8W - 11W
Cassette Beasts was provided by Raw Fury for review. Thank you!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have Pokemon mix with old-timey cassette tapes? No? Well it's time to change that! Cassette Beasts is an open-world RPG where you will capture, train, and battle using 120 monster forms you capture on, that's right, Cassette Tapes. Explore the dangerous island of New Wirral alone or in local co-op to take on the beasts that roam the land. You can fuse monster forms to create new and improved monsters, as well as utilize the elemental system to inflict strategic status ailments to aid you in battle. You can even find and establish partners that could lead to optional romances! All of this and more awaits you in the world of Cassette Beasts.
Cassette Beasts is one of those games that grew on me the more I played it. The prologue felt a little slow, but after that, I was set onto the world without any restraints. That openness is something I love, especially in games like this. The fusion system is really awesome too, being able to facilitate a brand new monster with increased stats can change the tide of battle completely, though it isn't permanent and I kinda wish it was. I think it is a cool concept and being able to fuse monsters to permanently use would be really cool.
I also enjoy some of the little features they added in that make the experience feel more complete like relationships with your partners, local co-op, endgame content, and the sticker system (used to give your monster forms new moves). I love that the devs are also prioritizing mod support, ensuring this game could live on for awhile depending on the community. I have a good feeling though and what's here does a great job, and for the most part, it holds up on the Steam Deck without any changes.
This is one of the games I actually went back and forth on before giving the Best on Deck rating/badge, but in the end, it won me over. In regards to the in-game settings, Cassette Beasts runs optimally as most settings don't change drain enough to justify turning off. It drains a little more than I would like it to (10W - 12W), and there is some noticeable stuttering when loading into new areas or going across an area fast, but it is overall a great experience out of the box.
I did also notice some areas or small cutscenes that made the game drain a lot more than it should, but for the most part, this wasn't an issue.
Personally, the battery drain feels a bit high and I decided to take things a step further to see if I could save as much battery as possible. I decided to try forcing a resolution through SteamOS, 800x500, and upscale using the "Nearest" setting due to the pixelated nature of the game. After forcing, I did need to select it in the in-game settings and make sure fullscreen was turned off, but otherwise, it worked extremely well. My only gripe would be the text being not as clear, but it ended up bringing my average battery drain down by 2W, keeping it under 10W for the majority of the time.
I personally prefer playing this way as the extra battery and lower temps appeal to me, but it isn't my recommended build due to the text looking less readable. You can choose other higher resolutions to mitigate this, but you won't save as much battery. If you are going to try, make sure to choose 16:10 resolutions so you can continue to utilize the full Deck screen (800x500, 1024x640, 1280x800).
Cassette Beasts supports these 16:10 resolutions, as well as has full controller support and cloud saves.
Cassette Beasts is a stylish and fantastic take on the monster catching/battling formula. The unique mechanics like fusing and stickers, as well as the additions of local co-op, romances, and a mix of 2D + 3D environments all help this game stand out from others like it. And while it has some minor inconveniences like the stuttering and higher battery drain out of the box, the game runs extremely well on the Steam Deck and has earned that Best on Deck badge.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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Cassette Beasts is a great take on the monster catching/battling genre with some interesting new ideas and refinement of some others. It has a couple very small hiccups on Steam Deck, but these are easy to overlook and I would highly recommend the game on-the-go!
No Forced Compatibility
Force resolution to 800x500 and check the "Internal and External" box
8W - 11W
57c - 63c
4 - 4.5 hours