Originally planned for release on the PlayStation 3 in 2011, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories had very unfortunate timing as it was supposed to come out around the same time Japan was struck with a devastating earthquake and tsunami. The game would ultimately be cancelled after delaying it because of not being ready for release. If you want to learn more about it, there are some articles out there you can read, because ultimately the average gamer just isn’t going to care.
I had an interest in this one because it was being brought stateside by NIS America, a publishing company that I have nothing but the highest regard for. I appreciate the fact that they release games here that we would typically never see in the United States. I could list for you a plethora of titles they have brought to us that have become some of my favorite games. This one, however, ranks somewhere around RBI Baseball (any year) for the Switch – uninspired and bland with terrible gameplay mechanics. I’m baffled as to how a game this poorly constructed ends up releasing to the public. I expect more, but I also understand trying to recoup some investment dollars. But please, don’t spend your money unless you absolutely understand that this is one of the worst games I have played on the Switch.
I have a glass half full outlook on the games I play. There are very few titles I have played in my 30+ (and I mean PLUS) years in the industry that I couldn’t find something good to say about some aspect of them. Sadly, this is one of them. From the moment you start the extremely boring process of setting up the back story for your soon to be disaster victim to that precise instant where you start to reconsider playing games at all anymore, I couldn’t give you a single redeeming quality to build upon for an interesting review.
The graphics are unfinished and uninspired. Character models are bland and lack any character at all. I would expect this from something created for the Nintendo 64 or the original PlayStation when they were just starting to figure out how to make 3D games. In fact, they still did it better back then. I lost count of the times when I got hung up on something that didn’t appear to be there.
There were very few signs as to where the game wanted you to go for story progression. The game places you in the thick of things but doesn’t give you a real understanding of your end goal. Are you trying to get to a job interview, or maybe you were on your way to work, or perhaps just heading back home? As you walk aimlessly, you are rescued by randomly walking too close to someone who talks to you. You then decide how to respond to them. Once you do, you have no clue where you are supposed to go. I walked under a building and I was actually glad that it collapsed and killed my protagonist. At least something happened. I learned not to walk under buildings that could fall, but everywhere you looked, there was something about ready to fall. There wasn’t a safe area on the street. I decided to help this teacher find her students. This act led to walking inside buildings that just previously fell down and crushed me. Crawling through tight corridors under buildings that, again, just crushed me earlier. The game doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Once I got this teacher and her three students through, I was given the chance to decide which one I liked and would try to give my hand to. So… during a disaster where death is looming all around (and on!) every corner, I am going to decide to try to hit on one of these young women? I get that it’s a game, but it’s not much of one so why would I bother?
I did find one thing funny, especially considering our current plight in 2020. I had to find toilet paper for a man who was in the bathroom of a store that was apparently out of toilet paper. I also had to find water for a hurt individual even though there were liquid filled bottles all around the store. More of the same conundrums greeted me with each passing minute I played and they were all insane.
I can’t recommend this game for anyone, except for maybe those people that like bad movies or ironically play a game for laughs. Disaster Report 4 does feature a free demo on the eShop for those really curious to see what a train wreck of a game looks like. I can’t, in good conscience, give you the hope that you might find something you like though. I’d suggest avoiding this one all together. There are plenty more games on the Switch worthy of your attention.
Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories Review
- Graphics - 4/104/10
- Sound - 4/104/10
- Gameplay - 4/104/10
- Lasting Appeal - 3/103/10
Final Thoughts: BAD
No. Just…. No. Find something else to play. Terrible controls on top of poor writing on top of confusing and boring gameplay makes Disaster Report 4 a game I wouldn’t pick up in the bargain bin where they give you 99% off.