Developer: Storybird Games
Release date: 12/07/19
Official PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/aggelos-ps4/
Well, as some of you may know, I love a bit of retro and nostalgia so as soon as I saw this title, I definitely wanted a taste.
Look at the beautiful 16-bit graphics of the platformer
Straight off the bat, the game reminded me of Wonder Boy and for me, that is a good thing as I loved Wonder Boy when I was younger and I still do now. As I’ve discussed before, there is a massive increase in retro platformer games in recent years but the demand is there. People love a bit of nostalgia. However, with the huge amount of retro games out there, it is hard to find a difference between them and a lot are very similar but saying that, I enjoyed this title. It is a colourful and respectful homage to the retro genre.
So, touching on the story and it’s pretty familiar but for these sort of games, who needs a deep and detailed story? You start as a small fair-haired lad with nothing but a dagger at his side and a keen sense of adventure. Before you know it, a girl runs your way as she is chased by a monster who demands you hand her over. Once you dispatch the monster, the girl reveals that she is in fact, Princess Lys of Lumen! You are then thrust before the King and as the princess reveals that she escaped from the clutches of evil baddie Valion, the King asks us to basically save the kingdom of Lumen and beat Valion! Easy, right? So, off we go on our adventure!
Keep an eye on your health as you fight the many enemies
2D art and catchy soundtrack
I’m a big fan of artwork and the music within games, they really enhance a game and Aggelos does both wonderfully. Despite the retro 16-bit graphics, the game still manages to feel modern at the same time which gives it a unique feel. Every animation was detailed and the variation of the enemies and level design made the game feel like a real adventure. Along side this, the soundtrack that was used for each scenario and level worked perfectly and seemed to compliment the designs brilliantly as you traversed around the kingdom of Lumen.
Simple but effective gameplay
Dodge the spores if you want to keep your health up
So, touching on the first scene when you rescue Princess Lys, the game does well in showing you the basics of gameplay. You level up by defeating the monsters and gaining XP, you collect hearts to keep your health up but use herbs to revive if you die and the gold gained from enemies will buy new weapons and armour. Simple!
Whilst you need to gain the XP to level up and get stronger, it isn’t a grind and the same goes for new weapons and armour, whilst there is plenty of places to upgrade your wares and in fact, they are sometimes expensive, there is plenty of gold on offer from dispatched enemies to be able to buy a stronger sword or more nullifying armour.
You can also buy plenty of potions too as you will likely need them
As you progress through the game, you will gain abilities and certain skills which will be needed to get past some of the more difficult platforming sections. Also, it’s worth noting that every ability will be used in each dungeon as you progress to that dungeon’s boss so, naturally the game gets harder and harder as you progress towards the end of the game. I enjoyed this format but it can test your patience in the latter stages.
The direction of the game is a good thing in this title as there is always someone hinting the way forward whether it’s a magician in the castles or townspeople dropping clues, you’ll never be truly lost as well as being able to just pick up and play anytime.
There will be plenty of chests to find – some easy to spot and some well hidden
Speaking of towns, when you traverse these, as well as offering save points and side-missions, it is hinted that there is hidden chests and sections so do make sure to go back and forth if you want to collect the goodies. It sounds laborious but it’s not because of the simplicity of a neat and accessible map which in no way feels broad and you can travel back and forth easily (once you unlock the fast travel option).
Short-ish but worth it
Overall, the game lasted around five hours which is no long jaunt by a long shot, you could even do it in one sitting if you wanted but nonetheless, the excitement is there. It’s surprising how much can be stuffed in the short-ish adventure. It is a beautiful game to explore and enjoy and as mentioned, there is more sections to uncover once you go back to the towns so make sure you do go back to get everything out of this game.
The bosses can be tough especially as your health lowers and they vary their attacks
Please see below for the trailer:
Verdict: 70% A retro hit!
Value for money: 70%
Overall, I really enjoyed this title. It looked great and it played great. The beauty of the game lay in its simplicity, everything was done simple but well and this was so effective. The artwork was modern and retro at the same time which gave it a great unique feel and the catchy soundtrack added some more quality as you went on your adventure. I would definitely recommend young and old gamers to have a look at this title.