Sakuna: Of Rice And Ruins, Review
We analyze this strange title from the hand of Marvelous, which offers side-scrolling exploration with combat mechanics and hack’n slash farming.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a title that has made a long journey from its initial announcement until it hit stores, which will take place on November 20 in Europe while Americans and Japanese will be able to taste it in the first half of the year. months. First presented at Comiket Market 2016 in Japan, it didn’t take long until XSEED Games and Marvelous confirmed its appearance in the West, which was responsible for its distribution in various territories in mid-2017, marking its departure for the year followed by PlayStation 4 and PC. Over time, the game continued to develop as the trailers with some of its playable features were revealed, confirming between its conversion to the Nintendo Switch, which was confirmed last year, they were delayed in the current year 2020.
Developed by Edelweiss, a Japanese indie studio whose titles include the shoot’em ups Astebreed and Ether Vapor Remaster as well as the beat’em up Fairy Bloom Freesia, this new title offers a strange mix of exploration-style combat stages hack’n. slash, with a certain style reminiscent of Muramasa: The Demon Blade, combined with mechanics in which rice cultivation becomes important in a similar way to games like Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons.
The plot of the game features the young goddess Sakuna who is seen on the bridge connecting the human world with the Lofty Realm, where various Japanese mythological gods live, saving a group of people, who reached that place. in a fortuitous way, of a bandit attack. The situation becomes complicated, however, when Mihashira, the same group of people, who go in search of food, returns and takes them to the heavenly barn when Sakuna ends by accidental fire and encouragement. an explosion that destroys the offerings intended for the goddess Kamuhitsuki. Consequently, Kamuhitsuki shows up and orders Sakuna to quickly depart to the island of Onijima to investigate the increasing presence of demons, along with the group of people, including the samaui Tauemon, the young Kinta and Yui, the novice Myrthe and little Kaimaru, serving his expulsion as punishment until he fulfills his mission.
The development of the game will be divided into two different slopes, be the first of them dedicated to exploring the island through the invasion in various areas where you can get materials and deal with different types of enemies too which will hinder progress, as well as provide ingredients in some cases for cooking while being expelled. The latter will focus, of its own accord cultivation and care of the small plot of the house where Sakuna and the group of people settle, through mini-games and Quick Time Event style sequences.
The action spreads through different seasonal periods, which is divided into three – day cycles, and which will affect the environment, including climate change, in particular the conditions of the cultivation area. The once home of Sakuna’s parents, located in the center of the island, will serve as the basis of operations and access to a number of important features during the adventure. From this point, from where the episode begins in each period, the map of the world entered can be accessed from the pause menu and then select the area to visit to start acting.
Exploration gives an insight into side-scrolling style to advance through areas with different designs to overcome obstacles, such as blocked or uneven areas, and enemies in front of people. The combat system offers in contours highly accessible hack’n slash cutting system in which Sakuna will be able to exchange quick attacks with other strong attacks to make chains of combination of blows to gradually reduce the lives of the enemies, with the option of executing a parry technique to temporarily turn the enemies through the timing measured correctly and also Dodge attacks using the celestial cloak, which will allow you to get your enemies back and better while being able to use slabs in higher areas, as long as it is within range of action.
On the other hand, Sakuna may learn offensive skills, which must be fitted from the game’s pause menu, and whose use is practically similar to the one seen in Tales saga games, combining buttons next to stick instructions to execute each of them while consuming part of an energy bar . , which will gradually replenish over time. They can also be learned skills related to the use of the celestial cloak in combat so that they can be used to take advantage and fight against the enemy hosts. It is worth mentioning that Sakuna’s powers will be limited at nightfall, since the enemies, sheltered in the darkness of the moment, they will have more offensive power It will be difficult to bend at first, but as the adventure progresses, it will be possible to find things that will help make trips in these conditions.
To progress in the game and open new areas, it will be necessary achieving the objectives each of which offers, from chasing a specific number of enemies, in a unique way, finding an object or discovering hidden objects, which will increase the research indicator gradually from the zone until it reaches its maximum. There will be several divisions among some areas to visit in the game, including thresholds that will allow you to resume the progress of the area from that point, from which you return to the main map and from there, if necessary, return home. On the other hand there will also be fights against it monsters with great power that act as bosses and it will be a bit complicated to chase them as you will have to accompany their attacks and the attacks of dozens of monsters and make the fight more complicated.
