Young Souls Review XSX – But Why? A community of geeks

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young souls is a beat ’em up cooperative RPG from developer 1P2P and publishers The Arcade Crew and DotEmu. Jenn and Tristan are two teenagers who live under the care of the teachers and are dummies and outcasts in the rest of town. But when the goblins kidnap the professor, a thicker plot ensues and the siblings embark on a quest to rescue him and their new goblin allies.

young souls is an excellent fusion of genres. As a beat’em up above all, it recalls the classics of The simpsons for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You move in three dimensions along a track from left to right encountering enemies of varying strength. But as an RPG, defeat your enemies with experience to level up and get stronger with, as well as items ranging from weapons and armor to various currency items that allow you to level up. Each piece of weapon and armor, as well as clothing you can buy in the main town, has unique qualities which can include special attacks, increased damage or critical chance, or negative attributes like vulnerabilities to certain elements.

Merging these two gameplay elements leads to a unique experience and a ton of extra motivation to keep trying again and again as you inevitably lose to some of the increasingly tough bosses. You’re likely to reach a point where you’re simply underleveled because the game’s dungeons are neatly weaved one after another into a large map of branching paths and varied objectives. Even the items you find in different levels can help you unlock more gear or fight different bosses in previous levels, increasing the will to keep caving even stronger and the will to revisit old terrains of game.

The fight of young souls is also quite well designed. While you can certainly get by with button mashing, there’s a whole combo system you can take advantage of through different button inputs. Blocks, parries, and dodges help expand your combat prowess, along with a team-based team system where you can swap between siblings with a single button to chain attacks, avoid taking damage, heal certain amounts of health or revive your downed sibling.

Visually, the game is a treat. There’s an almost 3D feel to the 2D visuals of the environments and although the world is simple, the very high fidelity of the art gives it a modern yet retro feel. Enemy goblins are a pretty standard-looking fairground, but it’s certainly easy to tell the enemy types and how hard they’ll be to knock off each other in their visual language. Weapons and armor are also generally pretty cool in design, although there isn’t much personality in most clothing. It’s odd, considering the main characters are meant to be big balls of personality.

I’ll be honest, I don’t like them. And it all starts with their incessant swearing. I totally understand kids swearing up and down with no context and no reason. I work every day with children of all ages. That doesn’t mean writing some possibly age-accurate curse-word-laden dialogue is going to make me like it.

It’s a boring quality at best in the kids and it’s a sadly boring quality in Jenn and Tristan. This is not a case of talkative, pot-of-mouth punks with ironic retorts. It’s just profanity for profanity’s sake, and it makes the already extremely long dialogue much harder to get through and much less worth trying.

Young Souls - But Why Tho

The dialogue is just too much. The conversations went on too long and quickly lost my interest when they didn’t seem to reveal much interest that I couldn’t guess from the context. Shorter bursts of text probably captivated me more, given that there’s an interesting dynamic between the characters and the plot isn’t exactly boring.

Luckily, if the dialogue bores you or bores you too, you can speed it up with the press of a button (although I wish you could just skip it as it still takes a long time). Also, thankfully, the UI doesn’t punish you for not reading. There are a number of visual clues that direct you to your next objective if it’s not already obvious, which is mostly because it’s just a case of “keep going through the dungeons” .

A downside to the UI though is that you have to navigate multiple menus to find quick travel options or maps. It’s not a big deal, but I couldn’t even find the fast travel menu at first because it’s not intuitively placed or well labeled. And you don’t really need a map often necessarily, but in big hub rooms you don’t want to know what doors you’ve already opened or what level dungeons they lead to.

Overall however, young souls is a great new entry in the beat ’em up genre which is enhanced by its RPG elements. The RPG aspects are plentiful and well designed in order to constantly keep you in touch with new things to try or enemies to fight again. The fact that the entire game can be played in classic co-op or single-player is an added bonus.

young souls is available now on PlayStation, PC and Xbox through our Game Pass affiliate link.

young souls

8/10

TL; DR

Overall however, young souls is a great new entry in the beat ’em up genre which is enhanced by its RPG elements. The RPG aspects are plentiful and well designed in order to constantly keep you in touch with new things to try or enemies to fight again. The fact that the entire game can be played in classic co-op or single-player is an added bonus.

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