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.
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
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 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.
Astria Ascending is a fascinating JRPG with intriguing storytelling, distinctive characters and charming hand-drawn art. Artisan Studios has outdone themselves providing a lengthy gameplay experience and addictive mini-game that will have you entrenched for hours. My only grudge against the game is the maps can be perplexing at times when attempting to complete side-quests or just finding your way through dungeons and temples. However, the combat mechanics are solid and customization options for your party and builds provide a lot of depth and strategy. Considering the fact that Astria Ascending is not a full-priced title, the game is definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of the genre.
Astria Ascending is a gorgeous JRPG with wonderful world-building that overwhelms the player with characters and progression systems. With somewhat standard-feeling combat that is overly punishing at the default difficulty, I felt at a loss as far as what to concentrate on to improve my party. Astria Ascending tells a beautiful story, but too often that story is buried behind too many mechanics and systems.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Astria Ascending. While parts of it felt long and grindy, the English cast is abysmal, and the dungeons design themselves left more to be desired, Astria Ascending is still a solid entry in the JRPG genre. It does what it sets out to do and at its price point it does it pretty well. While it may not quite rise to the heights of some of the forebears it tries to evoke from Square Enix’s past, its friendlier price point makes it a great entry that can steal away 25-30 hours of time. Just don’t expect it to sway you over if you don’t already like the genre. As its tendency to get grindy, and its overwrought characters may not change your mind.
Astria Ascending is filled with countless features and mechanics to add more flavor to an adventure that can last dozens of hours. However, it does have some noticeable issues that can sour the experience. The poor narrative and progression can become too tedious, and some characters will feel useless down the line.
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.
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
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.
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.
Astria Ascending may not be a flawless release but the solid combat system, spectacular visuals, deep character skill building, and wealth of content make for an experience that JRPG fans will feel right at home with. We'd give this one a recommendation to anybody looking for an original RPG to sink their teeth into; the writing and plot could have done with more development and attention, but there's lots to love about Astria Ascending and we're eagerly anticipating whatever Artisan Studios does next.
Astria Ascending will take many gamers back to the heyday of classic RPGs. This is a single-player turn-based game that is easy to grasp, with perhaps not enough challenge for veterans of the genre. But with an entertaining story, great musical score, and pleasing art style, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had for any RPG fan. Play Astria Ascending when you want to be completely absorbed into a game with no strings (or services) attached.
A fascinating effort from a writer who's delivered some of the most beloved JRPG stories has too many flaws to be another classic.
Astria Ascending is not a great JRPG. I would hesitate to label it a good one. In a year of winners, it's not a complete outlier but it's no contemporary classic. Despite a few flirtations with intrigue, the story is generally vacant of anything compelling enough to stick around until the credits. Poor writing compounds the problem and unlikable characters can't overcome it. Gameplay ranges from strong to stale, with just enough gumption and innovation to keep things lively. Pound for pound and for all its pedigree, this is a disappointing experience I'm not inclined to recommend.
Astria Ascending is a game that reminds the golden era of JRPGs, with a modern twist tied to a brilliant combat system and a renewed job system. It is a must have for turn-based combat lovers.
Review in Italian | Read full review
While Astria Ascending adds some flair to traditional turn-based combat, it has a lot of gaping flaws and too much going on for it.