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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Starfighter's Avatar
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    Feb 2013

    Starfighter's opinion on: Ravensword: Shadowlands

    Ravensword: Shadowlands

    The beginning and the story
    The Archmage, protector of Aven, had it all planned out. Together with his enthusiastic apprentice Kavanaugh he was to summon Ul 'Thok, a demon from the dimension known as Shadowlands. This was necessary to win the battle at hand. The demon was of course only to enter under strict regulation but in the very last moment Kavanaugh, the apprentice, changed the spell and Ul 'Thok was released freely in Aven. The only condition for entering was to slay every soul on the battlefield, surely an easy task for a great demon such as Ul 'Thok. Well, it would have been, if not for one person. An heir to the demonslayer of old that used to possess a very powerful sword known as Ravensword. For some reason, Ul 'Thok couldn't consume this persons soul and was again banished to the dimension of Shadowlands.

    As we take control of this hero (of course that's our character, who else?) we learn that Ul 'Thok is doing everything in his power to regain access to our world to finish what he started. To stop this from happening, we must find the legendary sword, Ravensword, and slay Ul 'Thok once and for all. But where is this sword? Well, to find it, we need three Ravenstones to guide the way, and this is where our journey begins.

    Ravensword is a (well... arguable) light weight action adventure that has drawn inspiration from games like the Elder Scrolls series. It begins at a slow pace, it throws a few easy fetch quests at us to show us the ropes. It's a rather playful dialogue with many curious personalities to meet and talk to. The story is... okay. It's enough to get me to want to carry on and the surroundings are very nice to explore even if there isn't all that much to discover.

    The gameplay
    The fighting starts out very awkward. Further on you gain access to stronger, and/or ranged weapon types and even magic, but in the beginning there's just this one sword and it's awkward and weak as all hell to use. It doesn't help that the hit detection seems to be a bit off. Fighting is in short a pain in the ass in the beginning. But this radically changes as you learn to adjust to the gameplay and also gain more cool stuff to use. I especially liked the crossbows, after getting one of the stronger ones I didn't really need to get anything else. The movement is strange and bothersome where the character starts to walk sideways when turning a bit and that ends up being much slower than actually running and the camera has a weighty momentum to it, much like Mario on ice, which makes it not a good substitute for turning around. The fight system in its core, apart from the clunky feeling, is rather straight forward with attack, block and parry. It feels a bit sluggish at times and the hit detection can act up a fair bit as I said, but it's more a "getting used to it"-issue than a game breaking one. The difficulty seems to find a nice balance where I feel a bit underpowered for a while and then get to feel overpowered after some grinding. And then right back to feeling underpowered in the next area and so on and so forth. It's an equal amount of challenging battle and decadent killing spree. You also get to ride... No. No, I'll let you find that one out for yourself.

    The good
    • Very inspired (and extremely varied) enemy design
    • Pretty environments
    • Fast and easy save system
    • Addicting

    The bad
    • Low framerate
    • Initially awkward control
    • The weight to the camera control
    • Very few settings to tweak for the end user
    • A lot of bugs (mostly including enemies or clipping)

    I don't think I would recommend this game to someone new to the system. It's very unimpressive at a first glance and it's also competing in a genre where there's lots and lots of better games around. But as far as the OUYA platform goes, it's an interesting game to delve into when you're feeling up for something a bit different from the rest of the Discover and if you're willing to look past all the shortcomings, it's actually pretty enjoyable. I give Ravensword: Shadowlands 3 out of 5.

    Last edited by Starfighter; 04-29-2015 at 10:50 AM.
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