In the same way that the jail Marchen’s feed upon entrapped living souls, so too will Mary Skelter 2 on your sanity. This is never entirely a bad thing, video games are rarely all bad, but persevering through this game does come at a cost.
I really did enjoy my 20+ hours with Mary Skelter 2, but with an extremely slow sense of progression and penchant for getting lost, I steadily grew angrier and angrier.
Developer: Idea Factory
Publisher: Idea Factory
21 Hours Played // Review Copy Provided // $39.99
I won’t really devote any parts of this review to the story as I didn’t get into any of the romance options or really want to pay any great attention to the storyline. There’s a bit of story thrown in here and there and it’s all fairly lighthearted as long as you can look past the basic plot of, people being trapped in jail and being eaten by monsters.
A Plethora of Mechanics
Mary Skelter 2 cleverly layers in numerous and interesting game functions such as romancing, stat enhancers, gear enhancements, risk and reward options, quests, and even hidden secrets. I could create a whole series of posts with each one explaining a specific mechanic but for now, take my word for it.
There’s enough here to make each element stand out but not necessarily be required, at least beyond a basic level. You don’t have to become an item master or romance master to progress through Mary Skelter 2 and that’s kind of freeing in its own way.
The more and more I play these Compile Heart-developed games the more I wish for other RPG developers to take note. Lean into these more risque dungeon crawlers, and add just as much functionality to their next title.
I feel that Nintendo Switch games like Mary Skelter 2 give a little something to everyone, and more importantly, a little something for the varied moods that exist within human beings.
If you want to mindlessly crawl through levels with auto-battle turned on you can do that. If you want to take the next 45 minutes and comb through your gear or change jobs for your characters you can do that too.
Mary Skelter 2 Characters
Mary Skelter 2 has some pretty lovable and fairly sexy characters. While it doesn’t progress down the more extreme lewdness of Moero Chronicle Hyper there’s more than enough here to make users stop at an age verification page, just to be sure.
A lot of the transformations and super moves, called Massacre or Blood Skelter, show a bit of skin and require carding at the door. I think Dragon Star Varnir pushes the skin showing a bit farther, with Mary Skelter 2 feeling safer than all of the previously mentioned.
Maddening Dungeon Exploration
Not to mention that it’s kind of fun sometimes to just run around and uncover hidden wall sections, doorways you swore were previously locked or using a new skill you just acquired on an earlier level.
Dungeon exploration is core to Mary Skelter 2 but it’s also one of the most cumbersome, time-draining things in the world. To lighten the load there’s auto navigation and auto battling which should help you make your way through each one-by-one pixel of the epically crafted environments.
Getting lost and not knowing where to go seems to increase the hellish nature that is Mary Skelter 2. I ended up getting lost way too many times which slowly turned my drive to continue playing into a thick sludge where I felt like I was unable to progress while getting hit in the face with random battle after battle.
Jobs, Abilities, and Combat
Mary Skelter 2’s combat and job system are well done. Considering this is one of the few places in the game where you’ll spend the most time this is a huge boost as to why I enjoyed this game so much.
The abilities vary from character to character, there are numerous jobs to pick from, the enemies look really badass, and the effects of all the blood splatters and attacks are well done. Not to mention that you can swap jobs at any time with no drawbacks.
The jobs and abilities of Mary Skelter 2 really help expand player freedom and make it less of a chore and more of a choice.
At the End of the Madness
Mary Skelter 2 isn’t perfect. The many hours spent wandering around the maps, getting lost, and not being able to find the next area was quite infuriating. But the game also does a whole slew of things way better than most other games out there.
It’s worth noting that Mary Skelter 2 also comes with the first installment, Mary Skelter: Nightmares. I didn’t get a chance to play it, maybe it’s worth another post at a future date but it’s worth knowing because most recommendations online will suggest playing Mary Skelter 2 before Nightmares.
The theme of the content may not be for everyone but I think this is one of the easier Compile Heart games to get into. I can wholly recommend Mary Skelter 2 to anyone that loves dungeon crawlers, turn-based combat, heavy doses of exploration, and a bit of patience.
Thanks for checking out this Nintendo Switch review of Mary Skelter 2. If you’re interested in reading some more go do yourself a favor and read our highly interesting Doom retrospective by Nestor. Also, be sure to follow us on YouTube and Twitter to get your unique doses of Nintendo Switch indie content.
An all-around gamer. I play a lot of PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch games. I love rogues and came around to shmups late in 2019. Sometimes the weirdest least hyped games are the best. I also swim, bike, run like a crazy man during the summer months. I’m not a huge fan of Metroidvanias but you can always try to change my mind. I’m kind of on a turn-based tactical RPG kick right now.