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In late 2015, a new game appeared on iOS. Zodiac: Orcanon OdysseyProvides a reasonably high quality classic JRPG experience. Initially planned to arrive at the PlayStation console at the time in some way, the console project never got off to a good start and was subsequently canceled. Today, the project has been revived by Super Neptunia RPG developer Artisan Studio and revisited for the latest consoles as Astria Ascending. This reworked version basically disassembles the original release and rebuilds it to be more consistent with a regular RPG. Some may be wary of the origins of mobile games here, but it feels like a high-quality, feature-rich JRPG, so you need to give it a fair shot.
Astria Ascending takes place on the land of Orcanon and plays as a demigod ensemble cast called “The Fated Eight”. You see, in Orcanon, the world is generally peaceful because the magical fruit called Hermeron lives in harmony, but of course things don’t always go according to plan. That is the purpose of the demigod. Each represents one of the eight major races inhabiting Orcanon, and while being a demigod brings great power and prestige, it has a few pitfalls. Three years later, all half-gods die and are replaced by eight other races. The next class.
The world itself and the plots set within it are certainly Seem Interesting and original, the main problem with Astria Ascending is that it doesn’t provide players with a very compelling way to tell this story. This all-new world is complete with all sorts of races, rules, and very important capitalized words you don’t know, and is hardly imposed on you with descriptive words.
In addition, all eight demigods will be introduced together shortly after playing that role for almost three years. You are expected to guess how everyone knows and feels about each other. This is clearly a dense world with all sorts of interesting potential, but Astria Ascending feels very much like the third or fourth entry in a long-running series. Eventually, you can connect things together and start understanding everything, but the experience in the story doesn’t feel like you organically know and care about these characters and the world they are in. ..
For JRPGs, that can be a pretty terrible problem, and it doesn’t help that the writes themselves are pretty flat. Characters feel shallow, and most characters rarely provide something meaningful to the current cutscene. As a result, the entire pose often talks to one person, and most characters look tough or chime alone. Or two comments that add nothing to the discussion.
In this regard, Astria Ascending is a good example of why most JRPGs slowly introduce party members as the story progresses.Not everyone exists from the beginning like this Impossible But to give every member of such a relatively large maincast a compelling reason to be there and feel that the gang is more than just a collection of mannequins requires skillful writing. It would have been better for Astria Ascending to reduce the cast to around four, or to organize the story to slowly introduce each member so that they could better understand each character and how they relate to each other. Probably.
Your mission takes you throughout the land of Orcanon, arranged in a way that vaguely reminds you of the world of the Son of Light. All dungeons, towns, and environments are located on a strict 2D plane. This sounds limited at first, but you can see that it has some depth over time. For example, dungeons are usually arranged as a series of large rooms connected by doors, each with a modest amount of light environmental puzzles, hidden treasure chests, and enemies roaming to fight. The area isn’t as winding and maze-like as a typical Metroidvania map, but there’s plenty of room for exploration here that doesn’t make the design feel “A-to-B.”
The battle is developed using standard turn-based rules, but there are some great wrinkles that can help make the battle more interesting. The most prominent example of this is the Octopath Traveler’s BP-like FP system. The party can share a gauge of up to 10 FP at a time and deduct 4 points at a time to increase the damage caused by attacks and the amount of health that can be recovered. Enemies and party members have the strengths and weaknesses of various factors, and hitting the weaknesses of the enemy gives you 2 FP.
However, if the enemy attacks the enemy with a resistant one, or if the enemy attacks one of them. yours Weakness, you will lose FP. I’m really grateful for this mechanism as it makes combat (especially bosses) much more strategic and focused on planning. Always all-in ensures that you are well-trained. Therefore, you need to know in advance what each team member can contribute to the team and how best to use it to promote victory.
Once you’ve got loot in battle, you can invest the SP you’ve earned in each character’s skill grid. Each character has a different stat gain and new ability placement. Similar to FINAL FANTASY X’s Sphere Grid, you have the option to start with one node and fan out from there to various other nodes. In other words, we have to think a little more about how to develop each character. Eventually unlocking up to three new jobs per character further complicates things, each providing a whole new skill grid for investing valuable limited resources. It’s for those who really like to get into the weeds that get the most out of their RPG characters, although they can get along well with the base class grid and don’t even touch other jobs.
Those looking for a wealth of content will be pleased to find that Astria Ascending has a significant amount of meat between about 25 and 75 hours, depending on the number of perfectionists. A typical scatter of side quests that are often forgotten is here, explained if you’re trying to smash some extra resources over time, but you can sign a contract to hunt special monsters. There is an ongoing quest line that can be added quite a bit to the main gameplay loop with an interesting taste. These hunts are usually a bit more difficult than standard boss battles at the current level and you’ll have to go back to the previous area, but if you can overcome them, you’ll offer thrilling challenges and some tasty rewards. To do.
In addition to this, there is an entire card that fights mini-games, which is a great shift. You can fight many of the NPCs you come across during your journey and bet your cards on the winner. Simple side games have a lot of depth. The basic friction of a game called J-Star is that each has a deck of 6 hexagonal cards played on a small board. Each card has a number, but each of the six sides has a different modifier that increases or decreases as you play. When you place a card on the board, a “battle” begins between the card and the adjacent enemy card. If played correctly, flip the enemy card to your own color. After a few turns, the player with the most cards on the board wins the match, usually in the process of winning several opponents’ cards. It may take some time to understand, but J Ster provides a fun experience that adds meaningful additions to Astria Ascending.
It is a mistake to conclude the review without discussing exceptional art direction. All the frames in this release, whether in combat or somewhere in the world, appear to have been taken straight out of the concept artist’s sketchpad in the best possible way. Characters and monsters are drawn with stunning detail, and you won’t be surprised by the level of effort you put into perfect mixing of form and function. Each part of the world is visually different from the next part, with lots of colors scattered around, making it an absolutely gorgeous eye candy, whether docked or playing with a handheld.
In addition, Hitoshi Sakimoto’s score brings just the right amount of that Final Fantasy-inspired magic. It’s not a particularly memorable soundtrack, but it fits gameplay and the world like gloves, and you’ll find it hard to ask for something much better.
Astria Ascending may not be the perfect release, but with a solid combat system, stunning visuals, deep character skill building, and a wealth of content, it’s a relaxing experience for JRPG fans. This is recommended for anyone looking for an original RPG. Writing and plotting could have been done with more development and attention, but Astria Ascending has a lot of appeal and is eagerly looking forward to what Artisan Studios will do next. ..
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