The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – Review
Follow Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Over The Moon
Publisher: Coatsink
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Tested on: Switch

The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – Review

Site Score
Good: Tough but fair combat, Unique nostalgia mechanics
Bad: Mostly caters towards Dark Souls fans due to its difficulty
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Dark Souls changed the gaming landscape forever when it introduced players to its addictive gameplay loop of game-overs and frustrating difficulty. Since then we have seen a lot of releases taking inspiration from this series but changing up the setting or gameplay. The Last Hero of Nostalgaia, however, tries to stick as close to the Dark Souls experience as possible to deliver a worthy tribute with, as the name implies, a lot of nostalgia sprinkled in.


One of the best-known parts of a Dark Souls story is its vagueness. Most of the important information isn’t delivered directly to players but has to be found in the world This is where The Last Hero of Nostalgaia perfectly captures a feeling of wonder and discovery, by delivering most of its narrative through the world and its inhabitants.

You take on the role of a stick figure known as the last hero who can save Nostalgaia from the decay it is suffering. The world is quite literally a game world where normally heroes travel through and have lots of adventures, but lately, they have grown tired of this and decided to take over the world. Now it’s your job to travel the lands of Nostalgaia and defeat these fallen heroes to return the world to how it once was.

This is the basic setup of the story that you’re given, but you can learn much more through exploration and reading every text you come across. This brings the world alive and rewards players for fully enjoying its vast levels. Another big focus of the game is on nostalgia, delivering a bunch of quips and references to older games. You of course have the classic ‘It’s dangerous to go alone, take this’ references, but The Last Hero of Nostalgaia also offers a bunch of unique and creative nods that earn a chuckle or two.


The graphical design of The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is a really special one. The biggest decay the world of Nostalgaia is experiencing is in its looks, meaning that it changes throughout your playthrough. When you first enter a location, the world looks pixelated and outdated, but the moment you activate a checkpoint, the level gets restored to its normal 3D look right in front of your eyes. The graphics of the game itself aren’t that noteworthy, but this gameplay mechanic helps make it feel unique and memorable. Revisiting locations is much more fun since it has a new coat of color.


The Last Hero of Nostalgaia sounds exactly as you would expect from a Dark Souls-inspired game. The music is dark and orchestral to immerse you in the hopeless state of the world, and the enemies sound horrifying and dangerous. All of this creates a good soundscape.

Most of the NPCs have voice acting for the few lines they have and all of these performances are quite good. The standout is your permanent companion: the narrator. Throughout your playthrough, the narrator is always giving information about where you’re going and how hopeless the situation is. It feels a lot like playing Stanley’s Parable where a voice is permanently taunting you and making fun of everything you do. This is a fun addition to an otherwise darker game and helps drive home the satirical tone.


The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is an action-adventure game that plays a lot like its source of inspiration: Dark Souls. The combat of the game is really challenging and has you collecting points to level up that can be permanently lost by a dumb mistake. Fighting your way through this world is challenging but you’ll be rewarded by unique locations with a lot of room to explore.

The combat of The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is pretty straightforward. You equip a melee weapon and use a light or heavy attack to take on enemies. To make sure you survive these encounters, you also have access to a shield and a dodge roll. All of these actions cost stamina, which brings us to a big part of the gameplay, stamina management. Fights can take some time and swinging mindlessly is never a good idea. The core tactic is to be patient and to strike when you learn the enemy’s attack patterns. This gameplay is where a Dark Souls clone thrives or falls and The Last Hero of Nostalgaia hits the nail on the head. The combat feels heavy and dangerous, but works well and never makes you feel hopeless. Especially boss fights are rewarding when you finally know how to beat the monster after a bunch of failed tries.

But if you are tired of constantly hitting the game over-screen, there are ways to enhance your character. The most basic way is by leveling up. Each enemy you defeat gives you experience points that can be used at checkpoints to gain a level and enhance your stats. But in classic Dark Souls fashion you’ll lose all your experience when dying and they have to be picked up again before they’re lost forever. The second way to get stronger is with equipment that can be found all around the lands of Nostalgaia. A unique twist to these items is that all of them have memories of the world that can be unlocked to further enhance their power and unlock a special move. Each piece of equipment has a hint towards a place in the world where their memory can be reawakened, unlocking their backstory and modernizing their pixelated look. This is a fun game mechanic that further promotes exploration and rewards players with bonuses and more pieces of the puzzle of the world.


The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is clearly a love letter to Dark Souls and pays homage to it in a great way. The gameplay feels tight and challenging, but never unfair. This makes it an ideal game for fans of the genre. It also delivers an interesting world that feels like a dark fantasy with just the right amount of satire and nostalgia thanks to some unique gameplay mechanics and design choices, like a quippy narrator and changing graphics. While the game mostly caters towards fans of the Soulborne genre, it offers something for everyone if they can get through the tough combat.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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