Ary and the Secret of Seasons, analysis Switch

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Exiin brings us an adventure with puzzles, platforming and an original concept. Unfortunately, also with large cracks in its finish.

Long before reaching the equator of Ary and the Secret of Seasons, there is a section in which Aryelle, its protagonist, is locked in a dungeon in the deepest part of a mine. The goal of the player, as you might expect, is to escape from there, but not before destroying a machine used for questionable purposes. Although that is not the important thing. The important thing is that the process is solved by throwing into its interior the large stick that we had used minutes before to make our way through the mine. This sequence leaves us without a club and in return gives us another weapon, created from one of the blades that the machine used to cut minerals. From there, and after overcoming a brief chase, we managed to go outside and breathe fresh air … Only that the club still appears in our inventory and the screen continues to show the destruction of the machine as one of the current objectives.

But the story goes on, because even though the game doesn’t seem to have recorded that particular event, it does know that we’ve come out and urges us to move on. So we listen to him and continue, for hours, traveling to new places and overcoming new dungeons with our trusty club, which shows that the game was not designed with him in mind because some sequences un-equip it and using it further trivializes the already of simple combat on its own – even though it’s fun to see enemies three times the size of Ary fall in one fell swoop. It is less funny to discover later, on the way to another section already quite advanced, that the failure in the registration of the objective also results in the blocking of the passage through the city near the mine. Their guards, endearing anthropomorphic rams, have not received the news and are at another point in history. So we assume that we have arrived there, that we have to start again.

Luckily we were wrong, as there was an alternate route skirting the map and going through another city. Further away, but without rams. It was a relief worthy of being picked up in the introduction because, on the one hand, it exemplifies how useful it can be not to restrict everything and offer more than one option; and on the other, because it also illustrates the worrying state in which Secret of Seasons finds itself. A game whose problems go well beyond this anecdote and prevent you from building a solid adventure experience despite its interesting premise.

Four seasons with pineapple

Daughter of one of the guardians of the stations of the kingdom of Valdi, Ary decides to cut her hair and pose as her missing brother to investigate the fall of meteorites that leave the climate of each region upside down. It is a simple story, but with charm because, despite the clear influence of Zeldera, here you do not have to rescue damsels, but to embody one who takes the bull by the horns – and it is not a saying, because in fact he fights against one. . Along the way we also meet a number of wacky characters and there is even room for script twists, so on that terrain it works. But it is precisely this alteration in the seasons that gives rise to the most interesting ideas offered by a game that may start out as a Zelda impersonator (even the theme of the seasons was explored in depth by the excellent Oracle of Seasons of Game Boy Color) , but it finds its identity with its own applications of increasing complexity and creativity.


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