Game Review #317: AeternoBlade (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Steven Green
Developer: Corecell Technology
Publisher: Corecell Technology
Category: Metroidvania (Action/Platformer)
Release Date: 02.01.2018
Price (At Time of Review): $14.99
Buy AeternoBlade from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Aeternoblade is a 2D action platforming game with puzzle elements that resides in the “Metroidvania” category. In the game you play as Freyja, a warrior looking for vengeance against the person who destroyed her village and killed her people. Traverse the map and discover the path you must take to recover all of the pieces to your newly acquired weapon, the AeternoBlade, and wield it against Beladim to get the revenge you so desire. Hack ‘n’ Slash / Combo gameplay and interesting mechanics lead this title on an interesting journey.
You are Freyja, a warrior embarking on a journey for vengeance against Beladim, the evil Lord of Mist who destroyed the village of Ridgerode, her home. Nobody survived the onslaught from Beladim, besides our protagonist. Take part in the action and defeat his minions while gathering the missing pieces to the AeternoBlade. With the help of another mystical character, Vernia, put these pieces back into the blade and add additional relics to the weapon in order to power it up enough to be able to stop Beladim from reversing time to keep himself alive. You meet other characters along the way, and traverse through the game looking for the epic conclusion. The game features multiple endings, so playing through more than once is necessary in order to discover everything this game has to offer. The storyline overall is a fairly generic one filled with tropes you would find in other stories and twists you will probably see coming, but just because the story is something that won’t necessarily surprise you doesn’t mean the game does anything wrong with its version of this classic tale.
The main part of the gameplay here is through its hack ‘n’ slash attacks that trigger combo build-ups. Most of the time you will find yourself just mashing the attack button. Variety is not the spice of life here, but if you enjoy games where you just power through enemies then this is something you will thoroughly enjoy. You have special abilities that can be used with the expense of MP and the like, and these can help in the monotony, but bars must be refilled to use these abilities.
You can refill your various bars by defeating enemies and having them drop orbs that you collect. You have meters for health, special abilities, and the like, and as you use up these meters you need to regain these orbs in order to be able to continue using special abilities with your combos. The abilities that use these meters can also be upgraded with a currency you collect.
The major mechanic / special ability that is given to you is utilized through your AeternoBlade and it is the time change ability. You can rewind time in order to stop attacks or spells, and to reverse death all together. This can be fun and is well done in boss battles and puzzles throughout the game and is probably the bright spot addition to the basic mechanics used throughout the rest of the title.
Enemy variety is few and far between with certain types of enemies being reused with color palette changes, but the addition of new attacks and the like to those characters adds a nice new system to the increase in challenge rather than the newly colored enemies just sponging more attacks.
The game is also a platformer, and traversing the environment is necessary to get through this title. The platforming, overall, is fairly simple, with your character just trying to get from platform to platform, but spikes and other traps litter the levels here and there allowing for some more interesting mechanics at times. Especially when these additional platforming mechanics are paired with puzzles that meld into the current “zone” that you are in.
Rocks and More Rocks
The cutscenes in this game is where the game shines visually. The cinematics are fun and well done and look straight out of a Saturday morning anime cartoon. However, the in-game visuals are fairly rough around the edges. The game is in 2D, so you don’t have to go hard in the graphics department, but the game doesn’t offer much when it comes to outstanding visuals throughout. The character models are great and boss design is superb, but traversing the environments is a lot of rocks…and more rocks. Different areas allow for some changes, but you still get a fairly low-res experience. Graphics could be described as charming, and if you are nostalgic for the PS2 era then this is something you would enjoy. People who have a large emphasis on needing cutting edge graphics will take issue with some of the design choices. However, if that’s not something that bothers you then this game really does offer a charming style.
The music throughout is melancholy and atmospheric, emphasizing the journey you must undertake, with action sequences pumping up the music with a nicely done and tantalizing soundtrack. One thing that Aeternoblade absolutely nails down in presentation is the music.
AeternoBlade offers some fun gameplay elements that are really aided by its use of time changes to defeat bosses and puzzles. Hack ‘n’ Slash games are ones that people usually either hate or love, and sadly the combo system is pretty rudimentary. AeternoBlade is a good addition to the Metroidvania genre and is something that I am glad I was able to play through, but for anyone who can’t see past the rough edges this won’t be something that will change the world. Thoroughly enjoyable despite its flaws.
Buy AeternoBlade from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Corecell Technology