Theres times in games you just want to skip past all that exploratory levelling up mumbo jumbo and skip straight to the big boss fights. Well say hello to Titan Souls it does exactly that but do the Boss fights become its crown Jewel?
Mumbo jumbo talk aside Titan Souls is the latest release from Devolver digital adn developed by Acid Nerve.At the games core its a game that has made me shout louder at my TV screen than any other this year. Others have came close but nothing has had me asking the question could I pam this review of to someone else? Maybe they will have the brainpower muscle memory and ability to master the controller in a way that seems in human to beat these bosses?
How dare I even consider giving up my grip on this game. Get that first boss beaten and you feel reward akin to those moments felt in games like Bloodborne. Mastering the art of beating one of the many bosses in Titan Souls feels truly rewarding. However it also isn’t rewarding at the same time. Usually games will give you something in return for dying several if not hundreds of times over once you’ve beaten a boss. However Titan Souls actually gives you nothing. You’ll smile, sigh, take a deep breath and go on exploring the world laid out for you.
Titan souls is a game of exploration and boss slaying. You walk around and look for doors. Behind each door is a nasty surprise of varying types. The scenery is beautifully presented and I actually found that these little details of pixel art were soothing and great to look at. The swirling wind and ripples of the grass and flowers feel fluffy and calming. The calming nature is important as between each unsuccessful boss fight you respawn and have to find your way back to the door you chose. The option of an instant restart upon death would have been nice.
Over time the spawning and wandering back for a crack at the boss become tedious and its actually unfortunate that the best looking parts of the game are nothing more than window dressing. It results in there being very little in terms of gameplay features other than the boss fights provided. This is disappointing but the feel of the game would be totally different if it was to be anything other than what it delivers. What I love most about this game is that it actually gives you everything from the get go and the skill you actually level up is your brain. Its as realistic a challenge and as interesting a game I’ve played this year.
Although you are only equipped with an arrow and one simple button mechanic this is all you need to take on the bosses that lie ahead. Despite this game being entirely boss encounters it manages to keep the boss encounters fresh and varied and you’ll crack each utilising a different tactic each time. None of which are clear from the start though and to be honest its trial and error that prevails here. What is great is that most boss encounters only requires one hit. Seems easy enough right?
This is a game you certainly wont tackle in a single sitting. In fact I’d advise you put the controller down refresh your brain then take another stab at that forsaken boss. I found myself struggling for ages on the first three bosses but after a few hours away came back and smashed all three of them in quick succession. So after 50 deaths I was onto the next area and I was hooked. This is the simple progression method in play to help you the player explore more of the world and although it seems obviously laid out in the first area the other areas you unlock are not so obvious and will have you exploring all over to find those boss entrances. Thankfully as the areas get larger checkpoints for boss battles become available so upon the inevitable death you don’t need to trail all the way through looking for that boss area again. I would have liked a little signposting here though as at times it was impossible to get a lay down on the map.
There is no graphical interface of sorts, no map and no objective marker. No health bars as its one hit and you’re out. The game doesn’t need these elements either its simple design is its charm and the difficulty will test your brain and your patient to the full. a top down map may have been useful but the actually markers you stand on roughly indicate where to go. If you didn’t have these what would be your excuse for exploring this world that bit more. What I did find unusual was that Titan Souls has absolutely no story despite this wide and vast world to explore. Theres no lore and no reasoning behind why you play as this character and why you only have one arrow.
This title was reviewed on PC with a supplied copy from Devolver Digital.
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