Astalon: Tears of the Earth
Top Critic Average
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a great reminder of what small developers can achieve with simple graphics and simpler controls. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who craves some old-fashioned platforming action and isn’t afraid to die a lot. Just remember to turn off the flashing lights and screen shake if you’re sensitive to that.
An amazing game only dragged down a bit by luck or prior knowledge being required to make it through side areas earlier, plus the most unnecessary bit of artificial difficulty I've seen in recent years. It's called the Ruins of Trash and I just wanted to say that one more time. I'd write that on a brick and throw it through a window if I could.
With a great variety of environments, simple gameplay, and a strong line-up of enemies, Astalon: Tears of the Earth turns out to be one of the more successful action platformers we’ve seen in recent months. It will likely only last a handful of hours, but there’s a lot here to love, and it's a relative no-brainer if you’re a fan of high fantasy Metroidvanias.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a tough, but fair NES-inspired Metroidvania that tests your mettle and makes it worthwhile.
Astalon inserts itself into an ever-more-crowded genre that starts with "M" and ends with "vania," but it absolutely nails the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of progression, both through noticeable character improvement and the acquisition of unique items and powers. Underneath the solid gameplay lies an interesting story and premise, with neither trying to steal the spotlight from the action and exploration. A not-imposing set of achievements and unlockables, in addition to map and items found percentages push the longevity score even higher, and ultimately I just had an incredibly tough time putting this one down. Anyone who loved whipping through games like Bloodstained, Axiom Verge, and similar indies should do themselves a favor and delve into the amazing adventure that is Astalon.
To sum it all up, Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a wonderful example of what “modern retro” really means. It captures the look and feel of classic 8-bit games while bringing the gameplay bang up to date with lessons learned from some of the very best titles of the last 30 years. If you’re a fan of open-structure, exploration-centric platformers, this should be high on your shopping list.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is an unexpected masterpiece of retro designs blended so delicately with modern roguelite elements. Death doesn’t punish the player as much as it sets them up with improved ways to approach situations. There’s a sense of discovery in every area, but this does limit direction causing some confusion when trying to figure out where to go. Further, bosses can be underwhelming compared to normal enemies, which creates an awkward balance of challenge. Regardless, this is the must-play game of the summer.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a REALLY good old-school adventure, with its character-switching mechanic certainly proving to be a highlight. The level design is complimented by the varied abilities at your disposal, and knowing which character to use to overcome each challenge adds to the fun. Add to that a neat upgrade system and a brilliant chiptune soundtrack that fits the vibe of the game perfectly, and it becomes clear that Astalon: Tears of the Earth offers a heck of a lot more than might initially meets the eye.
A blistering, brutal battle from start to finish, Astalon: Tears of the Earth is not for the fainthearted. It rewards talent and curiosity as frequently as it punishes inability and complacency. It will test your patience, abilities, and resolve, but the journey through the Tower of Serpents is so worth it.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth offers an immersive adventure through an elaborate world with a retro feel. It's great to alternate between heroes to overcome different challenges, such as combats, puzzles and platform sections, with the constant presence of secrets that encourage you to thoroughly explore the scenarios. The difficulty is intense and dying is inevitable, but this is part of the progression, after all we can strengthen the characters by reviving them. The penalty of defeat is to restart the journey at the entrance to the tower, and shortcuts make exploration more agile, but, even so, this approach creates some repetitive stretches. In the end, Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a remarkable, varied, and fun experience.
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