Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Digiart Interactive, N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: Digiart Interactive
Played On: PC

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Immersive story, Good combat
Bad: Save states don't work, Stark contrast to models and levels, Unbalanced skill trees
User Score
5.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is an interesting title. Overall the story and gameplay, while lacking polish in certain areas, are huge amounts of fun, paying homage to other action RPG titles such as Diablo and Torchlight. Sadly the amount of bugs and overall issues with saves and checkpoints will make it a hit or miss for some.

Story

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards takes place in 16th century Spain filled with gods and magic. Aluna is the daughter of Pachamama, the Inca goddess of Earth; who makes Aluna a demigod. After sacrificing her physical body to protect Aluna from a meteor, Pachamama’s body has turned into shards that are scattered around the world.

Aluna, now fully grown, has the amulet which holds her mother’s heart and is tasked to collect all the shards to fully restore her. On her journey, she meets like-minded individuals who journey with her to help on her quest to restore what was lost and ultimately fulfill her true destiny.

There’s always something captivating about mythological lore. The stories, gods, and the surplus of mythological beasts stand the test of time, and it’s safe to say Aluna doesn’t disappoint either. There is a hefty amount of lore and history blended into the story, and none of it takes away from the gameplay or overall premise of the story.

Aluna herself is brash and impulsive, and it makes sense considering her lineage. The way she interacts with humans and mythical creatures alike all seems natural, which adds more immersion to the world-building and story.

Graphics

Aluna is a good-looking game…from time to time. When players first start the game, they are introduced to comic-book-style cutscenes that span over the course of the game. The attention to detail and the cel-shaded art style fit the presentation well. In comparison to the in-game graphics, however, it may throw off certain players.

The in-game graphics are somewhat of a hit-or-miss scenario. Certain maps look fantastic, further adding to the overall atmosphere of the game, like the Jungle and Snow Temple areas. The Jungle is dense and filled with foliage and plants at every turn and the Snow Temple emits a clean luminescent tone, showered by white and blue colors.

However, the same can’t be said for the rest of the game. Most characters, including Aluna herself, don’t have the same type of polish as the levels themselves. It’s like the character models and maps are pulled from two completely different projects and then mushed together, which can be a little weird to look at for long periods of time. To be fair, however, certain characters and enemies have unique designs that add to the mythological theme of the game. Creativity runs wild as you encounter ethereal warrior spirits, demonic monkeys, and horrifying bat monsters.

Sound

There’s not much to say about the game’s soundscape. The music that varies between areas is slightly subtle in its differences but it gets the job done. When landing attacks or casting magical spells, the special effects are nothing to write home about but are simply functional. The voice acting can be annoying depending on personal preference.

Aluna herself is a very vocal protagonist, especially during combat. When battling enemies, she will break out a voice line nearly every time she strikes and defeats an enemy. It’s not like the voice lines are different depending on the enemy themselves, so be prepared to hear the same one-liners and taunts over and over. It can and will get repetitive and annoying fairly quickly.

Gameplay

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards, is an Action RPG based on the popular comic book series “The World Of Aluna”. Similar to Diablo, players will traverse different areas, defeating enemies, collecting loot, and leveling up; all in that order.

Like most games in the genre, players will have a primary and secondary weapon slot. Depending on the type of weapon, players can either dual wield, have a two-handed weapon for both slots, or have a defensive and offensive weapon in both slots, adding plenty of depth to the gameplay. In addition, players can equip armor that adds passive buffs that can boost the players’ particular stats such as health, critical hits, and attack speed. The game fits the standard of tailoring to any playstyle, which is a must in Action RPGs.

Since Aluna herself is a demigod, she has a large number of skills made available. Players can pick from three vastly different skill trees; Magic, Ranged, and Warrior, which are all self-explanatory. All things considered, all trees are fun to play with. Nonetheless, there is a certain tree that clearly outclasses the others, making players pretty overpowered from the start if they choose to do so. There doesn’t seem to be enough balance to the skill trees, as there are some abilities that don’t really do much and feel like a complete waste of a skill point, but at the same time, there is also one particular ability decimating enemies in one fell swoop. This makes the game feel a bit random.

For the most part, combat is enjoyable. There are plenty of different enemies to fight, each with its own abilities and quirks. Adding the constant loop of leveling and looting for gear makes Aluna just like any other Action RPG. Sadly, this can’t be said for the constant bugs and issues that plague the game.

One of these issues is with the save slots. The game in total has five, but weirdly enough offers no autosave at all. Sadly, it gets even worse that sometimes the save slots simply do not work, or even in-game that other events trigger a full restart of your adventure. We encountered issues where we battled bosses and sadly kicked the bucket. When prompted to go back to the game’s previous checkpoint, or the menu, picking the first option would also boot us back to the menu. This meant all our progression was lost, which is definitely game-breaking for a game such as this.

Conclusion

Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards incorporates a lot of things that make grinding in action RPGs fun. The overall story is enjoyable and the added lore of Inca mythology and its world-building make it a pleasant experience on its own. Add the fun gameplay and grind and this can be an appealing title, but the issue with no auto-saving and save states not working entirely is a huge issue that needs to be addressed.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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