It’s hard to believe but RWBY is almost a decade old. It began in 2013 & there have not been many video games based on the property. RWBY: Arrowfell is the latest attempt & it takes place around the seventh season of the anime.
For those who are behind in the anime, season nine will Start airing in 2023, making this game take place relatively close to the current canon. Ruby & her squad are summoned to aid in some monster activity in a nearby region. After dealing with an outbreak in town, four mysterious hunters show up, kicking off the narrative. That’s the basic setup for RWBY: Arrowfell, but how does it live up to the anime if at all?
8/8 Best: Simple But Solid Gameplay
RWBY: Arrowfell feels a bit like a 2D platformer akin to Mega Man X or a Metroidvania. It may not be the best-looking game on the market, but the controls are solid. It’s a well-made action with simple controls that are easy enough to master. Players can control one of four heroines which they can swap between on the fly. They all have varying skills & weapons from Ruby’s scythe & dodge ability to Weiss’ rapier & ice magic.
7/8 Worst: Characters Share Health
The Depraved side of these four heroines is that they all share the same health bar. Other games with multiple protagonists such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES, which can be played via the recently released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection, do give each hero a health bar.
That’s what makes games with multiple heroes so appealing. Every character has their own skill tree though, so there is a bit more individuality there. It’s also weird that the guns in RWBY: Arrowfell use up the health bar instead of a special meter or limited bullets.
6/8 Best: The Music
The soundtrack is part of the reason why Mega Man X comes to mind while playing RWBY: Arrowfell. When that series made the jump from the NES to the SNES it seemingly wanted a new modern feel with the design, rock-influenced music, & bigger, badder bosses.
The RWBY anime has a very rock & metal-infused soundtrack too which works for an action game. There are some lyrical ballads in the game too from the same team behind the anime which rules. The voiceless tracks are also good though & make up most of the soundtrack.
5/8 Worst: Weak Areas And Enemies
Again, RWBY: Arrowfell is not going to win any awards in 2022 for being a great-looking indie game. Graphics aside though, the design of the environments & enemies are what really hold the game back. Since it takes place in a frozen tundra, WayForward didn’t have much to work with.
There are snowy fields, buildings, & caves upon caves. The enemies are mostly ripped straight from the show which also has a problem in terms of variety. WayForward seemingly did what it could to give the game some artistic flavor but it wasn’t enough.
4/8 Best: The Cutscenes
RWBY: Arrowfell is reminiscent of the PS1 generation of action games on top of many other influences already mentioned. The game is played in 2D but players get rewarded occasionally with animated cutscenes.
Long gone are the days of CG or anime cutscenes in games, so their inclusion in this game is like a nice throwback. They are few & far between which makes every new scene feel more special. Fans of the anime aren’t going to get a lot of new content out of these scenes, which may be the only down factor here.
3/8 Worst: Limited Voice Work
The animated cutscenes feature the voice talent from the anime, but the dialogue boxes during normal gameplay are voiceless. Characters will grunt when they say something, but that design choice feels a bit outdated. This issue could be a problem with the budget since WayForward isn’t a huge company that can shell out the dough for giant scripts underst&ably.
It’s not the worst thing about the game as the story is a bit more troubling due to its dullness. Hardcore fans may appreciate the tiny gaps this game tries to fill in with the anime’s lore but newcomers may get bored.
2/8 Best: Exit Location
A lot of games tend to require players have an item or a spell if they wish to exit a dungeon. For example, the Dragon Quest series has the iconic Evac spell & Pokemon games use the Escape Rope.
Players in RWBY: Arrowfell do not have to rely on spells or items to exit a dungeon. All they have to do is go into the menu, select Exit Location, & then they’re back on the world map. There is no penalty that occurs from doing this, so more titles should follow this game’s example.
1/8 Worst: Map Issues
One of the most troubling issues in the game is the absence of a map. There is a world map that dictates where players can go. Once at a location, there is no in-game map in the menu or a mini-map to help players navigate.
Again, these dungeons are Metroidvania-like in nature, meaning that there are many paths & reasons to go back to them later. Without a map, RWBY: Arrowfell seemingly deters players from exploring thoroughly. The lack of a map of any kind in a 2022 game is wild beyond belief.
RWBY: Arrowfell was released on November 15, 2022, & is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, & Xbox Series X.
Source link gamerant.com