Back in The TAY is (normally) a segment where I stroll down the days of yore, and pick only the finest games from our past... normally.
Hello all, and welcome to yet another Back in The TAY! Today I go off the normal path and review a title that isn't necessarily "retro" in age, but in aesthetics. I will also be trying a new format, where I will be breaking it down to sections for a hopefully easier read.
Towerfall Ascension is an interesting game, in both its simplicity and difficulty. What first looked like a completely dull and boring title, actually turned into one that I find myself frequenting on the Playstation 4. While I haven't had a chance to play against other players just yet, I play through the story missions in short bursts while I decide on other games to play. Now, onto the review!
Story: Towerfall Ascension doesn't have a story, which is not a bad thing at all. The whole premise of the game is to be played with friends, and to have a "friendly" match of multiplayer. While it has a Quest mode, it is more or less just you fighting against AI enemies, and to train between Versus matches.
The wonderful world of Towerfall.
Gameplay: Like I stated before, the gameplay is very simple. You are equipped with a bow, and start out with only three arrows. You are not limited to just three shots, because you can retrieve them after each shot, or acquire them from chests that drop on the map. You can jump, shoot, and that's it. If you jump towards a ledge, you can grapple it to either climb up, or jump horizontally to another platform.
This is where the difficulty begins.
As you progress through the Quest mode, you will come across certain enemies that can block, and also absorb, your arrows. For these enemies, I found it easier to try and jump on their heads, which can also kill them. Some enemies, like the archers, can shoot upwards and kill you mid air, which makes them one of the more difficult adversaries of the game.
Graphics: The games graphics are reminiscent to the 16-bit era, and in turn give it the retro feel. While many indie titles are going this way, the artwork in Towerfall Ascension is rather impressive. Each of the four characters you can choose from look completely different from one another, although they play exactly the same, and the enemies you come across have their own personalities. The game is smooth and polished, yet still holds onto the nostalgic graphics quite well. The game also made use of the Dualshock 4's light bar, and would change according to which character you played as. For instance, the color of the light bar. For instance, I would play as the Assassin Prince, and my light bar would turn pink to match his tunic. Little touches like these are always awesome in my playbook.
This ragtag group of misfits...
Sound: The games soundtrack is phenomenal, and in the same respects of the graphics, is a take back to classic games. The soundtrack varies from each map you play on, and fits the setting so well. My favorite was the Ice level, and the song "Frostfang Footslip" and the music for the title screen is also amazing. Since I played it on the Playstation 4, the game also made use of the built in speaker. Similar to the light bar, each character would have their own sound effect, and would play a sound when you died. Comical, and neat at the same time.
Frostfang Footslip is such a good song.
Final Thoughts: Whether you own a Playstation 4, or a PC (the game is available on Steam), I highly recommend picking it up. It isn't necessarily deep, or complex, but it is a lot of fun. It reminded me a lot of growing up, and huddling with your friends in front of a TV, and fighting each other. While I got it for free from PS+, I would definitely pay good money for this game.
Thanks for reading guys, and remember... I am always up for recommendations! Maybe I will review one of your favorites in the weeks to come?