Sometimes I found myself just surfing the PlayStation store rather than actually playing a game. Most of the time I do not even know what I’m looking for. Often when I come across a game I think I may like I’ll say to myself “I’ll try this one out someday”. That day rarely comes to fruition, as I just go back to what I typically play. However, in one instance I decided to go for it and make a purchase. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up The Swords of Ditto, by One Bit Beyond. A little game with a big heart and some cool elements.
On the island of Ditto or Dittokon or whichever name the world decides to generate for itself, you are the Sword, a chosen warrior tasked with defeating the evil Mormo. A powerful being that reigns down her evil on the island every hundred years. In order to stop her, you have to grow in power and level up the sword to be able to enter her castle and take her down.
The plot here is simple enough. Get items, in this case, they are called toys, fight monsters to get better toys, then fight the big bad guy. There is no game breaking quest line present, but the main story here works with the scope of the game. Giving the player a straightforward goal to reach.
Along your journey, you will come across some zany characters that either help you or give you some side quests. One of the main NPCs you encounter is a not-so-funny dung beetle named Puku, who is the keeper of the Swords and helps you in your quest to defeat Mormo. He either tells you where to go or will crack a joke that never really lands. Another interesting character you will see is a mystical whale called Serendipity, who grants the player more time to grow in power to face Mormo better equipped. This is where the core gameplay sets in.
The Swords of Ditto is a couch co-op game that plays like some of the Legend of Zelda games. A lot, actually. You have five in-game days to prepare for the fight with Mormo. If you run out of time and are still looking for better toys, too bad. Time to face the baddie. That is where Serendipity comes in. You can find her statues throughout the island and with some coins, you can pay to gain more days to prepare. You better find her quick though. If you don’t discover her statue the first time and die, you can lose some important items. This happened to me once and it was quite frustrating to get all those items back. This “days left” mechanic is a big reminder of Majora’s Mask. Now if you want to take ideas from that game, I say go for it. That game was phenomenal.
Where The Swords of Ditto really shines is with its combat, and the toys you use to take down enemies. During your adventures, you will come across multiple dungeons with all sorts of puzzles, monsters, and sweet loot. The cool thing is that you need certain toys to progress in certain dungeons. One dungeon might require you to have the drone toy, so you can fly it around the room opening doors to move on.
The combat itself is very fun and fluid. You have your trusty sword and an array of different toys and items to take down monsters. Your sword attacks have a three hit combo that gets pretty button mashy after a while but fits in well with the toys. You can also dodge roll to avoid enemy attacks.
Some of the toys are pretty cool and unique to use. One of my favorites is the Super Size Suit, which lets you grow three times your size. The only downside of using this is that you can’t do damage to enemies, but you can stun them to death. Leaving them vulnerable to attacks, which comes in handy when playing multiplayer co-op. Plus while using the suit my friend and I discovered a funny little bug that turns your character really small if you cut the suit turning animation off while leaving a house. Be careful not to rely too heavily on your toys, because that drains your toy power. Toy power is basically the stamina you have for using toys. Some toys use more of the meter while others rarely use any. But there are items, called stickers, that may help with that.
Alongside the toys you pick up throughout your playthrough, you will also accumulate stickers. Stickers are essentially pieces of armor or items that can give you boosts to your character. Some stickers grant you more health or make your toys use less TP (Toy Power) while some, like the LocoRoco, let you roll endlessly after executing a dodge roll. A majority of them are pretty useful and some of them I never looked twice at equipping them.
By far the most unique thing about this game is the way it looks. The art direction and aesthetics are just simply amazing. It has that cartoon look to it and it just nails it on the head. All of the animations, monster designs, and environmental design just make the game stand out from anything else. I found myself just wandering around looking for monsters to fight or dungeons to explore just to see more of the game.