Many people take earthquakes for granted until the day they experience the horrifying incident themselves. They’re unpredictable and can occur at any moment, even when taking a dump on the throne. Coincidentally, the player is able to release waste from their body in Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, too, while fearing the unforeseeable event.
As the male or female protagonist stranded in a city traveled to, many hardships will challenge progression and players must overcome each to advance further in the game. Some of the objectives are not necessary to participate in during a crisis, yet must still be done, resulting in the loss of any realistic appeal concerning the game’s story.
There are multiple decisions to choose from to shape what type of person the character will be perceived as. The game lets the player show off how much of a jerk they can be, the kindness they can express, and maybe even the inner desire for a romantic partner. Player choices are capable of directly affecting the reactions of non-playable characters interacted with.
Japanese voice acting is supported accompanied by English subtitles. Voices never feel repetitive or like an annoyance, although being unable to comprehend the language may have contributed to this.
Facing obstacles and overcoming them while managing to survive mother earth’s wrath makes up the heart of Disaster Report 4’s gameplay. Deciding between options to interact with the non-playable characters is just icing on the cake. Players will find themselves wandering throughout unstable lands attempting to trigger events, living in fear of the aftershocks.
Despite performance issues that are touched on later in this review, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories brings many interesting ideas to the table and it’s exciting to experience them for the first time. There are many unexpected events to unravel and experience although some can become tedious when struggling to complete them.
Earthquakes feel a bit realistic with the vibration of the controller. Surroundings can change because of the effects caused by earthquakes. No one is safe, not even the character being controlled. Actions can be taken to improve survival rate from random shaking or to save that innocent passerby. Not everyone can be saved, however, players may be capable of saving a person with quick reflexes.
The most difficult part of the game is its open-world exploration. Sometimes players may have to search every inch of an area to figure out what to do next. Sometimes players may even need to go back and forth in hopeless-feeling situations. Other times, players may want to rage quit until help arrives with a solution. It’s easy to frequently get stuck, however, overcoming the obstacle leaves the finest taste of satisfaction one can get, until at least you lose your bearings yet again.
If not for the many save points scattered throughout the damaged city, the fear of unfortunate circumstances would have been drastically heightened.
You’re on your own figuring out what button does what right at the start of the game. It doesn’t take much time to learn the controls and some tutorials along the way do help. After figuring out everything and becoming accustomed to the controls, they feel responsive and easy to use.
Performance and Graphics
The game’s graphics look promising at first, however, a closer look will reveal that it isn’t top of the line with the occasional framerate drops. You may be forced to play the guessing game on whether water is actually water or some dry, mucky substance, but at least it splashes when running through it.
Traveling to different areas of the game to partake in new segments prompt long loading screens. It’s bearable because of its informative knowledge to read and the fact that it takes a while to finish each segment, however, it can prove to be a minor annoyance to more impatient players.
It can become tiresome for some watching the protagonist in the same clothes throughout the entirety of the game. A nice minor addition that the developers included in Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is the ability to swap the clothes of the character. Progressing further in the game opens up options for new clothing choices.
The game has various hairstyles and hair colors to choose from. Even though it’s a grand addition, it suffers from the game’s poor optimizations. A hair color you chose may not seem like the hair color you’ve actually chosen when going live and walking in broad daylight. Accessibility is godsent with all of the bathroom mirrors available to modify appearances.
Besides the yelling from the non-playable characters, the game has sound effects to complement the atmosphere of the game. It compensates for the lack of casual background music throughout the game. The occasional dramatic music triggers at moments involving intense situations, helping to liven players up with the pressure situations emit.
Even though Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is not a disaster of a game in itself on the Nintendo Switch, it suffers from many performance issues. It’s a great survival action game with fantastic ideas to experience, however, if you’re easily bothered by framerate drops and other performance issues, it’s better to get the game on a different platform.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories gets a 6/10.