Ary And The Secret Of Seasons Articles RSS Feed | Ary And The Secret Of Seasons RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Ary and the Secret of Seasons Review: Ary's Buggy Adventure Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:18:23 -0400 Henry Stockdale

After several delays and a lot of waiting, Ary and the Secret of Seasons is finally here. Taking inspiration from classic games like The Legend of Zelda, Ary introduces fans of 3D action-adventure games to a brand new world that revolves around the four seasons and their related elements. 

Though Ary features some platforming gameplay, the game revolves around players learning to master those elements, mixing in a good bit of combat and puzzle-solving as well.

It certainly looked promising in its early stages and has many enjoyable moments in its current form, it's a game that could’ve used more time in development. 

Ary And The Secret of Seasons Review: Ary's Buggy Adventure

Ary's story revolves around the eponymous Aryelle, daughter of Yule City’s Winter Guardian, Gwenn. In the world of Valdi, regions are controlled by one of four Guardians of Seasons, who are tasked with defending the city from an ancient evil mage's magic. In doing so, they command the powers of winter, spring, summer, and fall. 

Several weeks before the story begins, Ary's brother, Flynn, disappears, leaving her grief-stricken father in no state to carry out his duties as guardian. Soon after, Yule City is attacked by mysterious red crystals, turning the seasons upside down. With no one left to take up her father's mantle, Ary sets out to unravel this new mystery herself.

Aside from her father's winter crystal, Ary will find other elemental crystals throughout her journey, and with her new-found abilities, Ary eventually bends seasons to her will.

As an adventure game, Ary and the Secret of Seasons features a number of puzzles. 

These can range from freezing gaps between bridges and growing vines through spring’s power or filling up voids with water using the fall crystal so she can swim from one side to another. You can activate and deactivate powers at a whim, making for creative puzzle-solving experiences.

However, the roads of Valdi are not safe, and during your travels, Ary will find a lot of Hyenas, raccoons, hogs, and even deadly fungi waiting to attack.

Overall, combat is quite basic and simplistic, providing a quick attack for sword strikes and a slingshot for ranged strikes. Defensive strategies are key to keeping Ary alive, however, and you have access to parries and dodges.

Ary doesn't have to participate in every fight, though, and it’s important to note this isn’t a game that uses an experience points system, so no grinding is required to get more powerful or upgrade attributes like attack damage or agility. Learning the ropes is relatively easy, and there's little consequence to dying.

Ary and the Secret of Seasons doesn't have an intense open-world like you may find with larger games, but there’s always something to do. Whether that’s collecting pages from the "banned" journal, finding collectable teapots, reading monuments to Valdi’s history, or just participating in some friendly chat with the locals, there’s a lot here to keep things going. Side quests are available in abundance, too, all of which provide rewards.

Numerous shopkeepers also spring up throughout the world, letting Ary buy new weapons, outfits, and more. Of course, you need to currency, which comes in the form of coins. These are earned by completing side quests or locating hidden treasure chests.

Since exploration is encouraged, it's good that Ary has an interesting cast of characters to keep life entertaining, Valdi never feels dull; there is a lot of fun here in uncovering its secrets. And while the game's 3D graphics are not the sharpest, it makes up for that with a colourful visual approach, showcasing the elements well, bringing a lot of life to Valdi.

Unfortunately, Ary’s biggest problem is that it's buggy, and during my playthrough for this review, I encountered numerous technical issues. In the Yule region, some NPC dialogue was completely blank. One side quest requires you to drop a winter sphere around a separate NPC, but it didn’t acknowledge I'd actually done it until reloading the game several times.

I found more bugs in the next region, too, Lammastide. One prevented me from talking to an NPC, which stopped me starting their side quest at all. A different NPC, Judy, also had issues, displaying their text in the wrong language until I completed another task.

Some prior issues had also occurred but these seem to have been fixed with the Day-One patch.

Ary And The Secret Of Seasons — The Bottom Line

  • Highly enjoyable platforming
  • Lovely visual approach
  • Wonderful cast of characters
  • Lot of bugs
  • Combat is rather basic

Ary and the Secret of Seasons proved highly enjoyable overall, bringing some solid Zelda-esque action to a beautiful yet chaotic world. But it’s hard to ignore the game's technical faults, even if the developers are working diligently to fix them.

