Evaluation: Operencia – The Stolen Solar Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)
Zen Studios’ Operencia: The Stolen Solar would not actually get off to the brightest of begins on Nintendo Swap. Opening with a prologue that sees you assume management of King Attila and his spouse Reka as they try to shut a portal between their land and the underworld, issues kick off right here with a ten-minute introduction that highlights just a few of this port’s niggling technical points, specifically a barely blurred picture high quality on the subject of enemies throughout battle and a scarcity of movement controls that may make some puzzles a little bit finnicky to work together with. Persevere by means of this very quick sequence, nonetheless, make peace with the aforementioned negatives, and you will be handsomely rewarded with a wealthy and satisfying dungeon crawler that strikes a candy stability between partaking story, meaty fight, addictive treasure searching and intelligent puzzles.
As soon as you have managed to get the considerably janky prologue out of the way in which you may be briefly whisked by means of a personality creation suite after which shortly plonked within the ruins of a sunken citadel for some good-old normal dungeon-crawling motion. Gameplay right here shall be acquainted to followers of the Bard’s Story collection, particularly The Bard’s Story 4 which modernised the franchise’s conventional old-school gameplay mechanics by introducing the rather more freeform type of traversal and digicam controls that you will familiarize yourself with right here.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)
In Operencia: The Stolen Solar you and your occasion transfer round dungeons and all different areas of the sport world as a single unit from a wholly first particular person perspective. Traversal takes place on a grid-based system with solely 4 instructions of journey however with full management of the sport’s digicam for partaking along with your surroudings. You will make your means round sprawling dungeons, uncovering their intricate maps little by little as you rigorously inch forwards, avoiding numerous environmental obstacles, fixing puzzles and battling with the numerous beasties you may encounter as you go. As an alternative of random encounters, enemy engagements right here will be averted or instigated – for essentially the most half – at a time of your selecting and sneaking up in your foes will see you ambush them, supplying you with a welcome stat enhance within the fight encounter which follows.
That fight is just about par-for-the-course for the style, a turn-based affair which sees your occasion of 4 fighters have interaction the enemy with all kinds of melee, ranged, magic and AOE assaults, being cautious to handle well being and vitality bars and making use of buffs and therapeutic the place essential to see you thru. Arenas are three layers deep, signified right here by colored traces on the ground, and assaults shall be simpler in the event that they match the vary at which your goal is positioned. Every character in your squad has an in depth ability tree to unlock which differs relying on which class they occur to be and XP is gained by battling monsters, discovering secrets and techniques and treasure, fixing puzzles and finishing numerous different duties. After battles you may relaxation up at campfires to heal, stage up, create potions – in itself a really satisfying little minigame – and purchase weapons and armour from a service provider.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)
If all of it sounds fairly run of the mill, nicely, on a fundamental stage it’s, there’s nothing within the moment-to-moment gameplay right here that may come as a shock to any fan of this explicit sub-genre. Nevertheless, the place Operencia: The Stolen Solar actually elevates itself is in a narrative that is steeped in fascinating Hungarian folklore, a enjoyable forged of characters who always banter backwards and forwards as they go about their enterprise and a collection of actually well-designed and engagingly atmospheric dungeons that strike a pleasant stability with how they combine their fight, puzzling and treasure searching.
