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Alwa's Legacy

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
Two years ago, indie developer Elden Pixels released a great little game called Alwa's Awakening. For those unfamiliar with it, you can watch its trailer here. I highly recommend it! It stands as one of the most inventive search action games (or "metroidvania") I've played: it takes its inspiration from puzzle-platformers (particularly Solomon's Key) to craft a world of interlocking navigational challenges.

Alwa's Awakening ended with a tantalizing sequel hook, and this year, they fulfilled that with the release of Alwa's Legacy:


Alwa's Legacy actually came out back in June on PC (via Steam and GOG), but today they've announced it's coming to the Switch on September 29.

Has anyone here played it already? Or, is anyone in the same boat as me, eagerly anticipating the Switch release?
 
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Loved Awakening, even though I didn’t finish it (Tower Boss was too much for me), and I’ve been anticipating Legacy since it was announced
 
I've got them both but only booted them up long enough to make sure they played fine on my handheld PC. They gave off good vibes though. I look forward to digging in later.
 

q 3

Posts: 181,942
(they/them)
Awakening is on sale on the eShop (30% off) for the first time ever, and I have to say I give them props for holding out this long.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I'm fairly sure Awakening goes on sale on the reg, but I'll admit I haven't researched that since I bought it day-1 and wasn't waiting for a sale.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
Started this last night, and played up to the first boss. My initial impression is that it's a lot more than the first game: there's more story and dialogue (and Zoe speaks now) than before, there are now sidequests to do, and orbs are now used to upgrade spells. I'm not sure how I feel about all these changes so far (I really don't care for skill trees), but it does immediately signify how much grander and more ambitious this game is: if Awakening wanted to be a lost NES title, Legacy is the expansive SNES sequel.

Well, I say "SNES", but the spritework is far better than that platform allowed— more like something you'd find on the PS1 or Saturn. It looks really good, and some of the outdoors backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I prefer the change to the orbs, myself. I liked the way they degraded bosses, that was a neat Way to handle optional upgrades, but ultimately I prefer expanding my own abilities
 

WildcatJF

I will not be stopping
(he / his / him)
I bought Awakening as I saw it was on sale and within my leftover funds/coin limit, so I look forward to giving that a shot sometime.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
I finished this over the weekend! I had 92% of secrets initially, then I went back in and polished it off for a clean 100% (a tip for fellow completionists: activating a warp counts towards your secrets tally). I enjoyed it a lot!

The main change to Legacy is the scope: it expands the toolkit with three magic spells, an air dash, and even a few passive abilities for good measure. That's quite a bit more to do (and acquire) than the first game, but it's kept in check by these skills being largely supplementary to the main block-bubble-bolt trifecta— opening new venues rather than outright replacing them. The flipside is that none of these new abilities are explored very thoroughly and have limited use after their initial area. I think that's a bit disappointing, particularly as some of them (like walking on spikes, or slowing time) have a lot of potential for further, more devious use. But that the game doesn't do that sort of gauntlet final dungeon, so I guess that's fair enough.

What I really like, though, are the dungeons. The first is straightforward, but from second-onwards, they each have a mechanic that adds a wrinkle to navigating them: managing water levels, turning on/off power, and flipped gravity. While hardly unheard of, it's an effective way to build off the first game's design, where each dungeon was treated like a big navigational puzzle— now, in addition to the layout, you also have to consider how you can alter that layout to suit your needs. And it becomes very interesting to come back to them later, as new abilities let you sidestep the intended routes and pick up secrets for your troubles.

The only thing I'd ding Legacy for is the writing. Not so much the actual storyline (which is fine, if not particularly exciting) as the dialogue itself, which has the common indie game problem of thinking it's funnier than it really is. Mostly it's just "self-aware": characters snark about the story, crack wise about video game conventions, or wink towards other video games. I will say that it's nowhere near the worst instance of this I've seen— and given how little dialogue there is, it's easy to brush aside— but it's disappointing nonetheless, as Awakening was so earnest, with nary an ironic bone in its body.

In summation, Alwa's Legacy is a really great game and great follow-up. I think I slightly prefer Awakening, but that owes more to matching my particular preferences in game design than to any fault of Legacy. Fans of the first will find plenty to love, here, but I think newcomers will, too. Strongly recommended!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Just finished off the Water Dungeon.

Boss was much easier than the first boss, especially if you get the Block upgrades. Don’t think I took a single hit with that
 
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