For some people, that’s not going to be enough, just because… well, as mentioned, this is not an underserved genre at this point. It’s not hard to find a variety of roguelikes out there, and I’m sure there are people who will take a look at what the game has on offer and determine that they hardly need another one in their library. But if you like this genre? Well, you’re in for a solid treat, because it does what it’s trying to do well. What more could you ask for from a game?
In some ways, Natsuki Chronicles is a slight thing. It’s certainly not going to be the game that makes people who never play shoot-em-ups reconsider that stance, nor is it the sort of thing that you’re likely to devote months of play to unless you have a burning desire for a new shooter and this is the extent of your options in that regard.
On a whole, though, this is a pretty solid collection of little games that are in many ways frozen in amber from a specific time in gaming history. This isn’t going to make a huge fan out of anyone, but if you’re in the mood for some classic 16-bit shooter fun, this’ll deliver.
But some of this might just be me being cantankerous. I can’t say Olija is all that great, but it’s definitely a solid game that aimed at what it wanted to be and hit it squarely. It’s unlikely to be anyone’s favorite game, but it is – at least – doing its own thing with no small degree of confidence.
If you have the right people around you, or are just in the mood for something relaxing? This is an excellent option. Just relax. Settle down for the game. Don't worry about people who are going to make this into a big to-do or anything of the sort, just... let it wash over you. Sit on the couch. Close your eyes for a bit, there's no timer.
So I might be a bit more reluctant to go wade back in, but if you like yourself some Souls-like action and fancy something novel, you should definitely give this a shot. And if you like buckets of blood and body horror, you might get a kick out of it too.
So the score I’m giving this game is on the high end of that same number… but ultimately, it’s a game I can’t really recommend to a lot of people. For all the neat ideas at play and the interesting visuals, it never quite has enough meat on its bones. There’s just not enough to rave about here.
Like I said at the beginning, you kind of want these games at some point to stop working, but… Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla really works. It works in all the ways it wants to work. It takes the bones of its predecessor and improves the overall gameplay significantly, giving players plenty to do, characters to invest in, and a satisfying core gameplay loop that’s been refined down to a careful formula at this point.
But the whole thing is presented with such care, patient attention to detail, and downright love that it’s impossible not to enjoy the heck out of this game. It’s the sort of game that I highly recommend to people who may naturally only be inclined to one side or the other of this particular melange, because you might find yourself enjoying it more than you expected.
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.