By chasing enemies they will release amber pieces as well as ingredients, this last element is essential for the group to survive but as a barrier to short expiration, measured in days, a period after which the object becomes part of the reserves of rotten food as an ingredient, which can be used for another purpose. To avoid this happening often, you need to talk to Myrthe who will give you kitchen related options, including options conservation To eliminate this limit and increase stored food reserves. Lets another option set up the menu for dinner, with the choice of choosing four dishes, a main, two as a side dish and a dessert plus a drink, be able to balance them to change the effects it will have on Sakuna parameters and the additional capabilities it will provide , which will last in the field until the onigiri-shaped hunger icon near the health bar is left completely empty.
The materials obtained may be used for a variety of purposes, including power craft new weapons and armor Through the options that will allow Kinta and Yui, respectively, to take control of the manufacture of these pieces of equipment, once unlocked as they progress in the game, they need the materials needed to be able to offer manufacture. Indicate that, rather than having superior characteristics, such as increased attack or defensive power, these will occasionally be included, passive skills which will be blocked from entry, be necessary to perform a specific task in order to be able to activate their power through the equipment menu and access their advantages.
As for the part of farming, its development will be important during the game since it will allow on one side get food in good quantity to increase the benefits of Sakuna in combat, but on the other hand it will be crucial in the sense that it will help increase the level of the goddess and improve its parameters consequently, which will allow you to face combat situations against more powerful or complex enemies.
This part of the game is developed through various activities that performed through minigames and button press sequences (Fast Time Event(b), having carried out the details of the cultivation process in several stages. This will include plowing from the ground at the beginning of summer and later to seed cultivation until the harvest is harvested at the end of the harvest and thereafter shearing and separating the shells, going through the temperature and controlling the water level, the fertilization of the landing or removal of insects and plants that may adversely affect the process. In principle, the performance of these tasks a little complicated, partly due to some strange controls on some activities and partly due to the few ideas learned from the beginning, but as the process progresses over and over again there will be some benefits in the form of skills which can be used immediately to facilitate the work and through the scrolls left by Toyohana, Sakuna’s mother, which can be consulted by talking to Tauemon.
One of the relevant elements in the cultivation process is the fertilization of the land to strengthen the harvest and therefore its quality at the end of the season, with the potential make the mixture and get different effects. This is achieved by mixing the debris, collected from the toilet located near the house, together with other components, including the amber pieces obtained or other special materials, which will help to improve the properties of the initial mixture. increase, which may affect more strongly in each of the three categories available (seeds, roots and leaves). Later you can add materials, from rotten food to other materials found in the explorations, that will help increase other parameters in a positive way, such as their strength, life points or magic among other aspects, or which will be adversely affected in a negative way, such as by the addition of certain materials that reduce the level of pest resistance, for example. Once the components are selected, it waits to leave the mixture to rest for a period of time and then spread it on the ground, which is done automatically.
During the cultivation period, the harvest progress information at the beginning of each day, marking your level at each minute as well as being able to go to the field and see the details of the effect of the fertilizer or the progress of each plant. Intake weather will affect depending on the season, especially with multiple rains during the season, which will help the autumn to have a good proportion of water, which can be controlled through both gates, one to allow water to pass and the other the excess of the empty the same. , which will show the information groundwater level and temperature. At the end of the season, the assessment of the harvested crop and the improvement it will bring to Sakuna will be offered, rather than offering extensive information on the process including others of a different kind.
During the game, the game engine will occasionally show sequences in which the characters reflect their day-to-day lives on the island, through secondary events or through other events that attend suggest different orders for Sakuna, requiring many times a series of subjects or, failing that, to investigate certain areas in order to progress the incident. On the other hand, the dinner parties will be there, rather than show the group the taste of the food learn background details of different characters through text conversations in which some relevant details will even be detailed, such as the incident in which Sakuna ‘s parents lived.
For playable content the game stands out in the fighting aspect to offer an accessible and easy to master game system You can chain beat sequences and make enticing combinations against the various types of enemies that populate the island and the bogs, gaining a point that is addictive to play. As for the farming part, although it is a bit tedious at first, in the long run it will be interesting to see the progress and details of the evolution of autumn. The skills help to facilitate progress in this regard and, despite giving the controls a strange feel, they end up being weird.
As for the graphic part, the game offers 3D graphics for character modeling and for scenarios, combining the perspectives of total control with a cheap camera with others, in the exploration stages, of side scrolling style. Character designs stand out especially for its simplicity but also for having style hit, although it shows signs of the anime style, offering a different counterpoint to what is regularly seen. For his lThe scenarios provide different ecosystems, from caves to places with wonderful details, showing the different weather conditions that will change their appearance, the same thing happening in Sakuna house.