Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards
Top Critic Average
Simply put Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is your typical action adventure RPG. Zones are fun and unique enough to satisfy. But the frame rate dips so low at times that it's easy to become frustrated. There's nothing eccentric here, and that's ok, not every game about saving the world has to be, I guess.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards presents a unique setting and interesting storyline, but struggles to break out of the hack'n'slash monotony.
We do need more games that go out there and bravely tell stories of deities, cultures and heroes that people wouldn't be aware existed. Aluna is brave in that not only does it do that, but it even goes as far asto make a very dry joke about how obsessed the entire industry is with telling the same stories over and over again. Unfortunately, while Aluna is blessed with some gorgeous art, a brilliant protagonist, and a wonderful setting, it squanders so much of what it does by being an incredibly safe Diablo clone in execution. Aside from a few technical issues with the Switch, Aluna is a perfectly competent and focused Diablo clone, but the game and creative energy behind it promise more which, to our great disappointment, the developers have failed to deliver.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards retains that addictive loop of loot but falters in performance. It’s clear that the game wasn’t properly optimized, at least for the Switch, leading to stutters, crashes, and graphical disappearing acts. The fidelity itself isn’t bad with a clay-like aesthetic and the focus on Inca Mythology felt fresh and was welcomed. While it could have benefited from livelier characters, the narrative sufficed and provided something to chew on as I played. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that gameplay is king here and the experience is worth having, albeit at a discounted price. Its current state doesn’t render it unplayable, but having to sit through crashes shouldn’t happen in a game that never tests the console.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards manages to bring a mostly positive experience, mainly due to the great narrative baggage inherited from comic books and the cultural richness of Mesoamerica during the colonization period. The feeling of a plot with the potential to present better results is notorious, due to the lack of side missions to expand and detail the universe presented here to the player. For an initial game that seeks to reach an audience that is not necessarily integrated with the comic book universe, it deserved a little more work in this regard. Still, in the end, the title is able to entertain, especially Diablo fans.
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Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards simply plays things too safe in creating a game that is functional but not interesting.
A fun and simple affair, Aluna harkens back to classics like Gauntlet and Diablo, but in a much brighter setting. However, any fun in this action RPG is stifled by technical issues on the Switch and just some simply terrible voice acting outside of the main cast.
Despite the passionate performance of its creator, Aluna isn't quite ready to compete with the better action-RPGs out there.