Astria Ascending is a phenomenal hand-drawn RPG set in a vibrant world and has a twisting narrative crammed with loads of sacrifice and betrayal. It’s undoubtedly been influenced by traditional Japanese RPGs, which isn’t a shock when you think about that a few of its growth crew have beforehand labored on the Closing Fantasy franchise. Whereas it clearly has old style roots the gameplay has some a lot wanted high quality of life enhancements, though these are sadly not sufficient to cease the sport from feeling somewhat bit too grindy at occasions.
The sport is about on the earth of Orcanon, a various place crammed with a number of completely different races who’re all capable of stay collectively peacefully because of the facility of Concord. Each three years plenty of individuals are chosen to turn out to be demi-gods and are given nice energy with a view to defend the world. Whereas it’s an important honour to be chosen it’s additionally considerably bittersweet. The facility they get is restricted to simply three years and as soon as it’s gone they cross on from this world.
The present group of eight demi-gods has simply three months left of their time period and a few of them are dealing with this higher than others. Regardless of having labored collectively for the previous couple of years they don’t appear to significantly like one another. Listening to them make derogatory remarks about one another’s race doesn’t precisely endear them to you and it does make you query this supposedly harmonious world.
You’d hope that with the principle metropolis coming underneath assault from monsters the demi-gods would be capable of put apart their variations and pull collectively. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case. As you journey throughout the world you’ll discover out extra about everybody’s background, however lots of the issues that get revealed aren’t significantly fascinating and a number of the story twists are pretty predictable. There doesn’t appear to be a lot character growth both, which implies that by the point the tip credit roll round you’ll surprise what the purpose of all of it was.
Whereas the story falls somewhat flat the gameplay is the place issues decide up a bit. A lot of your time might be spent exploring the numerous dungeons the place you’ll must make your method by way of 2D fields by leaping throughout platforms and fixing puzzles utilizing your elemental powers. None of those sections are significantly difficult however they add a enjoyable dynamic to the dungeons and assist to interrupt up the numerous fights you’ll encounter.
Certainly, the dungeons are completely teeming with enemies and as quickly as you contact one you’ll be whisked away to a battlefield for some flip primarily based fight. Monsters can fairly simply thrash you if you happen to don’t take note of the Focus system. Hitting an enemy’s weak spot will provide you with a spotlight level which it can save you as much as massively increase your subsequent assault. After all, enemies can even do the identical to you which of them is why it’s vital to concentrate to everybody’s strengths and weaknesses.
Some fights can really feel somewhat unfair, with enemies which have the power to solid spells that may stun your entire occasion for plenty of turns. Having to sit down round and watch because the unhealthy guys lower away giant chunks of your well being might be very irritating. It‘s fairly straightforward to really feel overwhelmed in each new dungeon you enter, so that you’ll find yourself grinding away to be sure to’re sturdy sufficient to outlive every encounter.
Each demi-god has a branching talent tree the place you’ll be capable of unlock new skills and better stats through the use of factors gained from battle. As there are completely different pathways to take it actually appears like you may tailor every character in no matter method you assume is greatest. There’s an nearly dizzying variety of methods to construct every character particularly whenever you begin unlocking new job courses.
The sport is fairly versatile, not simply in the way you stage up your characters, but in addition in the way you need to play. If you wish to make the sport really feel extra retro then you might have the choice to solely have characters who take part in battle acquire expertise. However, if you happen to’re searching for a extra streamlined journey then you may allow the choices that allow you to see weaknesses with out scanning each enemy, or see treasure chests and quest icons on the in-game map. Having the ability to save anyplace you need can also be a really welcome function.
There are additionally numerous elective actions so that you can tackle if you happen to resolve you desire a break from the principle story. These vary from typical side-quests, to searching monsters, area battles, in addition to a mini-game the place you may gather tokens and use them to battle in opposition to different in-game gamers. These actions undoubtedly differ in high quality. Having to backtrack by way of dungeons you’ve already explored to seek out an merchandise or monster simply appears like a method to stretch out the sport’s size as a substitute of including something of worth to the expertise.
Efficiency smart, we bumped into numerous bugs throughout our time with the sport. Most of those had been pretty minor however they appeared to extend in frequency the additional by way of the sport we acquired. It was fairly annoying to not be capable of pre-emptively begin battles as the power to hit enemies earlier than a struggle would randomly resolve to not work. There was additionally a really unusual occasion the place the sport froze and, as soon as it had been reloaded, a dungeon puzzle had by some means managed to resolve itself. Once more, none of those bugs had been game-breaking, however they had been frequent and annoying.
Astria Ascending is a fantastically hand-drawn sport with an old style JRPG really feel. It tries to maintain the expertise trendy with some a lot wanted high quality of life enhancements, however annoying bugs maintain it again. It’s a little bit of a disgrace that the story is pretty forgettable however the enjoyable fight system does assist alleviate this to an extent. With a really detailed job system and loads of elective aspect content material to become involved with, there’s leisure to be discovered right here if don’t thoughts the grind — however as an total role-playing journey, Astria Ascending has clear flaws.