Scarlet Nexus Xbox Series X Review

Scarlet Nexus is one of Bandai Namco's best games and if you're a fan of anime this is something you don't want to miss out on.

By Grayshadow, Posted 04 Oct 2021

Anime games tend to focus on the fans of the source material and because of that, the games are usually of mediocre quality. They deliver a solid experience but never try to go beyond what is expected. Scarlet Nexus does more than what is expected of it and delivers something amazing. An extraordinary experience with a varied and tactical combat system with some bland side missions to extend the adventure. Scarlet Nexus is one of Bandai Namco's best games and if you're a fan of anime this is something you don't want to miss out on.

Scarlet Nexus,NoobFeed,

Scarlet Nexus takes place in an alternate reality where humans have developed technology to link brains together. This has manifested into an array of special abilities but not everything is fine in this world. Strange creatures called Others feed on human brains and to combat these threats the Other Suppression Force was created to defend humanity against these deadly monsters.

The story is split into 2 categories, Kasane Randall and Yuito Sumeragi. Each OSF member takes on a different path in this narrative similar to The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings where the player chooses 2 different routes. Each story will eventually collide but for a third of the adventure the player is given access to half the complete team. Encouraging players to replay the 30-hour adventure again to see the other side.

Cutscenes are wonderfully crafted. Instead of just having silted character models the scenes dynamically change over the course of the scene. Character portraits, the artwork of actions, and much more are shown as the scene plays out. The scenes are long and during vital story points they can play out for over 8 minutes but thanks to this system I was always engaged. Especially thanks to the great voice-acting.

This extends to the bond system. Similar to Persona players can bond with their allies by providing gifts and taking part in specific missions. It's barebones and you just need to shower them with gifts but these are significant to understanding each character since everyone has issues they must overcome. Whereas the main story only touches on these characters as they banter with one another these bond episodes provide extensive personality reveals into each character that fleshes them out. Whether it's Shiden's need for perfection, Tsugumi being distant, or Kagero's need to escape reality. The writers did an excellent job of highlight each character's mental hurdles while creating that sense of comradery. Giving gifts to try and trigger the next bond level can be tedious though since you have to grind for materials, can only give 1 gift at a time, and each gift requires small cutscenes of them thanking you.

Scarlet Nexus,NoobFeed,

Speaking of grind, Scarlet Nexus does not kid around with gathering materials. You'll need to do a lot of killing and exploration in the same areas to collect materials for certain items. Many of them are easy to find and have genetic names linked to the area but be prepared to revisit areas over and over again since certain items cannot be purchased, like gifts, and must be grinded for. Thankfully the combat is spectacular.

Combat is fast, tactical, and the best part of Scarlet Nexus. Players use a system called SAS to link brains together. This allows the player's allies to share abilities with the protagonist, giving them access to talents such as teleportation, invisibility, and much more. Each ability is incorporated into the combat system since enemies require specific skills to take down and since using these abilities comes with quick and flashy animation combat never suffers from this system.

At first, you're limited to 1 SAS ability per activation but as the game progresses you'll be able to link together multiple abilities. The progression tree is basic, you earn experience and place skill points into 1 of 4 categories that make you progressively stronger. By the end, you'll feel incredibly powerful but never unstoppable. The game is great at managing difficultly so you never feel like an unstoppable brute no matter how much you grind. Equipment is basic, you equip the best type of weapon and an array of plug-in chips to increase health, defense, attack, and protagonist exclusive bonuses. If you want added customization cosmetics are provided to the player that is also seen during cutscenes, which is a nice bonus.

Outside of SAS you have your basic attacks, uppercuts, and other melee attacks. You cannot directly control allies but they support you well enough. Your major form of attack comes in psychokinesis abilities that allow you to throw and pull down objects. These are excellent in dealing with heavy damage and triggering specialized attacks with heavy multiple blows through QTEs. You're expected to combine SAS, psychokinesis, and melee attacks for tactical strikes as damage taken is usually heavy but you can use items to heal damage or remove debuffs.

Scarlet Nexus,NoobFeed,

You can earn extra items and experience by completing side missions. These are bland kill the target or fetch the key item missions. It's clear these are here to pad out the experience and you don't need to complete them. They serve more as an added bonus.

Much of the game will have you fighting Others, supernatural demonic creatures that feast on human brains. These creatures look like a combination of human and ordinary objects that are simply unsettling. Each one has specific skills that sometimes require you to use SAS to take down such as heavily armored creatures or Others that move faster than sound. Because of this, you'll constantly be using SAS but in fast pace combat as you exploit enemy weaknesses to try and expose weak points to trigger a fatal blow. If triggered you can increase experience gain and be rewarded with a flashy execution. 

Sometimes you'll face human enemies but with the exception of boss fights, these are simple affairs. Human boss fights are one of the toughest in the game due to the health of the humans and sometimes focusing only on the protagonist. When facing 3 enemies who all target the human-controlled player, it can become frustrating. If you happen to die the game checkpoints and autosaving is available to ensure you don't lose too much progress.

After completing 1 side of the campaign you can replay the other with all progression. This ensures the second playthrough can be much easier and you can avoid the grind. It also provides you insight into the other character's journey along with exclusive bonding episodes to that person.

Scarlet Nexus,NoobFeed,

Scarlet Nexus fast-paced incredible combat, a rich story with complex and incredibly written characters, and fantastic boss fights set a new standard for anime-style games. It's one of the best games of 2021 and one of the best games I played from Bandai Namco. Other than some tedious side missions and heavy grinding Scarlet Nexus' amazing journey easily overshadows these. Scarlet Nexus goes above and beyond to deliver a high octane experience and while some of the narrative elements are ridiculous at times the strong characters and incredible combat keeps things under control until the credits roll.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Scarlet Nexus

90/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Developer(s): Bandai Namco, Tose
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: JRPG, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2021-06-25

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