Astria Ascending is a game that has been in development for over two years. The developers have released the alpha version of the game, which is free to download and play.
The astria ascending metacritic is a game that has been released to the public. It has received mixed reviews from critics, with many praising it for its graphics and music, but criticizing it for its repetitive gameplay.
My anticipation for Astria Ascending was high, having grown up in a world where turn-based combat was the standard. Not only is it lovely, but I’m a nostalgia junkie who loves to remember anytime I have the chance. There was a lot of promise in the trailers leading up to the release. There were a wide range of races, all of which appeared to point to a vast and deep lore. Yes, the former is correct, but the later struggles with coherence. Now, I wasn’t anticipating a masterpiece, but there was at least the possibility of a well-rounded tale. But what really happened was a mixed bag. However, I found comedy in the way the story refers to the gap in our world. Enough with the chit-chat; what counts now is whether or not this is a JRPG worth playing or whether it can be avoided.
Maybe being a mortal isn’t that terrible after all.
The writing in Astria Ascending is a major flaw. There’s no other way to put it than this: it’s awful. The whole story is fragmented, with a bouncy pace like a child on sugar. Conversations were strangely organized, with a small delay between bubble transitions at times. That kills immersion and continually reminds me that I’m playing a video game. When it comes to reviewing a genre, there are certain characteristics that I look for.
A JRPG begs for good storytelling to see it through to the end. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, but a little whimsy may go a long way. By constantly denying me any kind of escape, Astria Ascending fails to nail that. Half of the problems in this game revolve on the discomfort of, well, anything to do with the literary side.
Another thorn in this title’s figurative side is the character development. There are a few glimmers of it here and there, but it’s little in the big scheme of things. I appreciate the attempts at comedy, but I never laughed because I was uninterested. Furthermore, whatever emotional effect that sad in-game events attempted to achieve was completely absent. One important aspect is that the characters themselves do not respond to what happens. It has been greeted with apathy, much like me. The worst part is that even the presented mystery failed to pique my interest; there was no suspense. I know I’m a bag of redundancy for constantly saying a game has promise, but this did. While the game is short, it is clear that a lot of care put into it, from the races to the mythology. Despite this, Astria Ascending prefers to wallow in mediocrity for some reason.
What exactly does this imply? What kind of heart is this?
It’s undeniable that a significant amount of time and effort went into world-building. Artisan Studios went to great lengths to ensure that it seemed lived-in at the very least. That’s what I want, but when conversation seems artificial and fake, it’s a certain way to lose the player’s interest. It lacked subtlety, and despite the vast population of communities, there was no spirit. I’m the kind that enjoys corny nonsense as long as the story is engaging. The seeds have been sown, but there is a natural aversion to watering them in order for them to grow. People have used the phrase “so near, yet so far away” to describe coming close to accomplishing a goal for years. Astria Ascending is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of it.
Before I start playing, I make sure to show my vulnerabilities in combat. Combat becomes boring as heck if not completed since there are so many enemies. You see, in a system straight out of Octopath Traveler, you earn Focus Points by exploiting a creature’s flaws. These give you the power to increase the strength of your next strike by a percentage. Enemies, of course, gain from this as well, since it instills strategy in how one approaches a battle. Will you go for weaknesses in order to launch a mega assault, or will you stay on the defensive? Because some people have resistances, it’s critical to enable this option. When you strike them, it has a negative effect on your Focus Points, placing you at a disadvantage. Not only that, but certain methods have been completely eliminated. It was a trial and error disaster of irritation without any of this visible, so do yourself a favor and do it now.
This reminds me of something. And, look, it’s raining! Huzzah!
Everyone wonders whether a JRPG includes grinding, and Astria Ascending does. Another major complaint emerges here. However, leveling isn’t a problem since it occurs fast. The distribution of experience is very liberal, with up to 10 grand being handed out at times. SP Points are to blame, since they are needed to fill Ascension Trees. In other words, skill trees allow you to gain stat increases and abilities by assigning points to the nodes. The problem is that there’s a disparity between what’s earned and what improvements cost. Some require an excessive quantity, which equates to a substantial, and I mean heavy, number of experiences. Furthermore, the distribution of SP seems to be random, with battles early in the game yielding more than those discovered after twenty hours. Balancing is a significant issue that has spread to other areas of life.
Combat may be entertaining, but I’d be lying if I said it couldn’t also be aggravating. Most of us understand the distinction between surprise and preemptive assault. It generally implies that either you or your opponent will attack first. Because most fights aren’t random, there is a certain method to gain an advantage. However, there are a few situations in which the opponent always wins. Getting either unusual situation, unlike previous games, enables everyone to attack twice. As an example, the opposing side must withstand eight strikes with a group of four. When you combine that with the availability of spells that may provide you a bespoke weakness, it’s easy to get enraged. Some bosses, in fact, deal an absurd amount of damage by default. Stop me if you’ve already heard this, but the balance is terrible and has to be fixed.
