Daemon X Machina Has Evolved

Demo X Machina

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The Switch mech action title Daemon X Machina received a lukewarm reception after its demo earlier in the year. The much-anticipated release feels like its been a long time coming, with the game is due to release on the 13th of September. Nintendo’s big summer releases are starting to drop. With Super Mario Maker 2 just out and Fire Emblem and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 in the coming weeks it seems like they’re trying to build hype for Daemon X Machina‘s release. The title was seen again at this years E3 boasting some improvements, but it seems like its going to be an uphill battle to regain broad interest in this game.

When the Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions demo launched as a free demo on the switch eShop back in February there was a lot to love. Daemon X Machina‘s art style and setting seemed a perfect combination. The story may not have reinvented the wheel, but with a genre like mech games sticking to basics seems like a reasonable approach. Your mercenary also had a great amount of customization options, from character design through to equipment options. The demo did not include any multiplayer options which, as with most Switch games, is likely to be a big draw. Unfortunately, where the demo seemed to be lacking was in gameplay.

Daemon X Machina looked like an pretty wild robot-fighting title, but the interface often made the experience confusing. Small, fast moving enemies made combat feel a chore simply because they were so hard to see, let alone target. It proved to be a slightly disorientating experience. Based on the improvements highlighted in the new trailer it seems like most players had the same issues.

So what has been done to improve the experience? The radar has been altered to make tracking enemies, and consequently everything else, easier. New indicators show you where enemy fire is coming from. There’s also new equipment so you can lock on to enemy fire. A couple of other ease of play and gameplay enhancements seem geared toward making this a more frenetic experience.

The Daemon X Machina demo was pretty explicit it was an early version for feedback purposes. Unlike selling a game in alpha, or even crowd-funding it, this was given free. It had flaws. They sound like they’ve been fixed. In theory this is exactly what ‘gamers’ should want. Despite this there remains a lot of negativity surrounding the game. With view and click driven media that tends to push toward one extreme or the other is it just easier to abandon this game as ‘bad’? Can a lackluster demo bury your game permanently? It’s going to be an interesting ride to see not just how much Daemon X Machina has improved, but if its given the chance the demonstrate this fact, and if it can turn these improvements into sales.

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Matt Crofts
Matt is the SFFN's Retro Editor, focusing on all things old but interesting, including (but not limited to!) books, movies and video games. As a researcher in Gothic literature Matt also has an affinity for black cats, Hammer horror, and all things Dracula.