By Henry Badilla / May 16th, 2018
|Title||Cast of the Seven Godsends|
|Developer||Raven Travel Studios|
|Release Date||April 18th, 2018|
|Age Rating||Everyone 10+|
Have you seen the original Power Rangers? While everyone can have their opinions about the show, as a kid I remember I liked it. Clearly the opening is a big part of it as it explains all you need to know about the story. Evil is back from their prison and we need a group of heroes to defeat it, cue the music! Usually when someone asks me what a show or movie is about I like this approach, so I’ll do it for Cast of the Seven Godsends, the game I’ll be reviewing today. Evil emperor Zaraaima is back from the seal of the Seven Gods and has kidnapped the son of Kandar, the king of the land and our protagonist. Now Kandar must travel through the land, defeat Zaraaima and save his kid. Now break into the guitar solo!
From the start you can tell that the story of Cast of the Seven Godsends is not one of its strengths, but that is because this game is a tribute to classic arcade platformers like Ghost ‘n Goblins or the first Castlevania, in which you have to advance from left to right in a level killing everything that stands in your way. Since this game is based on these classic arcade titles it does follow their simplicity. One button to jump and the other to attack, while the directional pad is used for movement. By default you can withstand one hit before dying unless you find an item resembling armor which will increase that to two hits. And if you’re wearing the armor and find what would be your second armor, instead you will find a sphere of light that grants you the ability to invoke a god-given armor.
While holding this item, if you keep the attack button pressed then 7 different icons will flash which represent each one of the seven gods. By releasing the attack button you will select that armor. It doesn’t increase your life from 2 hits but it will upgrade your damage and change your weapon range and attack pattern. And it also allows you to cast a magic spell that can be executed by pressing the attack button for a couple of seconds.
Your default attack is a dagger that moves in a straight line, but you can find 4 other weapons that have different hitboxes and range. The sword has short range but can block projectiles, the shuriken circles around you and then goes in a straight line, the axe arcs upwards, and the hammer arcs a bit upwards but has longer range than the axe. And finally, depending on the weapon you have equipped, the attack of the God-granted armor will change as well.
In general, if you like arcade games or hard games then you will enjoy this one. The character movement is great and I never felt that I fell off a cliff due to the game limitations. Enemies are difficult and some have very random patterns, but in general with patience you can either defeat them or avoid them to get to the end. There are 4 different difficulty levels, and while there are several checkpoints through each level, on the hardest difficulty there’s only one at the start of the level. This is for those looking for a challenge.
However I do have some complaints on the game. First, the weapons that you can get are random, and appear on certain areas or sometimes as drops by killing enemies. Having the right weapon for each boss makes a huge difference so I wish we could have better control over what weapon we’ll get. Also if you step on a weapon by accident you lose the one you had. This was an issue in Castlevania, such that if you took a secondary weapon by mistake you lost the previous one, but it was eventually fixed by having the previous one drop next to you so you can pick it up again. I feel that this should have been an option here as well, as it can really ruin your run if you pick the wrong weapon.
One final nitpick is that you can’t jump down from a platform by pressing down and jump. I felt that it’s one of those things that is way too common in 2D platformers that we take for granted. It’s not something that will ruin the game but when I tried my first time I died because I was trying to avoid an attack. It’d be good to keep that in mind.
Moving over to the graphics of the game, I love that the game looks really obscure and evil, it really gets you into the theme of a world attacked by demons. The graphics mimic games from the SNES era but instead of pixel art we have drawn sprites and backgrounds. Personally I don’t like the art style that much, but everything is well made and I don’t see any technical issues with it. There are a good amount of enemies with plenty of different designs. While most of them are not very original, the variety keeps the game fresh. The sound department is also fine. None of the tracks felt memorable to me, but nether were they annoying or boring. The sound effects were done well and are appropriately implemented in the game. No complaints in this department.
In conclusion, Cast of the Seven Godsends is aimed at a specific group of people. There is no innovation of the genre and the story is quite average, but if this sounds like something you would enjoy then you will have fun. It took me around 5 hours to beat the game on normal, but as I mentioned there are several difficulty levels and additional achievements for beating the game under certain conditions that will keep you busy. For $12.99 this seems fair in my book, but then again your enjoyment will be based on how much you like this genre.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
2D platformerarcadeCast of the Seven GodsendsMerge Gamesnintendo switchRaven Travel Studios