Sine Mora is not really a new game. It was originally released for the PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita and PC back in 2012 and missed the current generation consoles by more than a whole year. This has prompted the developers to attempt to bring it back with an enhanced version titled Sine Mora EX. While the base game is still the same fantastic experience, the improvements featured in the new ‘EX’ version of the game don’t appear to be worthwhile here if you have already played the original game at launch.
Sine Mora EX features a dark and gritty theme that touches upon some of the more sensitive subject matters of war. The narrative of the story is carefully laid out through text before the story missions and while the gameplay experience is top notch, some of the writing presented here is equally as brilliant and offers a glimpse at some of the realistic horrors of a large scale war. The developers deserve some praise here in the way they have implemented this aspect into the game while making sure that the story doesn’t become a hindrance to the gameplay.
So what exactly is new in this version of the game and what makes it worth a purchase if you have already played the original? Well to start it off, there is not much of an upgrade here as minor improvements. The general gameplay is the same but now more emphasis has been placed on co-op experience. There is also a new mode called the Versus mode that features 3 different types of gameplay modes: Race, Tanks and Dodgeball. The voice acting is improved while there are also some minor tweaks to the visuals.
The co-op mode of the game is of course best suited for Nintendo Switch. Honestly, I have been a big fan of how Nintendo Switch handles the co-op and Sine Mora EX is no exception here. The addition of co-op mode normally won’t be seen as a big deal, but the way it has been integrated here makes the Switch the definitive version of the game for me. The new versus modes can be fun to play with a co-op partner and while the story mode isn’t as exciting in co-op, the addition to play multiplayer there is welcome nonetheless.
Side-scrolling shooters are available in abundance so what exactly sets apart Sine Mora EX from these other shooters. There is actually a certain gameplay mechanic called Time Capsule which is not necessarily a new idea but still the execution here is great and adds to the overall experience. This lets you slow down time and works well during the bullet hell segments when the enemies is shooting a metric ton of bullets at you from almost every direction. If you use time capsule during such an event, you will be able to temporarily slow down the time and can dodge your way out of harm.
The traditional shooting is made better by the use of a power up mechanic, which is again another aspect that is not exactly a fresh idea but well executed here. It will force you to keep the ship powerful by killing enemies and then collecting firearm upgrade. Each upgrade that you will collect will increase your weapon fire and even improve it so it can fire in multiple directions. If you hit an enemy once you have atleast 2 upgrades installed on your ship, you will lose these upgrades and have to quickly get them before they drift away from you. This encourages you to stay active so you don’t make it harder to progress through each level.
While the PS4 and Xbox One already have received Sine Mora EX, the release of the Switch version came a little late. I was curious to see how the Switch version of the game stacked up against the PS4 and Xbox One and speaking of my own experience, I consider the Switch version to be the best version of the game. It looks nice enough on the big screen while it is beautiful to witness on the portable screen. The controls are simple and work well even for the co-op mode so it never feels like there is any compromise here for the Switch version.
Ultimately when it comes to Sine Mora EX, the price point is relatively cheap but it also matches the content of the game, which might be highly replayable but if you just go through the main story content, it won’t take you long to power through the whole story in a couple of hours. Thankfully you can also attempt some of the challenges or the versus mode to increase the replay value, and it is not really a bad proposition here considering the price of the game.
Sine Mora EX Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Sine Mora EX is a side-scrolling shoot'em up that provides a unique challenge, where time is the ultimate factor.
There is not a lot of new features to be excited about in Sine Mora EX but it does provide a solid side-scrolling shooter. The addition of co-op versus modes are a nice bonus to have and make it easier to recommend the Switch version.