We all seem to need to go back and play games that remind us of the past. Games from that golden 8 and 16-bit era. Honestly, I think it's a big reason the Nintendo Switch Online has had any success! People love that they can play the games that they grew up with. To add to it, there's even new games with that old nostalgic feel still coming out. Some can call them love letters or an homage, others may say it's a rip-off. If you're somebody that still has that nostalgic itch, this game may be for you!
Aggellos is a 2D, non-linear (Metroidvania-style) action RPG game, which is inspired HEAVILY by Japanese games such as Wonder Boy In Monster World. It's being described as “the perfect combination of retro style and modern-day game design.“
Regarding the story of Aggelos, it's completely cliché.
You, the nameless hero, saves the Princess from trouble. Once you return her to the King, you find out the kingdom is under attack from an evil creature, who's trying to gather all four elements so they can open a portal to a parallel dimension where evil rules. You, being a hero, are asked to collect the elements first, by fighting your way through the four elemental temples and stopping the nefarious scheme! See, cliché, but it gets the job done.
Story aside, the magic of Aggelos is the way it looks and plays. It's buttery smooth and its leveling and skill progression are well balanced. I never felt completely overpowered by the enemies. Even when you die, there's just a small penalty. You simply lose some XP which slows your level progression. One negative that could contribute to you dying, is the range of your weapon. It seems small, at least to me. It was very tough to gauge when an attack would connect. Because of this, I found I took damage and even died when I was trying to fight an enemy, simply because I would get too close. I DID struggle with a few of the boss battles as well, but I realized that it was because I was attempting them without the items I needed. Once I gained those items, the battles got MUCH easier. As you would expect from a Metroidvania-style game, you start with a pretty limited skill set. As you progress through the game, you gain new attacks and find/buy gear which allows you to access new areas of the world. The overworld is fairly large but it doesn't take long to navigate because each area is on the smaller side. Later in the game, you even get a “teleport” option which allows you to jump from save point to save point. This speeds up the travel time. I will say that the overworld map is TERRIBLE though. It is unusable as a map and the only real use for it is to select the save points that you want to teleport to.
The game's 16-bit inspired aesthetic is well done. It's bright and colorful. Even charming. The chiptune audio/music is exactly what you would expect from a game that's trying to pay its respects to the past. It's well done and catchy!
For what this game is, it has very, if any, issues! It has a goal and it achieves it. I think it was fun to play but not a game I want/need in my life. You may feel very different. One thing to consider is value. Value is always difficult to quantify. But I will say that the game is relatively short. Roughly 6-8 hours of playtime. I also see no reason to go back and play this game once it's over. For that reason, the $15 price tag seems a bit high to me. For the very same price, you can buy Hollow Knight which is a much better game in my opinion.
This game was reviewed by Michael Rivette who was provided a game code for free from the developer.
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