Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Eastward Review-IGN

The man and his adopted daughter pass through a whimsical, apocalyptic landscape. Preparing frying pans and psychic powers, when they explore the world, they may stumble on saving the world. With all the retro JRPG styling, you might expect Eastward to play like one, but this cool action-adventure is more Zelda than Dragon Quest. John and Sam’s victory and failure take place in a fascinating pixel art landscape rich in lovely characters and intimately designed places. Where the story was dragged for a while, or where the simplicity of the challenge felt patronized, the part of Eastward that spoke to me was more than a complement to them.

Our headliners are the silent protagonist John, dressed in messy hair and bushy beard, and Sam, a ridiculously precocious girl with up-and-coming psychic powers who likes to bother them. They are adorable characters with a unique bushel and a kind of timeless charm. They leave their homes under suspicious circumstances, and eventually find their way … to the east. I liked to switch between the two as they traveled through the cute but dangerous apocalyptic world of small towns and dam cities. In the process of replaying individual story chapters and exploring the stories of the people you meet. We have a lot- many – Of a stupid little mini-game on the way. Baseball, river rafting, slot machines, and food that’s always there.

Trekking to the east is fairly straightforward, but the exploration area is arranged like a small dungeon, with curling paths to fight stupid monsters and find a way when solving simple puzzles. John does most of the fighting through simple yet satisfying hack and slash action, but Sam’s power helps fight and puzzles, such as freezing enemies in big spiritual bubbles. It is indispensable.

It took me more than 30 hours to defeat the main quest, but I know there’s a secret to explore and it’s worth returning to the skipped NPC storyline. In fact, Eastward’s overall story is good enough that this review carefully avoids spoilers and is overly ambiguous in some places, but for your benefit. Also, there was a very detailed Rogue Light JRPG game called Earth Born in the game that I was able to play. It was so much fun that I spent another 6 hours.

The vibrant pixel art landscape is so creative and full of detail that you often stop just by looking at it.


The real attraction of Eastward is its world. The vibrant pixel art landscape is so creative and detailed that you often stop to see city streets and new train stations. Many live with small animations such as running water, shimmering metal, and spinning fans. I loved the details of the laundry on the lines between the buildings, the boats that were capsized and housed, and the countryside far from the train windows.

It’s a loving expression of the world somewhere between a Studio Ghibli movie and a classic JRPG-Castle in the Sky, Laputa meets Earth Bound. It’s all overlaid with a fairly unobtrusive soundtrack that isn’t noticeable, but both instrumental and chiptune arrangements are sufficient.

My favorite robot runs a construction company and is sick.


However, it’s not just the background that pops. Eastward characters have great sprites and animations packed with lots of personality. They are a well-designed weirdo cast and they are all doing something unique for them. It’s a very unusual animation style. The styles and personalities of the people you meet vary greatly, from moody ranch hands to a trio of lively aunts, sleepy little town mayors, or cigar-sucking casino owners. Not to mention circus performers, conductors, commentaries and funky robots. (My favorite robot runs a construction company and is sick.)

There are few fetch quests so you can travel around the world, but it’s not too bad when the world is clean. Much of the best Eastward has to offer is just smiling at the guy meditating on the roof as you pass his part of the town. I have overtaken him a dozen times now. What is he doing there? do not know. He is happy The guy is just vibrating and that’s good.

The biggest weakness of Eastward is its writing, so you can rest assured that the world is very attractive and the characters are very attractive. Character conversations are hits or mistakes, with some clich├ęs and a real stench. I’m talking about the ironic use of lines like “I’ve spent a lifetime”. Frankly, it’s because I don’t know when writing should retreat and let actions and movements convey words. Use two statements if one executes, and one statement if nothing is executed in many cases. Dialogues (laughter, admiration) that should pop up in the background are often in a bubble that requires a button to proceed. The only time I felt impatient and bored with Eastward was during the dialogue that was drawn out.

The battle is easy and most enemies can be easily defeated by using John’s frying pan wisely.


Exploration and combat are welcome breaks from staring and reading. The battle is easy and most enemies can be easily defeated by using John’s frying pan wisely. Everything else is susceptible to neon colored shotguns or flamethrowers. There are lots of weird enemies like giant frogs, tentacle plants, super tough zombies, they all have their own attack patterns, but I usually defeat them in the same way, whatever they are. Did. But let me be clear. Simple things are not necessarily bad. It was fun to interweave the attacks, hit the mutants in a pot, and blow them off with a shotgun.

It’s strange that while he frequently exchanged for Sam to play puzzles, he barely felt the need to use her in combat. Her ability to put monsters in frozen bubbles is useful in several ways, but not absolutely necessary to win. If you have a spiritual companion, wouldn’t you want her to do a little more?

Eastward Review Screenshot

Similarly, it’s a bit tricky that the puzzles Sam helps solve are never too complicated and only difficult if it’s a matter of timing or skill, or if you reach some tricky hidden chests. is. In most cases, you’ll need to be aware of bomb-blown walls, cable puzzles to connect, or obstacles to remove so that the squid floats where you want it. The more difficult puzzles have a timing element-move quickly after triggering a switch, or golf swing a bomb from a moving platform into a narrow opening. It’s not complicated.

Simplicity sometimes bothered me. Some of the combat is good at its candidness, while others are basic. Partly because I feel that singlestick control isn’t enough to target the weapon. It’s fun to hit with a frying pan, but it’s not so much fun to make sure both characters are avoiding incoming projectiles.

The relatively rare battle between bosses and mini-bosses is an exception there, requiring a bit of elaborate switching between both John’s weapons and Sam’s power. I liked them much more than platforms and puzzle bits, and many of them really tested my ability to use all the tools in my arsenal for a clean win. Especially striking is the enemy knocking out the bomb you are trying to place in a vulnerable area. To win, I needed a clever hand to drop the bomb as John, and then switch to Sam to use her power to distract the enemy and do damage after the bomb disappears. I returned to John. It’s a kind of synergy that Eastward combat needs more.