When Daemon X Machina came out on the Nintendo Switch last September, I hadn’t even considered the possibility that it would be coming to other platforms. Even if I had, I wouldn’t have expected it to happen a mere five months after the original release. It’s probably for the best that XSEED and Marvelous were able to bring this spirital Armored Core successor to a new platform so soon, though.
While Daemon X Machina boasted addictive combat, gorgeous visuals, and oodles of customization, it definitely didn’t end up being the breakout hit that it deserved to be – read our review here. With the PC port of Daemon X Machina, all of that gorgeous mecha magnificence is being given a second chance to thrive, and while the re-release isn’t enough of an upgrade to warrant double-dipping, newcomers are definitely going to want to pick this game up on PC.
Daemon X Machina is one of those games that knew exactly what the Nintendo Switch hardware could do and crafted a perfectly stylised aesthetic that played into both the strengths and weaknesses of Nintendo’s hybrid handheld. Because of that, there isn’t nearly as much of a graphical difference between the Nintendo Switch and PC version of this game. Still, the PC version of the game boasts much higher resolution support, going up to 4K, that makes the hyper-stylised characters and environments pop even more than they already did.
Another technical upgrade that’s sure to please existing fans and newcomers alike is the massively upgraded framerate of the game. Daemon X Machina ran well enough on Nintendo Switch, but it never tried to reach 60 frames per second, and rarely buckled trying to maintain 30. Upon booting up the game on PC for the first time and popping into the graphics settings, I saw that the default framerate for the game had already been set to 200. Two hundred.
I never experienced anything short of perfectly smooth action as I played the game, with even especially demanding boss fights maintaining a vastly improved framerate over the original. Again, the Nintendo Switch release didn’t have poor performance, but once you see it on PC, it might be hard to go back.
It might also be tough to go back to the Nintendo Switch version of the game if you’re a fan of alternate control methods. The PC release of Daemon X Machina boasts full keyboard & mouse support, letting you ditch the controllers and gamepads for a slightly more tactile control method that’s sure to feel right at home for hardcore PC enthusiasts. As a tried-and-true pad warrior, though, I was happy to see that the game still had perfectly functioning controller support for me to play with instead.
In terms of content, there isn’t really anything new on offer here that you couldn’t experience in the original version of the game. This isn’t some re-worked remaster or a bundled Game of the Year Edition – it’s the same set of missions and items you’ll see in the Nintendo Switch version, save for a couple of anime-inspired DLC add-ons that haven’t made the jump to PC – these anime packs were only available in Japan though, so overseas players won’t even know they’re gone. Daemon X Machina already has a plethora of DLC available on the Nintendo Switch, but none of it is included in this PC release. There also aren’t store listings for said DLC yet, but I imagine those will go live once the game launches.
So, should you play Daemon X Machina on PC? If you never touched it before, you absolutely need to play this game no matter what platform you pick. For people who really live-or-die with the portability of Nintendo Switch games, you aren’t getting a massively inferior experience by sticking with the handheld. Playing on PC brings sharper resolution and a much more stable and smooth framerate, for sure, but none of it amounts to a night-and-day difference. Go with your heart and play the game on whichever machine speaks to you the most, because at the end of the day, you’re guaranteed to have a good time no matter how you play this game.