It doesn’t take a lot to persuade me to take a look at a brand new JRPG. I really like the style, even when I might be choosy about what I play at occasions. However present me a JRPG with a light-weight watercolor palette and fairly hand-drawn artwork, and I’m bought. Bonus factors should you inform me that it’s being labored on by members of the groups that made Ultimate Fantasy, NieR: Automata, and Bravely Default. That’s precisely what Astria Ascending is, however throughout my time with the preview construct, I couldn’t assist however really feel like the sport was buckling below its personal weight.
Proper off the bat, Astria Ascending makes a hell of an impression. I used to be instantly drawn into its very aesthetically pleasing world, due to the attractive line artwork and detailed environments. It seems to be means too much like VanillaWare’s personal distinct artwork type to be thought of really distinctive, however hey, having your sport seem like a VanillaWare sport isn’t a foul factor in any respect.
The voice performing does depart a bit to be desired, however the character designs are merely stunning, and the story setup is intriguing, too. Your get together is made up of eight Demigods who’ve been chosen to guard and save the world earlier than inevitably marching off to their deaths as soon as their three months are up. It’s a grim setup, however one which’s instantly fascinating because it sparks up all kinds of dialogue about how a lot these characters worth their lives in opposition to the protection of the world.
It’s a terrific premise and the sport seems to be fairly, however sadly that’s about all of the reward I may give to Astria Ascending. Previous that robust first impression, I rapidly discovered myself getting just a little overwhelmed with all the things the sport began throwing at me.
There’s barely any time to get correctly acquainted with every of your fundamental characters as a result of they’re just about all thrown at you proper from the get-go. Having so many characters to mess around with is sweet, however introducing all of them on the similar time may be a bit an excessive amount of. Add in the truth that all of them have particular skills that you must be taught, and also you may even really feel discouraged from experimenting with all of them as a result of there’s simply so many.
And on high of them, every character will get a fundamental job, sub job, and a assist job which you could assign to them. Jobs and dual-classing programs are at all times a enjoyable time, however once more, Astria Ascending throws an excessive amount of on the participant too quickly that it’s tough to wrap your head round all the things earlier than you’re thrown into your first dungeon.
As a result of the sport is introduced on a 2D aircraft, this lends itself effectively to some gentle platforming and puzzle-solving sections within the dungeons. The dungeons themselves are fairly, the enemy designs are fairly putting, and the fight’s just about what you’d count on.
The battle system takes inspiration from different common JRPGs like Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler, the place you possibly can earn Focus Factors throughout battle to spice up your skills. Efficiently hitting an enemy’s weak point will reward you with Factors, which can be utilized to boost your expertise and make them simpler.
On the flip aspect, hitting an enemy with the unsuitable assault might heal them up and also you’ll lose your probability to rack up Factors. In the event you get pleasure from turn-based fight in your JRPGs, you’ll possible really feel proper at residence in Astria Ascending.
As I neared the top of the preview construct, I used to be left feeling considerably detached in direction of the sport. Maybe the preview simply needed to offer me a style of the gameplay mechanics and its expansive world and job system, however in doing so, it’s inadvertently left me feeling overwhelmed with no want to dig deeper into its programs as a result of I don’t have any attachment to any of its eight characters within the first place.
It’s solely doable that the ultimate launch might do a greater job of easing the participant into issues, however proper now, it’s just a bit bit an excessive amount of.