Eastward appears like going again to the times of ’80s anime on VHS, the place you may expertise a clandestine and strange medium that you just couldn’t discover anyplace else. As John and Sam, gamers should head Eastward (whoa, that’s the title!) throughout an odd and surreal universe. While the characters and lore have plenty of coronary heart and carry this journey to the top with ease, the fight, puzzles, and boss encounters depart a bit to be desired. An wonderful rating supplies an unimaginable backdrop to pixel-perfect artwork, making a whimsical and enchanting environment for this quirky RPG that brazenly pays homage to titles like Earthbound. In reality, inside Eastward, there’s a complete recreation known as Earth Born, full with its personal (in-game foreign money) gacha system that’s a blast to play if you simply need to take a break from advancing the principle story.
The story begins merely, with a frying pan weapon to swing furtively about, a Zelda-like construction of buying coronary heart containers, discovering keys to make your approach by dungeons, and swapping between characters on the fly to resolve puzzles and deal with fights. John takes care of the tough preventing at first and makes use of ranged weapons and some kinds of bombs to interrupt partitions and tackle bosses. Sam can manipulate the world with power blasts, and he or she positive factors much more highly effective power assaults that have to be charged up earlier than unleashing them all through the journey. The fight stays simplistic all through the sport and isn’t actually satisfying.
Many dungeons embody puzzle segments the place the participant should management the characters individually, transferring them round to work together with the surroundings to get previous elevators, overgrowth, and a large number of different obstacles. Most of those puzzles are easy to determine, however just a few contain enemies that assault your characters whereas they’re defenseless (forcing you to swap management between them) or contain time trials that overstay their welcome late within the recreation. Overall, controlling John and Sam each out and in of fight feels alright, however there are just a few actually fascinating boss encounters and puzzles, and people are primarily discovered within the late recreation.
Surprisingly, Eastward doesn’t dwell and die by its fight or puzzles. Eastward builds a world that feels actual, heartfelt, and intriguing. Many recreation worlds are crafted round archetypal constructing blocks that draw upon established fantasy, sci-fi, and different well-traveled floor. Refreshingly, Eastward goes in a weird and quirky route and took me on a trip the place I by no means knew precisely the place issues have been headed. This journey the world over has you escaping an encroaching and lethal miasma. At instances, you additionally unravel different threads that have you ever exploring the world of organized crime, ideas of time journey, the pleasures of easy farm life, and making films with a decidedly uncommon crew.
The areas and characters that fill these environments are memorable, and I needed to completely discover the city to verify I talked to each single NPC. I can’t bear in mind the final time I did that in an RPG, and it’s a testomony to what a positive world Pixpil has created. These cozy lore components in all probability would have labored with any artwork type, however Eastward’s mixture of spectacular music and pixelated look creates an environment that proves you don’t want 4K decision and ray-tracing to make one thing magical. Some of the coziness seeps into the gameplay with the cooking mechanic, the place you may craft some superb meals that present potent buffs to assist tackle the more difficult bosses. While I’d like to elaborate extra on this world, however the much less you understand about Eastward entering into, the extra you’ll get out of exploring this enchanting panorama.
While the fight isn’t something particular and the puzzles put on out their welcome, Eastward’s characters, setting, and sounds craft an unforgettable expertise. If you’re in search of one thing quirky, charming, and considerably surreal, you’ve discovered it.