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Ary And The Secret Of Seasons

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 22 - 2020

Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you.

 
Action adventure games usually follow one of two types when it comes to their worlds. The player will either be left to explore a fixed environment that is central to the story, or they will have a variety of different biomes to adventure in, usually involving a cold, snowy area, a hot, desert area and everything in-between. Ary and the Secret of Seasons, the action adventure from Exiin, has different areas based around the four seasons, providing the endless snow and the glorious sunshine you would expect. However, the hero of the story also has the ability to create little chunks of each season as she requires, so Spring is only a button press away.

 


 
Ary and the Secret of Seasons has a charming story that seems designed to inspire the younger players to follow their dreams and tell them that they can do anything, no matter what others say. For the more jaded adults playing the game, much of this can be lost, but the tale still hits the right notes. The game is set in the fantastical world of Valdi, which is divided into different areas that maintain a specific season all year round. These areas are protected by the Guardians of the season, ensuring that the seasons stay as they should. Players take on the role of young Ary, the daughter of the Guardian of Winter. As a girl, nothing much is expected of her and any dreams she has of being an adventurer are quickly shot down. However, when her older brother Flynn goes missing and is presumed dead, the Guardian of Winter falls to grief. To top things off, something is happening in the world that is messing with the seasons, and so Ary takes it upon herself to head out into the world and get things fixed. Of course, it will take some work to prove that a mere girl can do a man’s job, but Ary is up to the task.

 
It is a fairly strong message that Secret of Seasons is passing on, but it doesn’t become overwhelming or too preachy, and players will find it quite easy to invest in the adventure. As already mentioned, the game seems designed for the younger players, those who can take the message on board and act upon it, and this carries through from the story to the actual gameplay.

 


 
When the player heads out for their adventure, they will be faced with a fairly large world to explore. The visuals are not exactly current generation, feeling almost a little retro, but they are colourful and charming enough to make the game feel endearing. In the course of their adventure, the player will explore areas that are under the influence of different seasons, get into some fights, talk to NPCs and pick up side quests, and even head into some dungeons. By all rights, this is a pretty decent set up for an exciting adventure.

 
However, there are some glaring issues that leave the game feeling unfinished in some places, and almost broken in others. Probably the fist thing that players will notice when they start adventuring is how empty the world feels. While it looks okay, Ary will spend a lot of time wandering from one place to the next with little to actually do. It feels as though the developers either ran out of time to fill the world in, or just expanded the world to make it last longer.

 
Ary is armed with a sword and knows how to use it, which is handy as roaming packs of anthropomorphic Hyenas wander the world causing trouble. The melee combat is fairly simple against these common enemies, and despite the fact that a parry mechanic can mix things up, general button mashing will deal with most encounters. It is also quite easy to avoid the Hyenas if the player prefers. There are also boss battles which are much more involved and generally require the player working out how to make them vulnerable to damage. These are quite fun, and can even be tricky on occasion, but don’t come around that often.

 


 
Collectibles are few and far between, but money found can be spent on improving Ary’s combat skills or on some cosmetic items, which are a bit of a waste considering how little money can be found. The dungeon-like areas are laid out well and prove to be interesting, especially when it comes to the season powers.

 
Ary’s seasonal powers, which she will unlock gradually, are perhaps the star of the show when it comes to gameplay. Basically, Ary is able to create orbs of a given season, turning everything in the orb to match. So, for example, a wintery orb will cover everything inside with snow, freeze water and even create icy platforms and the like. It is easy to imagine the different ways that this mechanic can be used, with each of the seasons having their own uses that can help Ary progress, reach new areas, or even solve puzzles and defeat bosses. While the puzzles are never too difficult, they are fun to ponder.

 
Despite the lack of things to do and the uninteresting combat, Ary and the Secret of Seasons has enough of interest to be a solid action adventure. Holding it back though is an abundance of bugs and glitches. While I am sure that they will all be cleared up over time, screen tearing, halted progression, camera issues and everything else make it difficult to trust the game at this time, as it feels like any point could be when the player has to quit and reload in an attempt to fix one bug or another. For the presumed younger audience, this is no good at all.

 


 
Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a game that has the potential to be a fun action adventure. However, with the bugs and lack of interesting things to do, the game simply feels unfinished and unpolished. Some of this could be fixed over time, which would leave behind a solid title. The season mechanic is fun, as are the boss battles and dungeons. Ary makes for a charismatic hero, and even the story is enjoyable. However, the reality is that the game needs plenty of patching to become something worth picking up to any but the most adventurous adventurers.

 

 ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆ 



 

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