But sadly, at the end of the day I just can’t really recommend Tears of Avia to anyone else. Not being terrible is not the same as actually being good, and while I understand that this was made with love, it is ultimately a love that has little to nothing to add to the genre aside from being more of it.
Seriously, what downsides it does have are either due to its age or just the fact that the designers prioritized a fun dungeon crawl over character building. That’s fine. The game you have here is a fine, crisp, energetic dungeon crawl that’s good to pick up and play and rewards you with bosses that are tough enough to matter but not so hard that you’ll want to throw the game in the garbage.
This isn’t a terrible game. If you’re a fan of the series and really eager to have more of it, it’ll probably serve decently for those purposes, but that’ll still mean overlooking things like weak translation, poor mechanics, and a slipshod feel across the board. But if you aren’t already a fan, there’s little to nothing to recommend it to you, much less to inspire you to learn more.
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia isn’t a truly dire or bad title, but it’s the sort of thing that you’re either going to love or hate, and that feels like a pretty big ask for the game. It was a title I found very exciting in concept, but found myself increasingly disappointed by the more I played it.
So this one deserves a high rating. Because if it had a lot of stuff stacked against it and I still wound up really being sucked in at the end, I think more people should give this off-beat combination a try. For all its flaws, there’s a beauty and warmth within that could be just as charming to you.
There’s a lot to love here, but I don’t think the main mechanic works very well. Which is sad, because I wish it did. I want to love it, but ultimately I just found it frustrating, and watching the credits roll felt like a compromise. So be fairly warned before giving it a shot.
It’s got fun characters, great presentation, and a system that has some stumbles but is ultimately a neat idea. And let’s face it, if you’ve ever been in a city, bodyslamming people who won’t stop taking up the whole damn sidewalk feels like an appropriate response.