Remember Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on the PS2? Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards is a jungle version of that. Review done. Seriously though, if there were a quick comparison to make, it’d have to be the classic fantasy game.
You play the title character, a Spanish demi-god whose mother’s a South American nature goddess, Pachamama. Raised in Spain, she returns to the New World and finds it’s her true homeland. Right, that’s the official bit.
Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards is an arcade-like RPG. What that means is you can pick up a controller and stomp through the forests and button mash if you’re that way inclined. Much like the Dark Alliance comparison, you don’t need a die – just hack and slash your way in the jungle, swapping out your loot as you collect it.
Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards Review – PC Via Steam
On this basis, the game is a proper pick-up and play game – the only hesitations will be the story elements and the frequent menu screens to select the next best thing. Lacking the complexity of Diablo 3, Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards has the same isometric viewpoint. Despite being a fixed camera, there aren’t many issues of getting stuck behind an object when wandering around.
You typically have a main quest with a marker in the mini-map to follow, and while this isn’t an open-world experience, you can do your own thing and loot the area. That’s not just for the sake of it, mind, as looting provides a plethora of melee and ranged weapons, plus gold that can be used to purchase more stuff from merchants.
Bear in mind that Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards, from DigiArt Interactive and N-Fusion Interactive, is set in the 16th century. While there’s an abundance of gear like in Borderlands, it’s muskets, spears and blades – no sniper rifles. In place of these ever-powerful weapons, Aluna has something better up her sleeve (literally): magic.
Magic can be passive or active, and the button configs are always displayed on the screen to make sure you don’t get confused. That said, I found that switching back and forth with melee and ranged (depending on what I’d picked up or bought), was my preference and saving magic for the bosses.
As Aluna wields magic, so too do some enemies, as well as the other deities in the game. The bosses are quite extravagant and suit the part pretty well. What I will say about enemies is the volume: there’s just so many of them.
Hands up, I dropped down to a more manageable level on a couple of occasions as I got swarmed, stuck with my back to the wall (trees). In Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards, evasion is your friend as the blocking option wasn’t reliable, based on my playstyle. Using the right analogue stick, Aluna rolls to safety, but alas, she’ll be doing that a lot.
The AI is decent enough, and on some occasions, NPCs will be attacking other enemies, such as rival tribes fighting wild animals. You can take a step back and fight the victor. However, get close enough, as I did, and they’ll all swarm you, and regardless of how many potions you’re carrying, you won’t survive.
Hack And Slash, With Plenty Of Tools
For me, Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards is a hack and slash, button-masher – and all in the positive sense. I have more than a fair share of games to go through now, and a lot of them are demanding of time. While there is an easy mode, this isn’t a walk in the park, but at the same time, the arcade feel to it is refreshing.
Being someone who’s aesthetically indecisive (if you’re a regular reader, you’ll note how many times this website has changed), switching back and forth with different weapons and armour were fun. Even better, Aluna’s appearance changes with armour, too, unlike similar games where only the stats will change.
Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards doesn’t just occur in the jungle but in various locations that mix and match the playing environment. I particularly liked the comic book cutscenes (as a non-comic book fan), plus Aluna’s voice acting, though she does like to talk a bit too much at times.
Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards Review Summary
Not reaching the same heights as Diablo 3 or Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, Aluna Sentinel Of The Shards still shares many of those mechanics that made its peers enjoyable – notably the pick-up and play action and looting. It can get a bit monotonous in some areas – especially the number of enemies, but generally speaking, this played out as expected – an action RPG that was fun to play.