Alwas Legacy PS4 review | Invision gaming community


Back in 2017, Old pixels published Alwa awakens, a 2D platform game designed to look and play like a classic 8-bit console game. You play as Zoe, a young heroine sent to save the land of Alwa.

Now Elden Pixels has released its direct sequel, Alwa’s legacy. And where the first game was a love letter to 8-bit gaming in all its design and visual glory, Alwa’s legacy upgraded to stunning 16-bit graphics and gameplay. Like the awakening of Alwa, Alwa’s legacy cut its teeth in designing 16-bit Metroidvania games while delivering stunning 2D art that would look right at home on any 16-bit console, and any modern console to boot.

Once again, you are put in Zoe’s shoes and sent back to the land of Alwa. Only this time, you were struck by this all too practical evil of soap operas: amnesia. Why are you here? Why do you feel like you’ve done this before? And why is the villain from the first game always around to make people’s lives a mess?

The only way to figure it out is to go on an epic quest full of dangers, intrigue and dungeons to uncover your past and return home.

Like many of those games from the past, Alwa’s legacy throws you at the heart of the matter without a proper explanation. In addition to going to the library where some answers may be waiting for you, this is a game on open gameplay. Once you have a feel for what to do and are directed to the first dungeon, the game lets you go your own way and figure things out for yourself. There is no getting started and very few tutorials and the game is only better. At first it can seem overwhelming as you end up with so many directions to go, but a little exploration will give you all the tools you need to complete the dungeons in the game and defeat the bosses.

Zoe has three main abilities aside from her melee attack. She can summon blocks, bubbles, and shoot electricity / lightning. Blocks and bubbles can be summoned one at a time, each costing mana, and the recharge rate of all three abilities is finely adjusted. The blocks can be pushed and placed on it. From the start, however, you’ll learn to use them in a way the game doesn’t tell you you can. Blocks, for example, can basically provide you with a double jump if you stand on one, jump and summon another, and jump again at the same time. The second block – the first one disappears when you summon another – effectively acts as a stepping stone for that split second before it falls.

Abilities can also be upgraded, such as adding spikes to blocks when pushing them etc. Dungeons are designed to use these basic skills so that you never feel like you’re missing out on something to progress. Orbs are scattered around the world and you will need them to improve your abilities. Some are easy to find while others will require you to solve environmental puzzles or think outside the box to get there. Other buffs, such as health, can be obtained from inhabitants of the world, usually by doing side quests for them or by collecting specific items.

Tears are also scattered around the world and they also have the added benefit of turning save points into warp points. So it’s a good idea to hunt them down as they can help you easily get out of a sticky dungeon or just through a fairly large map.

The dungeons in the games are also conquered through the use of your abilities and each dungeon usually has its own theme. The Sylvan Temple, for example, is to be conquered by lowering and raising the water levels. Puzzles abound in dungeons as well, usually requiring your abilities and some quick platforming skills to complete. Bookending each dungeon is a boss and I thought this area was probably Alwa’s legacy ‘weakest point. You will need to memorize their patterns to defeat them while dealing with environmental risks. However, I felt they weren’t as memorable as they could have been.

Visually Alwa’s legacy is a wonderful 16-bit style 2D art piece. The character animation is fantastic, as are the backgrounds in the game. Zoe is also a pleasure to control with smooth movement and animation. Taking more inspiration from older games and pixel art games in general, the amount of character the animations imbue, whether it’s for NPCs, Zoe, or enemies.

The game’s soundtrack, too, is made up of midi-sounding melodies with fantastic audio tracks to complement the on-screen action. The sound effects also adapt to the world and are also great.

Alwa’s legacy It may not push your modern console hardware to breaking point, but its stunning graphics, great gameplay, and wonderful soundtrack make it an easy game to recommend. Fans of the genre won’t go wrong with this one.

Publisher and Developer: Old pixels

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox One

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