Certainly, it is within the little particulars the place Operencia: The Stolen solar actually shines. The voice-acting right here, for instance, might a little bit of a combined bag nevertheless it’s saved for essentially the most half by some enjoyable writing that sees your companions always wise-cracking, spinning yarns and having amusing at one another’s expense as they creep round corridors and battle unhealthy guys. In fight too, enemies have been fantastically animated with a ton of element in how they transfer, battle and react to being punished by your assaults – we love how skeletons will sometimes lose their focus and drop their weapons throughout battle – and your numerous magic and AOE assaults are all accompanied by loads of screen-filling explosions and environmental results. The fight right here is satisfyingly meaty and, though it could sometimes be a little bit bit monotonous in opposition to bog-standard foes, it is largely pleasingly strategic and gives loads of moments the place you may have to pause and punctiliously contemplate your choices if you happen to’re to make it by means of, particularly in relation to the numerous glorious boss battles which can be dotted all through dungeons.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)
Puzzling, too, is just about uniformly glorious with a very good stage of selection within the many challenges laid earlier than you as you make your means throughout Operencia. You will have to put the huge array of instruments you accumulate in your journey to work with a purpose to unlock magical doorways, traverse booby-trapped rooms or damaged bridges and function all types of mechanical units that block your path. On multiple event we needed to bust out a notepad and pen to assist us work out find out how to resolve sure brain-teasers and, total, the sport does an excellent job of making certain that it correctly challenges you with out sliding into irritating territory. Dungeons additionally have a tendency to construct in the direction of a satisfyingly powerful climax every time with boss battles that’ll drive you to make use of your entire newest assaults and expertise normally preceded by some puzzle component and/or miniboss to actually preserve you in your toes.
Throughout the roughly thirty-hour marketing campaign right here, as you battle to avoid wasting the kidnapped Solar King Napkiraly by retrieving King Attila’s legendary sword, you may have interaction with a forged of characters plucked from each the pages of historical past and conventional Hungarian Folklore in a narrative that is impressively sturdy for this sort of recreation and, though it does start to expire of steam a little bit within the second half, it is an entertaining journey that does a improbable job of framing all of the juicy dungeon crawling you may stand up to in your epic quest.
One factor we’d advise as you play by means of Operencia: The Stolen Solar is that you simply take your time in every of its ranges, examine your environment absolutely and hoover up each secret and piece of treasure yow will discover. There is a wealth of weapons, armour and vital recipes to be discovered as a reward – you possibly can have fast examine in your recreation map to see how a lot of every space you have accomplished – and doing so will see you stage up and keep away from lacking objects or operating right into a brick wall – as we did – fairly early on in opposition to some boss or different who you are simply not able to face. The sport additionally features a quick journey system which is unlocked 4 chapters in and is sensible for returning to earlier dungeons whenever you’ve unlocked some new traversal choices that allow you to entry beforehand out-of-bounds areas – sure, there’s even a little bit contact of Metroidvania right here. It is also a good suggestion to make a number of saves simply in case you get utterly caught or discover you have made the unsuitable selection someplace alongside the way in which – we’re talking from bitter expertise right here. This can be a recreation that rewards thorough exploration of its glorious ranges and might actually punish you in large battles if you happen to’ve rushed issues alongside – Queen Reka, we’re taking a look at you.
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)
When it comes to this Swap port, as we talked about there are a handful of niggling points with the decision getting a little bit blurry once in a while throughout busy fight encounters and we actually, actually want movement controls had been an possibility to assist fine-tune our actions when attempting to position small objects or work together with some finnicky a part of the surroundings. Touchscreen controls are included right here however we discovered them rather more of a trouble to make use of total than sticking with a controller.
Past these minor inconveniences, nonetheless, this can be a high-quality port. In each docked and moveable modes loading occasions are quick, the framerate by no means stutters, we did not encounter any bugs throughout our playthrough and the sport seems to be and sounds glorious for essentially the most half as you make your means by means of its many dungeons. It could not look fairly as sharp because the Xbox One model however we reckon that is a trade-off greater than price making with a purpose to have this recreation out there to play in moveable mode the place we are able to dip out and in of its labyrinthian ranges at our leisure.
Operencia: The Stolen Solar is a largely glorious first particular person, grid-based dungeon crawler that is introduced brilliantly to life through a fascinating story, enjoyable forged of characters and a few well-designed and vastly atmospheric dungeons. Fight right here is satisfying and puzzles, for essentially the most half, land simply on the fitting facet of difficult. In case you’re searching for a meaty old-school dungeon-crawling adventure with a ton of secrets and techniques and treasures to search out as you make your means throughout its world, this one comes as a pleasant shock and is extremely beneficial.