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Asterigos: Curse of the Stars A Bright Entry For Souls-Likes?

A Souls-like that’s a little more on the bright side, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a third-person action RPG fusing Greek and Roman mythology.

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Review
Source: PR

Could Asterigos: Curse of the Stars be the catalyst for Xbox coverage? Though I’m not anti-Xbox, I don’t have anything after the 360 to do reviews in the comfort of my own underpants. That could/should change soon, but a fellow gamer helped me out on tinyBuild’s latest. Perhaps there’s more to come?

This is a mash-up review as they played the game longer than I did, but I still cut my teeth to get a feel (is it really a Souls-like? and how hard can it be?) though I didn’t finish it… yet. If you read my write-ups, I err on the positive, but there’s another side to the coin, as the feedback they gave me was more to the point. Let’s begin.

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is Acme Gamestudio’s answer to the Dark Souls series. That’s not entirely true, but let’s start with that as the foundation and (tiny)build our way up, then crush it with the impending doom of frequent deaths. A bit like a modern anime, the story is a mash-up of Greek and Roman myths, and what with the likes of AC: Valhalla and God of War, most gamers will be able to finger a god or two. As is in, identify them.

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Review - Croc Hollywood
Croc Hollywood. Source: PR

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Review

You’re Hilda – a fusion of Link, Lara Croft and Merida from Brave, simply because she has ginger hair, and I didn’t lazily want to point to that bird from Horizon Zero Dawn. She’s looking for her missing father, which equals fisticuffs, exploration, and bonfire equivalents for those incremental gains in the world of a Souls-like. It’s an action RPG far more accessible than a game like Elden Ring. For starters, difficulty levels make it easier, should you need it, and the progression tree and weapon upgrades ease you nicely – offering up a range of weapons early on in the game to get a feel for what suits your playstyle. 

The controls are standard with light and heavy attacks, modified specials, stamina gauges and hotkeys for potions, other consumables and load-outs. In addition, Hilda wields magic by holding a shoulder button as the modifier. It’s like Xuan-Yuan Sword 7, but also with the scattered pages detailing the lore and whatnot, comparable to Thymesia. However, there’s a fair amount to fight and uncover why trotting about (Hilda runs/floats like a naive, old-school Lara Croft), the locations, while pretty, are quite uninspired and a bit on the rails.

Presentation-wise, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is pretty nice. It’s from the paintbrush of cute and fantasy-like than the Lovecraftian aesthetics seen in Bloodborne. In some respects, it’s a little like Submerged: Hidden Depths and has that ‘upbeat’ feel, despite the undesirables wanting to hit you with an axe. Unfortunately, that upbeat vibe comes from Hilda, and there’s something about her that resembles a Nickelodeon hero fused with a Dan Brown character that spells out every action and thought they partake in. Sometimes less is more.

Fantasy Mash-Up

My colleague, let’s call them Master Destroyer, said Asterigos: Curse of the Stars plays like Elden Ring lite for kids, with a splash of Immortals Fenyx Rising. They also noted the narrative element, specifically the clumsy dialogue and heavy exposition and the mish-mash of voice-acted dialogue and text-only parts, which can jar when it comes to immersion.

For me, I felt it was a good introduction into the Souls-like genre for those put off by traditional mechanics, but once you do get to grips with the controls, the game lacks that punch in nuts that a lot of Souls-like have; menace, tough but fair gameplay, strategic combat, that ‘one more try’ element and, the thing you’ll most likely argue: ambiguity. There’s a fair amount of exposition thrown at you throughout. Of course, you could ignore the lore notes, but you can’t escape Hilda. It’s not that she’s unbearable – the voice acting is good, but there comes a time when one needs to appreciate the silence. 

Let’s summarise with a BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation – perv) ‘balanced’ perspective. I say Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a good action RPG that’s a decent alternative to FromSoftware games, Salt and Sanctuary and others if they’re too difficult for you, but the story and floatiness of Hilda and her incessant monologues are the unfortunate compromises. Master Destroyer says, ‘if you’re desperate for some fantasy RPG action and have played almost everything else, this might scratch an itch for you‘. Hopefully, that gives you an idea, but as always, check out the other reviews before you commit.

Want more Xbox reviews? Hit me up, and I’ll see what I can do.

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