Top Critic Average
Astria Ascending attracts you with its art, keeps you interested with its combat, but may lose you entirely due to its bland story full of annoying difficulty spikes.
With so many other incredible JRPGs released in 2021, it’s hard to recommend Astria Ascending. It does have a very pretty artstyle, which is what will draw most players initially. The battle system and customization options can be enjoyable to tinker around with, but the lackluster story and unpleasant cast of characters really bog down the whole experience.
Astria Ascending tries to convey the "feel-good" atmosphere of the classic JRPGs with an aesthetically pleasing art direction and promises of pure turn-based combat extravaganza. Unfortunately its ambition falls flat due to a forgettable writing and an unbalanced combat system.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Astria Ascending is a good JRPG, but in a year packed with lengthy games and a few issues with voices and grinding it's not that easy to recommend.
There's no faulting its lush character designs, but beyond Astria Ascending's good looks lies a tedious and repetitive Japanese-inspired RPG whose insipid story and cringey voice acting make it difficult to bear.
Astria Ascending's 2D puzzle platforming blended with turn-based combat and stunning art style does all the heavy lifting to keep players interested as the game's writing feels a bit generic.
There are a few issues that stop it from being an amazing experience like the huge difficulty spikes or lack of quality of life features that JRPG fans have come to expect from the genre. But Astria Ascending for the most part is an exhilarating experience that could be the starting point for something spectacular.
The beautiful graphics, unique characters and fun combat doesn’t take away from the fact that this is an old-school RPG at heart with new school wrappings. AA boasts a fun take on the traditional job systems found in JRPGs, I just wish it was given a story to match all of the great things it has going for it. Fights can drag on at times much like the JRPG’s of old, what helps is the amazing art and effects from the various attacks. But while fans of the older Final Fantasy’s and even Dragon Quest games may enjoy this trip of nostalgia; those folks raised on Persona 5’s and the last few Final Fantasy’s might be in for a bit of a shock. Astria Ascending isn’t a bad game, just a flawed one; but if you enjoy Vanillaware games and don’t mind a grind a lot of fun can be had here.
Despite its convincing 2D aesthetic, its music and its undeniable richness, Astria Ascending misses the boat a little to hope to compete with the greatest of the genre. The fault is a certain lack of inventiveness in the gameplay, a difficulty sometimes too demanding and an unclear course of missions, not to mention some fatal flaws.
Review in French | Read full review
Astria Ascending is a beautifully hand-drawn game with an old school JRPG feel. It tries to keep the experience modern with some much needed quality of life improvements, but annoying bugs hold it back. It's a bit of a shame that the story is fairly forgettable but the fun combat system does help alleviate this to an extent. With a very detailed job system and plenty of optional side content to get involved with, there is entertainment to be found here if don't mind the grind - but as an overall role-playing adventure, Astria Ascending has clear flaws.