Solar Ash Review – mxdwn games


Solar Ash Review

Synthwave aesthetics are prominent in cyberpunk games, offering a glimpse into the neon-colored future that’s rumored to await us in the next century. Though it can be a bit campy and over the top, futuristic landscapes with that ubiquitous fluorescent aesthetic are among my favorite parts of the genre. When done well, it adds a certain flair that makes everything pop more, rather than just serving to emphasize certain elements. This combined with utterly psychedelic and trippy alien monsters and goop and the smooth movement of games a-la jet set radio and the better sound 3D gaming is a recipe for success, and that’s exactly what you get sun ash. A beautifully made presentation piece with fun moves and sometimes stressful gameplay.

sun ash is first and foremost a beautiful game with a trippy aesthetic. You are already stranded in space trying to save your civilization using a device that is near a black hole. At first glance, this is already a relatively interesting story, especially in terms of how the black hole problem is presented. There is a centralized system and other people who should be with the main character, but our heroine Rei is stranded and alone. Now unable to return to her comrades, Rei must figure out why the system isn’t responding and save everyone before it’s too late.

While much is left out and there is a mysterious godlike being that speaks to you in a generally unfavorable way, the story was what would have been a big seller for me. Unfortunately, there are few story beats, with exposure falling by the wayside in favor of collectible finding and time trials. That’s because the core gameplay loop of the game is movement, which I’ll get to later. what can i say sun ash it’s especially good at creating a general “feel” for each area, even if the color scheme stays mostly the same. Structures from a bygone era that have not only been run down and torn apart by the pollution you are battling, but also become great environmental stories over time. Even moving from the crash site to the initially cloudy dreamscape where you meet your first friend and boss fight is a story in itself; an excellent way to set the pace for the rest of the game without having to say much. The problem is that this general omission makes it tedious to piece together story bits as they’re being delivered, since there’s usually long periods of silence as Rei paces back and forth, accomplishing the same goals over and over again.

What I can easily say is the strongest feature sun ash Gifts are contentment. It’s incredibly satisfying to skate through alien worlds, jumping from cliff to cliff or holding on while taking in all the colors and environmental changes. This is the main focus of the game, as most of the game’s objectives and collectibles are based not only on how you can complete them, but also on how quickly you can access them. The “combat” is fast, minimal, and mostly optional. It suffers from the same lack of combat depth that some games have had lately, as the game favors the movement options much more. The enemies are little more than obstacles in a collection of time trial missions that involve attacking the objective while platforming and swinging around on damaging platforms. This is the primary gameplay loop, not only for the normal sequences but also for boss fights. While the movement is incredibly smooth and satisfying, combat can get stale relatively quickly, and I mostly found myself skipping enemies once I really got used to the movement.

I think sun ash It’s great to experience in small bursts, and it’s really a game that you can play at your own pace to really focus on the environments and exploration. Unfortunately, the core loop for this is a bit counter-intuitive, as time trials, which can get stressful to complete, provide much of the focus for completing goals. That being said, essentially everything else about the gaming experience is incredibly satisfying. I’m a huge fan of the graphics and character design, and honestly if you care about the aesthetic it can carry the entire game. I hope to see more of this from Heart Machine in the future, maybe with a little more depth of combat that can really unlock a game’s potential sun ash had.

Score: 8 out of 10

Checked on PlayStation 5



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