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.