. From my gameplay experience, most of the encounters were based on dodging and then parrying a big enemy’s strikes. Most of the major bosses have their own personality, but this aspect of the game could have been further developed.

Awesome loot, bro

Image via The Arcade Crew

What helps alleviate some of the repetitveness is the loot you can collect throughout the game. After taking down a boss, I received Gilmore’s Axe, which causes Critical Dizzy effects and uninterrupted attacks. You feel like a badass wiping out foe after foe with it. It’s also cool to throw fireballs with the Pyromaniac’s Sword.

Some of the gear you can find in Young Souls’ dungeons are also stellar. The Viking and Leather Vest look epic on Tristan and Jenn as they demolish their opponents. I also enjoy how I can customize the heroes however I’d like with all sorts of neat styles from the city’s shops. The sneakers also give you specific upgrades like being able to sprint faster.

You can also upgrade your current weapons and armor to get even stronger in battle when you save certain blacksmiths and store owners.

The gameplay just feels unfinished. A bit more variety on the combat with an extra input and perhaps some interaction with the environment would have gone a long way to make it feel unique.

An intriguing story

Screenshot by Nintendo Link, Game by Arcade Crew and 1P2P Studio

Fantasy elements within a modern setting are always exciting, and Young Souls is no different. Rather than pulling its punches, the writing feels natural for the two protagonists of the game Jenn and Tristan. They say the expletives and show their weaker sides when the action gets too tough.

They’re the outcasts, the kids who don’t go to school, and they’re struggling with the idea of calling their foster father, Dad (the Professor). There’s a lot of drama festering within the two protagonists, and that’s honestly refreshing. What would have made this even better is if there was voice acting.

Now that the Professor is missing, they’re trying their best to save him from the evil forces underground and stop the antagonists from changing life on Earth as we know it.

Unfortunately, the antagonists are fairly one note. I can’t remember any of their names, and none of the dialogue from them felt particularly unique.

Gorgeous visuals hampered by technical issues

Image via The Arcade Crew

Sometimes, you just wish you could play a game on a different system, as the Switch is underpowered when compared to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox systems. And Young Souls is unfortunately one of those cases. When there’s a lot of action on screen, like many bombs being thrown at you at once, the frame rate will take a noticeable chug.

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You also wonder when trying to change your equipment if the game will crash. Young Souls freezes for around five to ten seconds, trying to load the menu up before jumping into the action once more. It feels janky at points, and in a beat-em-up, it’s essential to have a smooth frame rate. What doesn’t help are the long loading times that feel particularly annoying for a game of the beat-em-up genre.

On the other hand, Young Souls is mostly gorgeous. It has this eye-popping cartoon-like art style that would seem fit on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. How the characters move and animate is striking, despite its frame rate concerns.

While the underground caves and dungeons of Young Souls fail to impress, the overall look of the characters and settings really strike a chord. It’s awesome to explore the small town of Portsbourgh that the protagonists live. You can talk to strange denizens and walk around a main street that has obviously seen better days. There’s even a gym that lets you improve your characters’ attributes.

What makes Young Souls stand out further are the transitions from place to place. They’re well animated, stylized, and draw you closer to the game’s landscapes and atmosphere.

A disappointing brawl

Young Souls How To Sprint
Image via Arcade Crew

Young Souls has plenty of potential, but unfortunately it couldn’t bury the beat-em-up genre’s biggest flaw: a repetitive combat system. It tries to reinvent the wheel with RPG systems and cool loot but Young Souls doesn’t quite scratch the itch I wanted out of this game.

A review code was provided by the publisher.

Young Souls Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Publisher: The Arcade Crew
Release Date: March 10, 2022
Price: $24.99£22.49€24,99
Game Size: 5.3GB

Young Souls Review

A stunning cartoon-like art style.

Awesome loot and gear throughout.


The combat feels too repetitive for a 10-12 hour experience.

The game suffers performance wise.

Long loading screens.

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