- Release Date: 14th of April, 2015
- Genre: Action RPG
- Developer: Acid Nerve
- Publisher: Devolver Digital
- Review for: PC
- Price: You can buy the normal edition on Steam, for $14,99
Titan Souls, is one of the most rewarding games out there, with constantly increasing difficulty, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Your protagonist, called David, is a barefooted, little boy, that takes on a bunch of hulking Goliaths, in this 16-bit mechanical masterpiece. The thin fiction of its fantasy world will take a backseat to the challenging arcade-style, top-down boss fights, where one simple mistake can cost you your life, meaning that precision is key if you want to be victorious.
The game always demands that you make every single shoot count, giving it a rather Spartan nature. Your character only has a weapon, a bow that can fire a single arrow. If you draw your bow for a longer period of time, then the arrow will travel for an extended length and at a faster pace, but the downside is that you will have a harder time retrieving your arrow and reusing it.
You can roll, run or walk in order to pick it up, or you can use your Jedi-like power, that will pull it back to you. This is basically your entire toolkit, and trust me when I say, that you will have to use all of your skills when battling monsters equipped with giant maces, that can spit fire, or conjure a whole bunch of deadly magical forces.
Although the world is scant when it comes to the ways that you interact with it, it is also fluid and snappy. Your character is precise and nimble, a necessary feature, seeing how most of the time you will be running for your life, while waiting for the golden window to spawn.
It is a simple and refreshing game, that removes all of the strategies and variables that plagues so many games. The only thing that you must learn here is how to shoot your arrow and you need to practice that until you’ve hit your target.
Each different Titan has its own attacks, movement patterns and special abilities, so you need to learn them all, keep an eye on the environment and for look for their weak spots, in order to place that perfect hit, but when you do, the feeling you get is extraordinary. The weak spots are represented by a glowing sparkle on their armor, so you will not have a hard time finding them, but reaching it will give you a headache. You will have to doge their attacks and, at the same time, deal with all of the crazy stuff on your screen, but try and remember that victory is always only one arrow away.
It is a good thing that they made these engagements so fun and difficult, because the experience lacks anything else. The world is nothing more than a hub that connects your typical fantasy environments, such as the snow region, the forest area and the lave section, with their respective, very nicely themed, encounters. You will find no minions on your way to fight the boss, so despite the rather cool 16-bit art style you will not see anything else, except for some stairways and paths that will lead you to the next Titan fight.
The story that is supposed to tie everything together is also very scarce and loose. You will be presented with a few cryptic murals engraved into stone and some ambiguous cut-scenes. There is also the one single encounter where you will get a bit of narrative pseudo explanation. Titan Souls is not as much a game in which you can emerge yourself, as it is an obstacle course where you fight one giant, challenging boss and then move on to the next. I will admit that soundtrack is superb and smooth, and it will make the transition between each fight a lot more enjoyable.
There are checkpoints throughout the more compact environments, curtsey of developer Acid Nerve, so you will not have to make that tedious, long journey back each time that you die, and you will die a lot. Even so, I did notice that the checkpoints for a couple of fights are a bit far from their respective battles ( a 10-15 sec run), but most of the checkpoints are just a few seconds away.
With a lot of perseverance and nerves of steel, I’ve managed to beat almost all of the bosses (about two dozen of them)in a little over four hours, and when it was all over, I found myself craving for more, in order to further test myself. I think that this is to be attributed to the incredible satisfaction that I got from each victory.
Titan Souls doesn’t end that quickly, because it is a game that has some replay-ability value, although the lack of randomization will probably turn some people off. Once you complete the game, you can restart it and try to beat it in less time and with a lower death count. Every time that you restart it, you will complete it faster and much more efficiently.
There are a bunch of modes that will make your experience a lot harder. The Hard Mode will recycle each fight, but this time, the fights will be faster and more difficult. The Iron Mode will make you think twice about every single thing that you do, because, here one death means the end of your adventure. The modes are meant to extend your time with the game, but, to be frank, I only find them appealing to those that want to conquer their own imperfections and test their reflexes to the max.
The sparse lore and world of this game, is just there to deliver the scenery for its creative fights. It is a very simple concept, with easy to understand mechanics and very fluid controls, but at the same time, it will test your skills and reflexes to the limit. The frustration you get from dying over and over again goes away once you land that perfect shot. The nice thing about it, is that once you finish the game, you can crank up the difficulty and try to do it again.
Titan Souls is a game that challenges you to constantly improve yourself and dares you to always do better.
Hope you enjoyed our Titan Souls review and we hope to see you again soon.
- Fun and simple mechanics
- Very good controls
- Interesting 16-bit artwork
- Challenging and rewarding
- The lack of lore
- The world is just a hub area connecting you to the boss fights
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