Ary and the Secret of Seasons – Preview
Follow Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Fishing Cactus, Exiin SPRL
Publisher: Modus Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Ary and the Secret of Seasons – Preview

Good: Great ideas and innovative concept
Bad: Very rough around the edges
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

3D platformers tend to be a fun bunch, especially when combined with puzzles and innovative mechanics. Ary and the Secret of Seasons is one of such games and, even if just a preview, it does a pretty good job with what it has.

The game’s story revolves around the titular protagonist, Ary. After some mysterious crystals fall from the sky, turning winter into summer, Ary’s father receives a letter from the other guardians requesting his presence. Due to her father’s state, mourning the disappearance of her brother, Ary decides to go in his stead, for which she collects the crystal of winter. After arriving at the meeting, she finds all the other guardians knocked out. Once she manages to wake them up, they realize their crystals have been stolen, prompting Ary to offer to retrieve them.

On top of the whimsical story, Ary and the Secret of Seasons has a very vibrant and fun art style. Everything is colorful and exciting, with pretty unique characters (even if as usual NPCs repeat) and beautiful environments. There’s some smudge in all this though, objects in the game have a tendency to look stiff, with some of the details in models clipping through each other. That said, it is still a preview, which means it doesn’t necessarily equate to the finished product.

The sound of the game is also well covered. The soundtrack already shows promise with a few quality tracks, though they sometimes stop and start too suddenly. SFX are all well made as well, with the few voice lines Ary has while beating on enemies adding extra charm. These voice lines aren’t the only voice acting though, all major scenes include it for their characters.

Funnily enough, despite how good the other areas might be, gameplay is somewhat of a weak spot for the game. The combat is quite simple and can be skipped more often than not as it’s made up by one combo, a parry and a dodge. Things could also be improved with the open world, which is quite linear and feels empty; there’s not much to do besides going from mission to mission and taking short side-quests from NPCs.

The puzzles are well designed, though there are several times where they can be skipped or where they bug. From the four season powers announced by the game, only three are visible on the preview, and of those only two have real effects. The winter power freezes water and ground in its area of effect; meanwhile, spring dries up water. These little uses don’t really make the power look like the main appeal of the game; instead, they just seem to be yet another gimmick.

Platforming is something that could also be smoother, though it generally works. Following in suit, there’s not a whole lot of complexity to it. Early on into the game Ary obtains a second jump and it doesn’t expand from there. Edge grabbing, collisions, etc. are the things, in particular, that could receive this polishing. For example, oftentimes Ary will let go when grabbing onto an edge for no reason, in particular, forcing the player to repeat the whole section.

A curious mention is how the open world is instanced instead of truly open, adding to the sense of linearity previously mentioned. There are a whole lot of invisible walls that can’t be traversed; these look particularly out of place when they are clearly connected to another seemingly passable zone.

There should also be mentioned a lot of bugs can be currently found in the game. These include, but are not limited to, clipping, disappearing characters, boss bars remaining after boss defeat, etc. It is mostly understandable due to the game being just a beta, so hopefully, these will disappear after the full release.

Conclusion

Ary and the Secret of Seasons is shaping up to be a pretty interesting game, though it could do with some more polishing. At the moment it definitely has a lot of charm and looks like a great newcomer once it releases on September 1st.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Ary and the Secret of Seasons - Preview, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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