I’ve never lost a game! Ignore the fact that I had to rescue scum to get there.
Let’s be honest. Astria Ascending would fall flat on its face if it were embodied as a tightrope dancer. There are many instances of improper balance, one of which is the purchase of accessories. Some boost statistics, but the amount they do is humiliating and insignificant. It never makes sense to spend money on them, and I didn’t. I’d rather not do so in favor of those that provide immunity to a status affliction. Addressing all of these balance issues will undoubtedly improve the game significantly. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, but some strange choices detract from it. I want to see all there is to see in this planet. In that vein, I’m perplexed by the map system. The sole purpose is to figure out which door leads to which location or whether there are any hidden riches in a room. Otherwise, it’s useless because it’s so darn simple.
You may assume I didn’t like for Astria Ascending after reading this, but I became fascinated with one aspect. Like most others, I remember ‘Triple Triad’ from Final Fantasy VIII fondly. The collecting element, as well as the card game itself, piqued my interest. J-Ster, pronounced jester, is a powerful inspiration who instead utilizes Tokens. I’m not sorry I spent far too much time on this mini-game. It’s addictive, because creatures may be transformed into newer tokens, much as in Final Fantasy 8. It kept me amused while providing a good dose of strategy. I was constantly satisfied by the excitement of winning a match and receiving my reward. There were several performance issues, but a recent patch fixed them all. Take comfort in the fact that Artisan Studios does not seem to be ready to quit the game, implying that other elements will only improve.
Do you want to take a vacation from JRPGs? It’s time to shoot ’em up!
There were a few technical issues with Astria Ascending prior to the latest patch. Some were frightened away as a result of it, but others persisted, and in some ways, were much worse. Games that lock up are never a good thing, and there’s no way to hack it back into working order. That is, sadly, the truth here, and I have been forced to reset a few times. Surprisingly, you can save almost everywhere, preventing you from losing too much progress if you’re proactive – at the very least, the poor optimization is acknowledged. There’s also an autosave option, but it’s possible to lose an hour after resuming, so do it manually. During fights, transitioning out of cutscenes, and once after a J-Ster round, I’ve had lock-ups. They aren’t frequent, but they do happen. There are also music stutters, which were, paradoxically, more common in colder climates. I suppose you get bonus points for immersion.
Accessibility is essential to me since I have permanent impairments. To its credit, Astria Ascending gets comfort right when it comes to button placement. That isn’t to say that there isn’t room for improvement. For starters, the user interface is very crowded, making it difficult to read while watching on TV. Furthermore, even at two inches from the screen, the stat gains were hardly visible while buying equipment. Neither squinting nor clenching my eyes helped. Finally, the map returns to its previous state, but waypoints are lost. My memory is as good as a goldfish’s, so knowing where to go would have been helpful. I used to walk aimlessly, unsure of where I was going. There is a diary to keep track of missions, but it’s so ambiguous that it’s as if it didn’t exist at all.
I received a… yay! What did I receive as a prize, by the way? I’m unable to read it.
The music is arranged and, although not spectacular, is adequate. It performed a fantastic job of enriching the gaming experience and never became irritating, as chiptune sometimes does. Despite its excellent songs, Astria Ascending fails to use them to enhance emotion. Although, I wouldn’t blame it entirely on the OST since, honestly, the voice acting is terrible. Everyone speaks in a monotone, with no inflection or cadence. It was difficult to overlook the fact that they sounded like they were reading from a script at points. I don’t believe the actresses and performers were bad since the voices were fantastic. The lack of direction resulted in a sluggish, boring performance. There is no vocal expression of sorrow in response to death, which eliminates any credibility.
Astria Ascending has all of the elements to make a great JRPG, yet it fails miserably. The balance is one of the main reasons for this, and if it could be fixed, I’m sure it would alleviate a lot of issues. To begin with, grinding is a chore since unlocking a single skill node may take up to an hour. Battles’ small rewards never seemed gratifying, making the time I spent feel squandered rather than useful. It’s clear that this is going through some growing pains, but with a few tweaks, I think it can be recommended. However, it is now available at a significant discount.
While the detail in the characters is often a little hazy, it is nicely done. Townspeople and monster designs, on the other hand, tend to repeat themselves after a time, with the only change being color variation.
There’s a lot of pleasure to be had, but there’s also a lot of boredom. The primary issue is the uneven nature of earning SP Points and other rewards, which makes battle seem like a chore to get through.
The orchestral arrangements on the soundtrack are surprising. The lack of emotionally charged music was felt, yet it never became irritating.
Boredom prevailed over enjoyment once again, though there was some of it to be obtained.
Final Score: 5.5
Astria Ascending is currently available on PlayStation 5, Xbox One X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
On the Nintendo Switch, a review was conducted.
The publisher sent me a copy of Astria Ascending.
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The astria ascending review metacritic is a game that was released on the Xbox One and PC. It received mixed reviews, but still managed to be successful.
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