This by-the-numbers platform lacks the same old WayForward zest.
Pricey reader, for those who, like me, are unfamiliar with the multimedia franchise RWBY, right here’s a quick abstract: It’s a American net cartoon finished in CG created by Monty Oum for Rooster Tooth Productions. Sadly, Oum died throughout manufacturing of the present’s third season however manufacturing continued. It at present consists of eight seasons (“volumes”) and has been tailored into a number of completely different manga sequence, a couple of novels, comics, a by-product TV sequence, a couple of different video video games, podcasts, and even a crossover cartoon film involving the Justice League.
The story considerations 4 younger girls, Ruby Rose, Wiess Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Lengthy, who’re “Huntresses” who defend their world (Remnant) from demonic creatures referred to as Grimm. It’s clearly a beloved sequence, however leaping into Arrowfell with completely zero data of the characters, the world, or the continuing plot (it takes place throughout season 7) could not have been the perfect concept. The story was written by the sequence’ writers, options cutscenes within the model of the present, and options loads of NPCs from the present together with voice performing from the solid. Longtime followers will in all probability get extra out of the story than I did, however RWBY has points that stretch past the attain of canon.
You, the participant, management the 4 ladies–switching between them because the scenario calls for it–and traverse an terrible lot of similar-looking 2D platforming environments preventing monsters, discovering treasure chests, and doing errands for individuals. Every of the women has a selected ability: Ruby has a brief invincibility sprint that may prolong her soar, Wiess can create momentary platforms to get increased, Blake can create momentary shadow clones of herself to assault enemies and stand on switches, and Yang can destroy giant blocks.
All that sounds nice, proper? Appears like a contemporary tackle Castlevania III, doesn’t it? Sadly, the women’ expertise are extraordinarily context-specific and, whereas they is likely to be helpful throughout fight, are extra usually used to resolve puzzles and discover new areas to discover. Even that sounds enjoyable, however you’ll be doing the identical sorts of puzzles for all the recreation. There’s no novelty after the primary time you remedy a change puzzle utilizing Blake’s shadow clone. The ladies ultimately get powered-up variations of those talents, however they simply…provide you with yet one more of every part: Ruby can sprint barely longer, Wiess can create a second platform, Blake can spawn a second shadow, and Yang can…destroy barely bigger blocks.
Generally, you’ll want to mix their powers. That’s, create a few platforms with Wiess to succeed in a change with Blake, then sprint by means of the open door with Ruby. Whereas enjoyable, these puzzles are few and much between.
Fight is about as rote because it will get: every lady has a selected melee weapon, however all deal comparable injury. All of them have a ranged power assault as effectively, however utilizing them depletes your power (we’ll get to that). There’s a dearth of enemy sorts as effectively. You mainly get three teams: Grimm monsters, steampunk-looking individuals, and troopers. You’ll battle limitless numbers of those grunts, usually in “ambush” kill rooms, and also you’ll get actual bored with it by the point the credit roll. The sport additionally desperately wants a “backdash” capability, the type you’d see in many of the Igavania video games and Shantae video games, as a result of regular enemies will usually cost you earlier than attacking.
The ladies share an power meter and coronary heart tanks. When your power bar is depleted, you’ll lose a coronary heart. Nonetheless, shedding a coronary heart doesn’t refill the power meter, so that you’ve received to trace down power pickups (simply farmed by smashing objects) or threat shedding hearts rapidly. You’ll additionally discover cash, that are used to purchase power and heart-refilling snacks, new coronary heart tanks, and ability factors from retailers. You’ll additionally usually discover ability factors within the discipline hidden in treasure chests. All the ladies have 4 attributes, which every have 4 ranges of energy. You’ll use ability factors to enhance these stats one after the other. I’m unhappy to say that, even when totally powered-up, not one of the ladies are unstoppable powerhouses.
You’ll discover tons of distinct areas of various sizes however will rapidly be pissed off by the shortage of any form of map. You’ll usually must revisit phases to seek out new issues, however as a result of all of them form of look the identical from room to room, you’ll usually get rotated. A few of these areas are impressively by frustratingly giant, making the shortage of a map all of the extra bewildering.
And what, praytell, are you doing in these areas? You’re nearly at all times discovering one thing for anyone. You understand how, in Shantae video games, you’ll be sometimes requested to seek out an object for anyone to set off the following a part of the plot? You recognize, like discovering the crustaceans for the scientists in Seven Sirens, or the stone pill for the bereaved man in Pirate’s Curse? Nicely that’s actually all you’re doing in RWBY. Any individual on the town will say they want you to seek out one thing, like a chunk of ore, and also you’ll received to comb by means of areas you’ve already been in to seek out it for him. You’ll do that dozens of instances. All people needs one thing else. The RWBY gals are much less huntresses and extra errand ladies.
Finally you’ll uncover a conspiracy that in all probability means one thing to followers of the present, but it surely fell flat to me. Oh, I ought to point out the boss fights, as a result of there are some boss fights within the recreation. They’re all extraordinarily simple, counting on a small variety of telegraphed assaults which might be simply prevented. The ultimate boss even will get a number of rounds, none of which have been remotely difficult. I finally simply began pounding issues with Yang’s fists of fury and each battle was over in lower than a minute.
I just like the character animation and designs, in addition to the character portraits throughout dialogue. I even just like the music, which isn’t precisely toe-tapping, however stays nice all through. My suspicion is that RWBY: Arrowfell was not essentially made for me, however for youthful followers of the present, avid gamers who don’t essentially have the “mad skillz” required to play a more difficult recreation. To that, I’d level to my seven-year-old nephew who, with none assist, accomplished Kirby and the Forgotten Land and received every part. Youngsters are as much as difficult video games. Man of you readers grew up on Battletoads and Ghosts & Goblins, for Arceus’ sake.
Followers of RWBY may discover one thing gratifying right here, but it surely simply lacks the type of care and polish that goes into most of WayForward’s catalog, which is a disgrace.