8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife is a unique 2D action adventure game. The game owns an attractive metroidvania design with a story told and a context with the spiritual colors of kimchi country, so it is quite close. That’s not to mention from the feeling of control to the design of the screen, all of which are carefully cared for by the team, leaving the writer with a lot of sympathy at first sight. However, the biggest minus point of the game is the soulslike combat system that is somewhat out of tune in the game experience.
Not only that, although it has an attractive story, the English translation of 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife is not as good as the writer expected. It has more of a feeling of being translated literally from the original rather than translating it to suit the local language. The writer discovered that many lines using wrong pronouns can cause confusion, even call the wrong gender of the main character. Experience the game that takes you to play the role of little Arum in an adventure to the land of the dead with a surprising ending.
It all started in a certain village, a mysterious epidemic took the lives of many people, including Arum’s father. Not accepting the truth, Arum convinces two men of unknown origin to help her go to Purgatory to find her father. However, through searching, the rulers of this place did not have information about Arum’s father. They guide her to find different areas to search, accidentally pushing the brave child into the conspiracy that is happening quietly in this world.
Exploration is the biggest plus of 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife thanks to its excellent level design, which requires players to collect certain weapons to access different areas similar to other metroidvania games. That’s not to mention the game screen has a lot of secret areas, pretty good rewards for the effort you put in. For example, skill points or wandering souls without “brothers to rely on”, are used to unlock new skills and receive a reward from the underworld for the purpose of upgrading health, mana and support items.
Of course, the collection of the aforementioned wandering souls also has certain barriers, requiring players to unlock the aforementioned limitations by spending money to buy corresponding items. This money is obtained from common experience activities such as killing demons in the game screen. In particular, 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife does not have a map available, but players have to find a fraudulent NPC. Worth mentioning, this NPC often hides in secret areas waiting for players to discover, plus you have to spend a lot of money to buy a map.
Even the skill system has a heavy feeling of being designed specifically for a more exploratory experience, although the combat aspect leaves the writer with a lot of mixed feelings because some of the designs are a bit confusing. One of them is the combat mechanism that carries the feeling of ancestors telling, especially the first time Arum faces any boss. Their behavior often makes it difficult for writers to distinguish between different attacks, which both require you to have a good memory and fight at a certain pace.
There are even some boss attacks that seem designed to be impossible to dodge, making me feel quite inhibited when hit in these circumstances. Part of this feeling also comes from the game’s hand-drawn graphic style, reminiscent of classic games of the past built on the Flash platform. Moreover, 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife also builds checkpoints that are further and further apart in the later experience, which is not convenient for fast moving between areas in many cases.
For example, hidden and optional boss battles often require you to travel quite long distances with complex scenes, causing Arum to lose more or less blood before being able to face them. Calls are optional, but they all have meaning in my experience that I don’t want to reveal. That is the problem. Notably, most enemies and bosses often have a long moment of inaction, just enough for you to approach and attack continuously for at least three turns. But fighting in this case raises another problem.
Specifically, the boss mostly forces you to get close and use the skill to roll around at the right time to escape their attacks. This is almost the only way to dodge enemy attacks because jumping and attacking skills have a lot of limitations in terms of flexibility and low damage. The problem is, the weapons of the control character in the 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife experience take up a lot of frames each time they are cast, while the ability to jump attacks is limited and I think that’s intentional. developer design.
Therefore, players can only use rolling skills to dodge instead of jumping. While you can cancel Arum’s attack animation by rolling dodge, the controller can’t jump or move away from enemies until the game’s full animation frame count. this important feature. The above confusing design inadvertently reduces the excitement in the combat experience, once you grasp and successfully apply that to a strategy when confronting the boss.
Even so, 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife still impresses the writer with a fairly balanced design between exploration and combat. The number of diverse weapons, both playing a combat role and a tool to support the scene is also an interesting plus. The same goes for the look. 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife possesses a rather special visual style with a very distinctive color tone. The design of the game screen and the creation of diverse characters are the clearest evidence for this plus point. The background music too, really creates atmosphere and emotion for the game experience.
After all, 8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife offers a thrilling action-adventure experience in many respects. The biggest minus point of the game is that the boss battles feel like they are designed to prolong the play time unnecessarily. If you love this genre, this is definitely a name worth considering.
8Doors: Arum’s Afterlife is available now for PC (Windows) and Nintendo Switch.
The article uses games supported by the publisher.
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