The Tale of Clouds and Wind Switch review

The Tale of Clouds and Wind is the latest entry into QUByte Interactive’s Classic range. It was originally released as a Hong Kong Mega Drive title in the 90s before resurfacing again as an unlicensed indie title in 2015. Water Margin: The Tale of Clouds and Wind, to give its full title, was then quickly ported to Steam and has found more life on modern consoles. The new versions have stripped all the stolen art assets from the original Hong Kong version and replaced them with new art. It’s out now on Xbox, Switch and PlayStation.

The gameplay is exactly what you would expect from a 90s beat ’em-up. You trawl the streets as one of three hardened warriors. As well as the special spells, you have a standing and jumping attack, running and back attacks. You are tasked with taking out an evil villain and each level ends with a tough boss fight that will drain your lives. Luckily for you though, every 50,000 points you collect will reward you with an extra life. You’ll need all of those extra lives considering the enemies become cunning and powerful in the later game. 

However, The Tale of Clouds and Wind has some help for you on your journey. Health packs, bonus points, and special spells appear when you break barrels. You will appreciate the food drops as these come few and far between and usually after a fight with a mid-level boss. The special spells are a lifeline and help clear a screen that is getting crowded with foes. You can hold more than one of them and the attacks look devastating when unleashed. Some different weapons would have helped the gameplay but the specials make up for it.

Each enemy has a different attack pattern, strength and life. You will need to learn how to avoid their attacks if you hope to survive. You’ll also need to learn when to attack to break into a combo or use jabs here and there while avoiding attacks. Most enemies have one or two ways to take you down and this does help create depth to the gameplay. Some bosses are difficult, but each has a pattern that can be learned. Things improve during the co-op mode as you partner up to stop foes from getting into their attacks.

  • The Tale of Clouds and Wind screenshot 1
  • Charge attack
  • The Tale of Clouds and Wind screenshot 2
  • The Tale of Clouds and Wind screenshot 3
  • Special attack

Included are a few extra options such as screen filters to make the experience as close as possible to the original CRT feel this game would’ve had. You can also remap the controls through the emulation overlay and it’s advised to switch the jump and special attack buttons, at least for the Switch version. This made pulling off jump attacks easier and helped with selecting the next magic to use as a special. The controls are generally tight and any mistake are your own and it will take many playthroughs to master.

Graphically, The Tale of Clouds and Wind is decent but not outstanding. Most of the characters look generic but there’s some great animation and the stage backgrounds look excellent. The music is also good and has lots of variety in tracks that pump along. It’s great fun to play though and fans of the genre or those wanting a new arcade game to try should check out The Tale of Clouds and Wind. It may not be doing anything new but has everything you want from a brawler and is works great in co-op mode.

Thank you QUByte Interactive for sending a review code.