Curse of the Stars Revew – A Solid Indie Action-Adventure – WGB, Home of AWESOME Reviews

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is one more sport in an extended line of video games that desires to liken itself to the “souls” style regardless of truly having little or no in frequent with From Software program’s need to beat folks into submission. Other than an absence of a map and shedding some sources if you die, Asterigos has nothing to do with Darkish Souls or its ilk, however that doesn’t imply it’s missing in good qualities. Whereas it may not provide something new or groundbreaking there’s a solidly designed action-RPG right here that gives a variety of content material for a comparatively low value, and for the proper individual that’s going to be a killer deal.

As younger, pixie-faced Hilda, a full-fledged member of the Northwind elite preventing drive, you get thrust into the center of an already unfolding drama within the metropolis of Athes. Some unusual curse has befallen town, individuals are mutating into monsters and warring factions have divided the realm. Though Hilda’s mission is to determine what occurred to the earlier Northwind troopers despatched to town with a view to discover a treatment for his or her cursed King, she is rapidly pulled into the politics, tradition, and ongoing catastrophe of Athes. To seek out her fellow Northwind troopers, led by her Father, Hilda goes to must work along with Minerva and co to hopefully elevate the curse and uncover what is going on.

It’s clear the builders have been serious about Asterigos for a very long time as a result of there are heaps of lore and particulars to find for anybody keen to delve into the varied dialogue choices or learn via the library’s value of paperwork scattered across the place like a submitting system being run by an enthusiastic pet. Even skimming this non-obligatory content material fleshes out numerous factions, their relationships, character’s objectives, the magic and tradition of town and its folks, and extra. It’s fairly dry studying, thoughts you, and whereas the principle dialogue choices are all voiced the non-obligatory ones will not be, leading to a complete lot extra studying. There’s additionally a difficulty with the standard of voiced traces versus voiceless ones – the previous lacks a lot persona or aptitude however not less than flows considerably naturally, whereas the latter is delivered far more like a barrage of exposition written by another person fully. I is likely to be manner off in my guess right here, but it surely looks as if the principle storyline dialogue was written after which the whole lot else was handed off to different folks within the staff. That’s commonplace, however the distinction isn’t usually so pronounced.

Obtainable On: Xbox, Ps, PC
Reviewed On: PS5
Developed By: Acme Gamestudio
Revealed By: Tinybuild
Overview code provided by the writer.

The Brief Model: An honest action-adventure with a large marketing campaign and gentle Souls-like parts.

Closely based mostly in historic Greek and Roman tradition, Asterigos makes use of this to combine in a variety of totally different themes, from the huge class divides to a dislike and mistrust of outsiders. There’s rather a lot occurring on this planet, most of which matches largely ignored or unexplored. It’s principally used to flesh Athes out and make it really feel like a much bigger, residing place with a historical past and a future.

Being younger and inexperienced, Hilda’s fundamental theme all through the sport is that actions have penalties, particularly if you make selections impulsively in a fancy scenario of which you will have virtually no information. She has to navigate an unfamiliar metropolis inhabited by individuals who have lived for lots of of years and at the moment are embroiled in a civil struggle of types. It’s a robust concept and provides’s the courageous, curious, and likable Hilda a superb story arc, however very often the “consequences” don’t really feel critical sufficient as a result of the whole lot nonetheless works out for the most effective even whereas the opposite characters berate Hilda for taking issues into her personal fingers. It’s just like the story can’t fairly resolve if it needs Hilda to be taught and develop, or to have her because the badass hero who’s at all times proper and so there’s a barely awkward middle-ground the place she is technically incorrect however her actions don’t result in something too disastrous.

In the event you’re keen to pore via the varied additional dialogue choices and paperwork then there’s undoubtedly rather a lot to be gained from the story, however personally, I discovered it an excessive amount of of a slog and thus solely evenly skimmed the additional materials. The primary storyline is the place I targeted and it was principally simply high-quality. Okay characters and an okay plot left me ready for a twist or huge story beat that by no means got here. I by no means felt engaged or cared about any of the characters. I do admire the a number of endings, nevertheless, and that the actions which affect which one you get aren’t clearly signposted. I don’t suppose it’s value going again via the entire sport to see them, thoughts you.

One of many traits of the Souls style that Asterigos copies is the dearth of a map, pushing you to as an alternative navigate by reminiscence whereas unlocking quite a few shortcuts that can assist you get round faster, and later a teleport system as nicely. In the event you occur to be directionally challenged, like me, it may be a bit irritating, particularly when areas are linked by non-descript little doorways or the best way ahead feels intentionally obtuse. For instance, you would possibly sensibly count on the following space to be via the place you fought the primary boss, when in reality it’s worthwhile to head again on the Shelter (your property base) and undergo a nondescript gate that no person mentions. It doesn’t fairly make sense right here, both: you’re shifting via an outdated metropolis whose inhabitants are 1000’s of years outdated, and but by some means no person has a map and no person appears inclined to present you instructions. Nonetheless, I do admire the satisfaction of studying the format, even when I do want Asterigos terrain was a bit extra fascinating to help in that endeavor – a variety of boring, linear corridors or samey-looking areas could make remembering instructions tough.

