Top Critic Average
Overall, AeternoBlade II may not be winning any awards, but it shows off a decent progression for the studio that made what could also be a cult classic as many that I’ve spoken too have never heard of it, and those that have, enjoyed it even with its limitations. Changing things up with different characters that have different abilities and a “lighter” storyline than one simply hell bent on revenge, this end of the world tale is worth taking a look at for fans of platforming and metroidvania puzzles.
No one is going to mistake AeternoBlade II for a AAA effort due to its writing, voice acting and visuals, and that is okay if you are a fan of the Metroidvania genre enough to focus in on the gameplay. Here the gameplay is merely average by and large, though the time lapse / recording element is a really great twist that does elevate the experience a little. The ideas seem to be there, but the polish is lacking and there are better examples of the genre out there to be had.
Sadly if you didn’t really enjoy the first AeternoBlade I’m not sure you’ll like this one much more. The story will be confusing to anyone who didn’t play the original and even to someone like me who did it still wasn’t very interesting. The bad writing and voice over work just further drags the story down.
While the puzzles are mostly enjoyable, the combat is largely uninspired, leading to tedious boss encounters and aggravating 3D battles that quickly neutralizes the fantastic points of AeternoBlade 2's design.
With unenjoyable and clunky combat that is made much worse during the 3D segments, a laughably archetypal fantasy story, and dated character models, it's hard to actually believe that AeternoBlade II released this year for modern consoles. AeternoBlade II simply falls short of all of its ambitions, whatever they might have been.
For every slightly redeeming feature AeternoBlade II showcases, such as the interesting boss and world design, the game does ten things terribly wrong that makes experiencing those interesting nuggets nigh impossible . At every turn I prayed something would stand out. I wanted to meet a new character I liked, fight a boss that really took me, or even hear a song that would move me. None of those things happened. Instead, I had the realization that I was playing a bad game that wasn’t going to get better. And sure enough, it never did.
It takes a special kind of talent to make a really boring action platformer. AeternoBlade II can almost be the cure for insomnia if it weren't for its embarrassing voice acted cutscenes. Outside of a few striking vistas, there is so little of value to enjoy here. There are so many better similar kinds of titles out there like Blasphemous or Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and that is not even counting 2D action games from before 2019. With so little going for AeternoBlade II, there is no reason to ever play it.