While they don’t affect the main campaign, their impact proved enough to dampen the experience considerably. If you can’t wait to dive into a new platformer, there is a genuinely fun game here, so it comes recommended. Just consider it with a strong side of caution until more patches and updates drop.

[Note: Modus Games provided the copy of Ary and the Secret of Seasons used for this review.]

Ary and the Secret of Seasons Preview: Nary a Reason Not to Play Wed, 05 Aug 2020 09:00:01 -0400 Henry Stockdale

We’ve seen a mini-revival of 3D platformers these last few years, bringing with it a mix of good and mediocre experiences, such as the acclaimed A Hat In Time and the somewhat mixed Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. Making their own attempt at a platforming game, Belgian developers Exiin are now releasing Ary and the Secret of Seasons.

Due to launch on September 1, this new action-adventure title takes inspiration from The Legend of Zelda franchise, and while it doesn’t quite hit those lofty heights so far, there’s a lot of promise in what we’ve seen.

So what’s the story here? 

You play as Aryelle, daughter of the Winter Guardian that resides within Yule City, one of four Guardians of Seasons chosen to defend this world from an ancient evil mage's magic by commanding the powers of spring, summer, and fall. Ary's brother Flynn has recently gone missing, and as a result, her anguished father is in no state to carry out his duties as Guardian.

After fending off a hyena attack, Yule gets attacked by crystals that stop the elements, and a Guardian Council is called to discuss this new threat across the world of Valdi. With no one else to do it, Ary sets out to take her father’s place, armed with a sword and his winter crystal, the source of his power over the winter elements. 

For this preview, Exiin included two parts. Part one is the game’s opening, the same demo released for Steam’s summer game festival. However, part two is new, showcasing the Winter Temple as you take on the Winter Golem, and it gives a broader view of Ary’s full set of powers. 

The 3D graphics aren’t the sharpest here, but Ary’s colorful visual approach brings a lot of life to this world across both segments, filling it with personality and a lot of charm.

Taking place within Yule and the surrounding areas, this preview made for a great introduction to Ary’s open-world gameplay. Utilizing her new-found power, Ary can bend seasons to her will, which is crucial to both advancing in Ary’s adventure and solving the game’s puzzles. 

Unable to cross a broken bridge? No problem; the winter crystal can freeze the gaps between it. Ice wall blocking your way afterward? No problem; you can deactivate your power so it melts. Need to clear some water? No problem; the spring crystal can help you separate it.

These different uses make for a creative experience, and once you've obtained further crystals for fall and summer, switching between these seasons is easily done via the D-Pad.

As you might expect from a Zelda-styled game, combat features in your travels, too — and you need to be prepared. Some areas are filled with hyenas, hogs, and raccoons, to name a few. You’ll need to employ defensive strategies to keep Ary alive, parrying and rolling to dodge attacks while locking on to enemies to deal damage. If you get hurt, health is replenishable via fruit from trees or pots.

It’s easy to learn but slightly tedious in its simplicity. Not every fight has to happen, though, as you can choose your battles by simply running away if you're not after a quarrel.

Ary doesn't exactly have a bustling open-world, but it never feels quiet either. Alongside monuments that detail Valdi’s history, you’ll encounter plenty of locals to chat with, and some will offer you side quests. These quests are all highlighted on your mini-map so that you won’t get lost in or between them.

As such, exploration is encouraged, and traversing Valdi never feels dull; there’s a lot of fun to be had uncovering its secrets.

You can also buy many items that will help you in your journey, including outfits, which allow you to both customize Ary’s appearance and upgrade some of her abilities. The Wing Boots, for example, allow Ary to double jump. Other upgrades, which you can purchase from merchants called sensei, let you enhance attributes like attack damage. These are purchased with coins found in secret chests or gained through side quests.

With only a month to go before launch, Ary And The Secret of Seasons is coming together nicely. In a couple of instances, the framerate dropped during sprinting, but otherwise, it proved a smooth experience.

Backed by a lovely visual aesthetic and charming personality, Ary is a game that platforming fans won’t want to miss and wears its influences from Zelda well. Personally, I cannot wait to see Exiin’s finished release. Stay tuned for more coverage in the coming weeks.