Astrien ascending has come a long way since it was first introduced. Released on iOS as Zodiac Sign: Orcanon Odyssey In 2015 Artisan Studios did a full gameplay reconstruction and kept doing it star sign World but to implement a revised story.
With multiple Final Fantasy Veterans on board like Hitoshi Sakimoto and Kazushige Nojima, this version will be released on September 30th for PC and consoles and offers a nice visual presentation. Promising 25 dungeons, five explorable cities and 30-50 hours of gameplay when fully released, our hands-on preview only covered 1/10 of that.
Astria Ascending Preview: A proficient role-playing game that never really ascends
Astrien ascending leads the player to Harmonia, an idyllic world that is divided into five cities. Protected by eight demigods, these powerful individuals serve for three years before advancing to the next level and being replaced by a new group. Arrived on the 333approx Set of demigods, in this story you investigate mysterious creatures called noises that have started attacking cities and appearing in unusual places.
Each character has its own story and at the beginning you play Ulan Merer, leader of the 333. She is joined by Eko, Dagmar, Kaydin, Alek, Kress, Arpajo and Alassia, all of whom are immediately available. In that respect Astriens quite refreshing compared to other role-playing games, as the companions often arrive later.
Each demigod is customizable with basic combat gear and accessories, but you can evolve them with more Astrien‘s job system. While demigods have a basic job – their selection You can choose from your standard RPG options of captain, soldier, and thief – they can be assigned three additional jobs – main, sub and support – later.
Crucially, they offer new combat skills through the Ascension (Skill) Tree, along with stat boosts like extra HP or Defense. To unlock these, you spend Skill Points (SP) earned by completing battles, and each character has a separate SP allowance.
Once you’ve got your party ready, start exploring 2D locations.
Much of this preview consisted of exploring dungeons, like jumping over ledges in an old platformer, finding treasure chests for new items and currencies, and defeating sounds.
If you reach a sound that appears as large bubbles, you can preemptively strike by slitting it open, which increases your chance of going first when the fight starts. However, if a sound comes from behind you, it will always start first. If you’re not ready to fight, you can quickly find a zodiac ring that will freeze them so you can jump right over them and skip the fight.
Should you fight, you will enter a round of turn-based combat in which every fighter has weaknesses and resistances. For example, Alassia resists water attacks but is weak against lightning, while Kress hates fire but is strong against ice.
Between choosing a physical attack, MP skills like elemental magic and healing, guarding, selecting items, retreating and swapping party members, fighting for an RPG is very easy. Later in our demo, Alassia also learns how to summon Astraes, powerful beings capable of violent attacks that will temporarily replace your party.
If a character proves to be ineffective, you can assign Focus Points (FP), which you earn by taking advantage of enemy weaknesses or selecting the “Focus” command to increase the damage, which means the characters spend their turn on it to recharge the ad. That increases damage by 50% per FP up to a maximum of four points, and it’s an interesting system that keeps characters from feeling useless in combat.
For challenge seekers, there are four levels of difficulty to choose from, but there are other options as well. You can disable field encounters and enemy respawns in dungeons, disable XP / SP win / items / Lum wins (currency), and set how much XP backup group members earn Astrien more accessible.
Outside of dungeons Astrien ascending includes a mini-game called J-Ster in which you challenge residents in the game’s cities. With a hexagonal grid with 7 slots, you have 5 tokens and aim to flip an opponent’s tokens over.
To do this, the value of your token must be higher than that of the defender, and depending on your chosen angle of attack, tokens can potentially block these movements. It’s not particularly deep, but J-Ster is a pleasant distraction.
There are certainly merits too Astrien ascending, but unfortunately this preview never really captivated me. Astriens The story still found its feet when things ended for me, the battle felt functional, if mostly low-key, and exploring dungeons swayed to boredom. It’s never been terrible, but big gameplay systems just felt uninspired.
In the end I left Astria Ascending’s Preview without strong feelings. Artisan Studios laid the foundations for an entertaining role-playing game, sure, and yet Astrien never does anything specifically wrong, it never stands out.
With a good presentation, a fascinating FP system, and gameplay customization, there are a few things RPG fans will enjoy, but the way it looks, I find it hard to recommend Astrien about other games. I hope a longer play through will convince me otherwise.