By Jason Quinn / January 15th, 2021
|Title||Tears of Avia
|Release Date||October 15th, 2020|
The premise of Tears of Avia is about as bog standard as you can get. You and some compatriots stumble upon some ancient evil and must work to vanquish it. The world unfolds as you progress through it, and there’s clearly some work put into this setting, but I can’t say any aspect of it was particularly memorable. It’s just sort of a mix of things you’ve already seen before: a running theme throughout this game. I don’t think a game being derivative is an inherent negative trait. Copying good things other games do and adding a spin on it can lead to refreshing experiences; this, however, isn’t one of those games. I can’t think of any new thing this brings to the table. Instead it copies a slew of other RPGs and instead of adding its own spin, it just sort of makes them worse. Lets go into why.
You have a handful of party members, each with their own unique set of skills. Each character has three separate skill trees, similar to what you might see in Diablo type games. Each skill tree focuses on different things. For example, your physical attackers might have one tree for offensive move, and one for defensive moves, one for support skills, etc. You might think this means you have to carefully consider your builds, but you really don’t. There’s a lot of overlap between abilities, though that doesn’t mean you won’t feel like you might have wasted some of your skill points. Some move’s abilities are simply not very good or just far too situational to justify keeping it around.
You also can only have a handful of skills active in battle at any one time. Weapons also have their own abilities attached to them as well. This is theoretically a neat idea. It could promote planning around your units synergizing with each other. For example, your mage could burn enemies with fire magic and then a warrior can use an ability that does bonus damage if an enemy is burning. Unfortunately, the game is so incredibly easy that you can play completely haphazardly with barely any planning and you’ll probably be fine. Simply sending out your units and using whatever your best attacks are gets the job done most of the time.
To say the map design is incredibly basic would be an understatement. I’d consider most Fire Emblem games to have pretty rudimentary map design, but generally have some fun, memorable scenarios. No such luck in this game. Maps are as generic as they can be, and enemy placement feels, at best, random. Most maps won’t even take you more than two or three turns, maybe a bit more if the game feels like it wants to put the slightest bit of pressure on you. This also conflicts with the design decision to have your abilities be on a cool down rather than using up some resource. Most maps are so short you’ll only have the chance to use any ability once, very occasionally twice.
When you’re not fighting things, you’re walking around some town hub, and also probably lamenting the fact that there’s no map of any kind to properly indicate where all the shops and whatnot are located. When you do finally find a store, you’ll then be lamenting the worst inventory system I have seen. Items are displayed in a grid, with seemingly no way of actually sorting the items that you have, and no way of sorting through the items you can buy. At the very least, you can compare items you have equipped with items you can buy.
Visually, this game is not going to turn any heads. Perhaps you’ll turn your head when you see how bad some of the attack animations are, but that’s about it. With how uninteresting attack animations are, you can turn them off, thankfully. Animations aside, the game just looks really bad. On the audio side, about the only thing noteworthy is the voice acting. I don’t speak Japanese, so I can’t vouch for its quality, but it didn’t come off as bad as the rest of the game, so that’s a point in its favor.
Overall, I can’t recommend Tears of Avia at all. At the price of $20, there’s far more tempting offers on Steam than this. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, and it doesn’t do the things it borrows from other games particularly well either.
Review copy was provided by the publisher.
CooCooSqueaky GamesPCPQube LimitedStrategy RPGtears of avia