Regardless of her petite measurement Hilda by some means manages to return packing 5 totally different weapons because of her homeland’s fancy remodeling weapon tech; sword and protect, hammer, magic workers, gauntlets, and spear are your decisions, all of which clearly do barely various things. The workers is a long-range alternative that lets Hilda toss out bolts of magic, the gauntlets are good for crow management and the hammer is helpful for woodwork tasks or shelling out numerous harm. Two weapons could be geared up at any time and you’ll launch assaults both by urgent one button or the opposite, together with some quite simple combos. Every weapon additionally comes with a particular Method, such because the Spear having the ability to parry incoming assaults earlier than launching a robust counterstrike. And for protection, there’s the usual dodge roll which may’t be spammed resulting from a easy stamina system. There’s a slight delay to all of the inputs that I discovered annoying however simple sufficient to compensate for.

Asterigos does take slightly little bit of affect from Darkish Souls in its fight, not less than within the sense that there’s a barely slower tempo with an emphasis on delivering just a few hits earlier than getting out of the best way. You possibly can’t at all times cancel out of your strikes with a dodge, so over-committing to an assault is foolhardy. On medium and laborious the enemy can fairly simply decimate your well being bar, although well being potions are fairly plentiful, so you might be inspired to be pretty cautious. In fact, you’ll be able to drop right down to simple, at which level Asterigos turns into extra like a breezy motion sport, and fairly frankly I most well-liked it this fashion.

Why did I favor the simpler mode? The issue is that throughout the 20+ hours it takes to complete Asterigos I did discover the gameplay wasn’t capable of maintain my enjoyment. About midway via it was beginning to drag as a result of the fight and gameplay by no means evolves. Get in, land some hits, parry/dodge and repeat the method whereas throwing within the occasional particular talent. It’s a fight system we’ve seen so many instances now and Asterigos doesn’t do something particular with it, nor does it really feel dangerous. It’s simply okay, and okay doesn’t fairly get the job executed in a prolonged sport like this the place fight is the most typical gameplay aspect. By dropping right down to simple, I discovered I used to be capable of benefit from the expertise extra as an alternative of feeling exasperated on the considered one other similar, plodding combat, particularly on the toughest setting the place enemies begin to really feel like strolling sponges and might dish out insta-death combos.

There are some huge points with the enemy AI and the way oblivious they are often to your existence. You possibly can simply bait a single foe away from a gaggle whereas the others seem untroubled by the sudden barrage of fireballs, and it’s equally potential to get right into a combat with one or two enemies whereas the remaining stand just a few toes away, stoically ignoring your continued makes an attempt to homicide all of them. It actually makes it really feel such as you’ve cheesed your manner via a variety of fights, and it’s additionally fairly simple to jog via enemies if you happen to’re feeling lazy.

Customizing Hilda and leveling her up are dealt with via a few methods, beginning with primary attribute factors which could be poured into rising primary harm, well being, or the facility of magical assaults/skills. Talent factors get tossed right into a round star constellation menu the place you unlock interlinking perks and expertise. As much as 4 expertise could be mapped at any given time and let Hilda do some cool stuff like hurling her spear via enemies or coming into particular stances. They add slightly spice to the in any other case pretty bland fight. Perks are extra fascinating as a result of they are often activated or deactivated at will and aren’t as easy as merely providing a bonus. No, they sometimes include drawbacks, too, and even substitute a transfer utterly. It makes them extra fascinating to consider, and permits extra room to change how Hilda fights.

There’s no loot to be present in Asterigos. As an alternative, Hilda can equip particular trinkets that provide totally different advantages, or her gear could be upgraded by visiting the uber-friendly smith again on the Shelter who can even enhance her particular elemental jewels. Don’t get too excited, although; it’s only a easy system the place you’ll be able to swap between 4 varieties of elemental varieties to imbue your assaults with. Engaged on all this gear requires quite a few totally different useful resource varieties, so as an alternative of wandering off the overwhelmed path within the hopes of discovering a legendary sword that somebody left mendacity round in a barrel, you amble round on the lookout for chests containing some Starite or Orichalchum. It’s…yeah, it’s not very thrilling. I discovered exploring to be a chore as a result of the rewards have been at all times simply extra sources (half of which I might by no means preserve monitor of. Severely, why do we want so many varieties?) or perhaps a Mimic disguised as a treasure chest. There are a few side-quests to seek out off the overwhelmed path, however these are principally forgettable, too.

Leveling up might be the strongest a part of the sport as a result of there’s an affordable quantity of room to tinker with how Hilda approaches to fight, whether or not that’s specializing in powering up the workers for long-ranged work or swapping out perks to give attention to having the ability to deal big harm whereas additionally being liable to dying if anybody a lot as sneezes in your basic route. It’s not as versatile or as extensive as different methods – you’ll be able to’t flip Hilda right into a pure magic wielder, for instance – however you stage up at a pleasant clip, so there’s at all times a way of development that I actually preferred.

Given the sheer quantity of textual content, it’s very clear that Asterigos is a piece of affection for Acme Gamestudio. They clearly spent a variety of time crafting their world and their lore, and that keenness comes via. However they’ve struggled to convey all of it to the participant, delivering a reasonably flat story with only a few sturdy characters or impactful moments. The fight, too, lacks affect. Had the entire marketing campaign clocked in at 10 hours or so I feel Asterigos would have benefited as a result of the fight wouldn’t have outstayed its welcome and the story might have been a lot tighter. At 20+ hours, although, a variety of time is spent both wandering across the forgettable areas in the hunt for the following goal or preventing one more creature.

In the end, I’ve seen the whole lot Asterigos gives many, many different instances in different video games. That doesn’t make Asterigos dangerous, but it surely does make it really feel fairly commonplace. As such, I wouldn’t advocate it for almost all of individuals. I might, nevertheless, advocate it to the followers of this fashion of sport who’re glad to just accept that Asterigos doesn’t break any limitations and simply desire a strong journey in a brand new world.

Score: 3 out of 5.

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