I bought Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx when it was on sale back in April but put the game down when I couldn’t get a hang of the game mechanics. I decided to pick it up again and give it another go because after the experience I had with Dust & Neon, I needed to play a lighthearted game as a palate cleanser.
After spending countless hours playing Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx and watching an episode of the television show for this review, I can see why Ladybug is this generation’s magical girl superhero and how she was able to capture the hearts of so many! Honestly? She may have captured mine too!
Join heroes Ladybug and Cat Noir as they defend Paris once again against the plans of the nefarious supervillain Hawk Moth.
I watched an episode of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir and can confirm that the game plays like you’d expect from an episode of the hit animated series. It’s nothing groundbreaking but fans of the show will enjoy what this game provides because they will experience Ladybug and Cat Noir’s new adventure from the palm of their hand.
Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is an action-adventure platformer game and you progress the story by following the yellow arrow as indicated on the screen (I love it when games have a way to guide you and do it right.) As a side note: When exploring the town you can fast travel on the map by pressing the L button, selecting the map tab with the R button scrolling down with the directional pad, and pressing the A button over the location you wish to fast travel to. Sometimes to proceed to the next story objective you will have to use either Marinette or Adrien to talk to specific characters, so to switch between Paris’ beloved heroes “lucky charm” that ZR button.
One feature that I did find adorable was being able to raise your friendship level with certain characters depending on how you choose to respond to certain dialogue choices.
However, instead of heading straight to the next story objective, I recommend that you visit Master Fu in between story segments because he can upgrade Cat Noir’s and Ladybug’s abilities, and physical attributes such as health points, dexterity, and base attack in exchange for the orbs you collect as you navigate a boss level. Since the orbs you find on each boss stage are limited, you must choose what and who you want to prioritize first. Since I played as Ladybug for the majority of my first playthrough, she was the hero I prioritized, but when I had extra orbs to spare I made sure to upgrade Cat Noir’s health points.
Don’t worry if you can’t upgrade both characters substantially. After you beat the game once you have the option of starting new game plus and any upgrades that you made to the characters carry over! So if you focused more on Ladybug, then you could focus more on upgrading Cat Noir.
Now on to the boss stages in more detail!
In Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx boss stages is where you will experience all the action: such as battling enemies, platforming sections, and collecting orbs which are used as currency for Master Fu’s services. In addition, you can use the orbs as a guide of where to head next but I found that it wasn’t as reliable as the yellow arrow that’s always on your screen.
Each boss stage represents the boss you’ll be facing off against. For instance: Soundwave’s stage focuses on music so every area will have instruments for you to jump across or mixing boards for you to destroy to progress further. Pressing the Y button allows you to attack enemies and objects, but pressing Y repeatedly lets your main character do a combo attack and possibly stun enemies. Pressing X at the right time will allow your character to parry an attack. During boss battles parrying attacks at the right time (when a yellow exclamation point appears above the boss’ head) then you’ll stun the boss, their defenses will be broken, and they will be left wide open to attacks.
Pressing the B button allows you to jump onto platforms, but it’s also used to dodge attacks. When you see a red exclamation point appear above an enemy’s head then you can press B to effectively dodge incoming attacks. During the final moments of a boss battle, Ladybug and Cat Noir will team up (as seen in the television show) and you will have to press the corresponding button as it appears to execute special abilities (screenshots below.) This is done in such a cinematic way and it’s cool!
When battles got a little dicey, I just switched over to Cat Noir. Having two characters you can switch between comes in handy as the health of each character isn’t shared! So let’s say Ladybug is down to two hearts? Switch her out with Cat Noir and boom you have his full health!
After each battle, your health is restored so you won’t have to navigate a level with half health. The trade-off is that you will have to be careful during battles because if you run out of health it’s game over. So make sure you use the orbs that you collect early on to increase your health for both Cat Noir and Ladybug.
As you navigate levels you will see character-specific symbols in places where you will use a specific ability to progress. For example, if you see a ladybug symbol that means you have to use Ladybug to progress, or if you see a cat paw symbol that means you have to switch over to Cat Noir to progress.
One thing I noticed is that Cat Noir can be a better character to use during some platforming sections, I don’t know if it’s how he was designed but I seemed to have an easier time with some sections when I did play as him.
I ran into some weird but minor technical issues during my playthrough so here’s my short list:
- Load times are a little long
- I ran into minimal but noticeable lag during a boss battle, and when I was navigating at least two stages. It’s not game-breaking, but it did hinder my experience.
- This weird glitch didn’t happen all the time, but when I tried to move Marinette she would just spin around from where she stood, and not move in the direction that I would be pressing on my Joy-Con, it almost felt like it was unresponsive.
The in-game graphics are beautiful and capture the essence of the show in the video game. The animated cutscenes are also of the same quality from the show and are pretty to look at as well. Just check out this view!
Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx’s soundtrack isn’t amazing or mind-blowing but it is catchy. I caught myself dancing to some of the songs. The voices for the storytelling were on point as well.
These are the two renditions of the theme song I loved hearing in the game:
Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx offers a new game plus option upon beating the game once, and I’m on my second playthrough as I write this. This game gave me what I needed: a lighthearted story, and plenty of smiles.
Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx is a game to play if you are looking for something quick to play and lighthearted, and while it had minor technical issues I enjoyed what the game has to offer.
Miraculous: Rise of the Sphinx
Release date: October 25, 2022
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Developer: Magic Pockets
MSRP: $49.99 USD