PlayStation Reviews

Aggelos grants pixelated retro style adventure

Review Code Provided

Summary

Unbeknownst to you, you are more special than you appear and such is the premise for many an RPG, a simple act of kindness lands you in the role of world saviour. Aggelos is a retro styled action-adventure side scroller, having more in common with a game in the Megaman series from a gameplay perspective than something more fantasy orientated, albeit with a Metroidvania style twist.

Gameplay

Aggelos will have you going back and forth around its game world in search of artefacts and abilities that allow you to inch ever closer to that end goal of beating the dark lord and saving the world. It plays much in the same way as a standard side scroller, you have your main attack and you can also jump but as you get further into the game you start adding magic and new sword based abilities to your repertoire. The magic and abilities you find aren’t just relegated to an offensive capacity as they are also vital to unlocking new paths for your character to traverse; for example one of your magical abilities will allow you to turn wisps into platforms you can stand on to reach higher places, while one of your sword skills will have you doing a rising slash that acts as a double jump.

As you saunter about the world of Aggelos you’ll be required to visit different temples to gain access to the elements within. Each temple also provides your character with a new ability they’ll need to be able to solve said temple and face the boss at the end for the right to claim the element, with the goal being that you have to collect all four of them and then have one final element forged for you that will allow you to take on the dark lord. The temples have a puzzle like environment to them and often require a clever employment of skill to get through and each situation can usually be solved by applying the abilities that you’ve learned up to that point, though some things will be harder than others since Aggelos takes a back seat in regards to telling you what to do. If you’re lost you can visit the castle magician and they’ll give you a hint of where to go next and you’ll get a little tutorial telling you how to use the magics you find but the puzzle solving is left up to the player to figure out. Personally I had more trouble with the skill side of solving the puzzles rather than being stuck on how to solve them, it’s not the easiest game to control and add to that the fact that some portions of the game require very quick or precise actions and it suddenly becomes a lot harder.

 

As well as your main questline where you have to gather the elements, you’ll encounter some characters that hint around you doing some things for them and will grant you with additional heart containers or money, or maybe an important item that you can use elsewhere. Everything you do always has the end goal of making your character stronger and you’ll need it, Aggelos is not the most forgiving of games and the boss battles can be truly frustrating for the unprepared. You’ll come across towns in which you can often buy a new suit of armour and a sword that will help in the temple up ahead, for example, you can find a sword and armour set that boosts your damage and defence while you’re underwater, you can also take a potion with you and a herb to heal up. As well as that your character also has the ability to level up, though beyond getting an instant refill on my health I didn’t notice too much of a difference in terms of character strength.

I found that a lot of the difficulty with Aggelos came from the constantly spawning enemies, every time you leave a screen and come back, the enemies have returned and they often do a lot of damage while taking far too many hits to defeat, they do get easier as you get better equipment but it’s short lived as the later enemies still seem fairly tough and add to that the fact that your enemies will very rarely drop any hearts and it makes the game even harder. Even Megaman was benevolent enough to bestow the odd energy pill here and there. You do have a herb that will restore a few hearts if you get defeated and you can also carry a potion but you can only carry one of each at a time and if you use it you’ll have to go back and get another if you want to keep stocked up because your enemies aren’t likely to drop one. You might think; “Okay, I’ll just buy each type of potion they’re offering and be well stocked” In theory that’s a good idea and I had the same one, unfortunately though, if you’re carrying a potion and buy another, it will replace the one you had meaning you’re at a loss if you happen to accidentally replace the larger potion with a smaller one, fortunately money if plentiful and you’ll have more to buy another potion in no time.

To Conclude

Aggelos presents itself as a fairly easy game initially but it soon takes a sharp turn or a nose dive, whichever takes your fancy, thanks to constantly respawning enemies and lack of health items as well as massively unfair damage scale, this just may be one of the hardest games I’ve played in recent memory and I recently reviewed Blasphemous. There are some times when it seems like you’ll have more trouble defeating the random enemies more than you will the bosses and speaking of the bosses, if you’re like me and you try to brute force your way through just slashing away and hoping for the best, you’re not going to have an easy go of it as this game will force you to learn to avoid at least some of their attacks if you want to be victorious. If it was just the boss you had to account for it might not be so bad but given that some of them require the use of your magic to beat them effectively and given that you have a limited amount of magic which can only be restored by defeating enemies then it means you’re beset by swarms of smaller enemies as well as the boss and to make matters worse, some of the boss arenas will have environmental hazards to watch out for. It’s not just the enemies that make it difficult either, there are some puzzle sections in the game world that will truly test the limits of your patience, possibly most notoriously for me being the Woodpecker Trial, it took me a great deal of time to master that particular trial and the reward, in my opinion, didn’t fit the amount of effort that went into surpassing it.

It’s a difficult game, one that I didn’t enjoy because it felt so unfair most of the time and while there are those of you out there that thrive on this sort challenge, I usually prefer my games a little less headache inducing. I did manage to get to the end of the game out of pure stubbornness and refusal to let the game wear me down and defeat me but it felt in no way rewarding, I only played on normal but if you’re a glutton for punishment, Aggelos also has a hard difficulty. One thing I should make new players aware of that might be handy to know about, if you’re holding left and up and attempt to jump and have the upslash ability, you’ll do the upslash instead of jumping, it doesn’t happen if you hold up and right so I can only assume it’s a glitch.

If you want to purchase Aggelos, you can do so at one of the links below;

PS4

Xbox One

Switch

Steam

If you want to learn more about the game, you can visit its website here.

 

Chris Bracewell
Been a gamer for a long time, is my favourite and oldest pastime. Occasionally, when the mood strikes; I enjoy dabbling in games design, primarily the artistic side.
http://www.northern-gamer.com