Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch review for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PS4, PS5, PC
Editor: Microids
Developer: Aesir Interactive
Environment: Digital/Disc/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: Not

As strange as it sounds, a big part of what drew me to Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch was its box art. Between the color palette and the character on a horse, the game gave me some vague Breath of the Wild vibes. Obviously, given that Horse Tales is about restoring a family estate to its former glory, we’re not talking about a game that’s even remotely Zelda-ish, but still – with its whole story of exploring an open island and discovering the island. secrets, I didn’t think it was too much to ask that the game could provide some fun exploration.

It took about 30 seconds for those hopes to be dashed. My character got off a boat, stepped onto the island… and the game immediately froze for about a minute. It just stopped working. And when it started working again, everything looked like splotches of color scattered across the screen for a few long moments, until it finally recovered.

The good news is that the complete freeze was a one-off event. Horse Tales slowed down considerably at regular intervals, but never completely stopped working after that.

Spots, however, were quite common. No matter what I did, no matter what was on the screen, out of nowhere, everything on the screen would basically dissolve into blobs of color. Let me put it this way: Horse Tales’ performance was so abysmal, it made Sonic Frontiers on Switch look like a graphical masterpiece.

That wasn’t the only thing wrong with Horse Stories either. It also suffers from a terrible camera that you have to constantly readjust and that regularly gets stuck behind trees and mountains. It doesn’t move very fast, either, so if you’re doing something that requires you to see where you’re going — say, a horse race, which is one of the game’s core activities — you’ll have to be okay with riding blind. for a few seconds while the game reaches the level you are doing.

The biggest problem with Horse Tales, however, is that the game just isn’t very fun. While there’s room for exploration, it’s kind of ruined by the constant fetch quests and grinding that make up most of the game. You will be sent from one side of the island to another to find something or someone and then once you arrive they will send you back to where you started to get an item that you need to bring back. Plus there are the usual horse races where you have to compete to build up your fame and unlock more buildings – except they’re hampered by the bad camera and buggy graphics, and your margin for error in most these races are literally zero. . Once you escape, you’ll have no chance of matching the best time on the leaderboards, and if you can’t do that, you can’t advance the game properly.

I know that as a middle-aged man I’m not the target audience for a game about rebuilding your family’s estate and bonding with your horse. At the same time, though, I can’t imagine that those who would be interested in it would want to put up with it either. Horse Tales plays poorly and performs even worse and is bound to disappoint anyone who picks it up.

Microids provided us with a Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch cheat code for review purposes.

Note: D+

Producer: Maximum games
ESRB rating:

New from: $50.00 In stock
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