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Astalon: Tears Of The Earth


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Team based Metroidvania!


This is great! 


The game begins with the three lead protagonists. Arias the knight, Kyuli the archer and Algus the wizard. All journey to the Tower of Serpents to save their village, wherein it's waters have been poisoned by something in the tower itself. As this is a Metroidvania I can't really quantify it by the in-game clock. But rather map completion. I'm currently around 30% and it doesn't feel like I'm even close to halfway yet. The team based nature of the game comes from the unique abilities of each lead. Kyuli, is both your ranged attacker yet also she has a walk kick to reach higher platforms. Arias is your typical knight protagonist with certain obstructions only he can cut through. There there is Algus - literally the best character in the game (so far). As the magic user, that makes him your pew-pew man. Middle ground in terms of range but, his base strength makes him a better choice in combat than Kyuli. The fact that you can't immediately switch between your characters on the fly, does add to the puzzle element of many rooms.


Combat is just as you'd expect from a Metroidvania IE you can die very quickly if you aren't paying attention. Which is wherein this games gimmick comes in. You can level up in this game. The level up system however, only boots up upon death. Your first death is predetermined to introduce you to this idea. After that, you get the gist. 


Graphics are a lovely retro 8-Bit stylised aesthetic. The sprites, while not entirely devoid of detail. Are colour coded to make up for any deficit. There is something surreal in playing this game on my big modern TV.


If you're interested in anything I've mentioned so far, I really recommend giving it a go.

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Session Two


Couldn't put it down and three hours later I'm at 50% map, 44% item collection. This is glorious. The difficulty of this game lends itself to a Binding of Isaac/Rouge-lite mentality. Sometimes if you die before reaching that elusive shortcut in a new area. You will probably die trying to reach it a second time too. But the third time, you'll get where you need to be. Because you have learned patterns and strategies you didn't get before. This game caters to both my RPG Min-max exploration and Isaac reflexes. I just grabbed two upgrades. A character-specific enhancement and the other has significantly altered the game. Far more than it used to, but it takes a lot to lull out my old gaming spirit. This definitely has awoken it more than Shadowman or Dark Souls 3. Not so much the retro-vibe, but just the genre I guess?

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Session Three


71% Map completion

66% Item collection

...15 hours playtime.

Also, new party member! Which I wasn't expecting in the slightest. I do know however, that completing the main game opens up NG+ (which never interests me) and addition game modes. Depending on when Elden Ring arrives, I might try to finish the main game of this and come back for the extras later.

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Session Four


97% Map completion

94% Item completion

Another new part member!?!

I assume, as a party of five and given the level of completion, that is it. I like that I have already reached That level within a Metroidvania IE Max stats. But that doesn't make me invincible, as it typically does with a Metroid. I've gone with max health into new areas and barely made it through to the end in one life. Algus is still the boss killer though. At max stats, you point him at a boss hold down the attack button and they melt. Each of the five characters does bring something new to the game, which is a plus point. Probably finish the main game next session. Pleased with myself to actually finish a game for once.

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