SolSeraph is a mix of strategy and platforms. Does the concept sound familiar? Sure, because it’s a tribute to the classic ActRaiser, a 16-bit video game created by the developers of the legendary Terranigma. Has it been up to the playable tribute of the Ace Team Chileans? We tell you their keys in our analysis of SolSeraph. By the god Helios!
Sometimes we forget that video game developers also have their hearts. After the somber image that the users of the artists have locked in their thoughts of code, design, gameplay, and sound, there are people who are also in love with our leisure, so they also have their myths, their favorites and their own references to idolize. Ace Team, who made Rock of Ages or Zeno Clash, have returned to show their passion for a classic game away from the greats of the pantheon of the history of the game: ActRaiser. The result? SolSeraph, a true tribute to Quintet and Enix on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
As it happened with the original ActRaiser, the production has sections of strategy and platforms, mixing two concepts that look like water and oil but end up marrying in an organic and certainly justified way. The god Helios, the protagonist of the adventure, must-visit different locations on earth to stop the fearsome ancient gods, who are sowing chaos among human civilizations. To end your reign you will have to face intricate levels of platforms, hordes of enemies and great final bosses that will grant you new powers with which to face new threats.
On paper, it may sound like a strange and unusual concept. Does it work in practice? SolSeraph is a competent independent video game with lights and shadows, but satisfying enough to enjoy a great classic adventure in which to reencontrarte with a classic forgotten Super Nintendo.
SolSeraph, come from heaven beginning of each of the game sections is simple: you must descend from the heavens to the new map and fight against dozens of enemies in sections of platforms that will allow you to open the territory to Helios. Once inside each new section, you will manage the strategy of the town before the rival attacks in a tower defense mode in which you will be able to open new ways to access new levels of platforms. Once completed, you will access the last level of each world, with its respective battle against the final boss of turn and access to a new power that will allow you to improve the skills of Helios.
The action levels are divided into two types: hordes and traditional platforms. The first type is not much to explain since the proposal is unimaginative and seems to be there to fill areas where they could not build levels according to what is expected from a tribute to ActRaiser. The more classic levels are much more interesting: Helios has a melee attack and different abilities that add to the end with final enemies. It also highlights his jump double, a great help in specific moments of the game. As it happened in the original game, Helios will have a large energy tank with which you can survive the numerous threats that arrive by land, sea, and air. It will improve the energy as we finish new screens.
SolSeraph is a real tribute to Quintet and Enix
The battles with the final bosses are reserved at the end of each section of the world. They are usually represented by great enemies who, accompanied by other rivals, will make things very difficult for Helios. Once defeated, the player adds a new attack. Among the extras, there are healing powers, powerful flares, ice attacks that fire 180 degrees or the possibility of flooding the stage. As the arsenal improves, the game is better and the options are wider when facing each of the challenges that the ACE Team faces the SolSeraph players. They are competent levels with a certain aftertaste to classic, so much so, that you will prefer having platforms to insipid hordes.
Retro Tower Defense
SolSeraph would not be a tribute to ActRaiser if it did not have a real-time strategy section. This has been the case: between the action screens, there are strategic moments in which we will have to manage the resources of the villagers of each section of the map to fight monsters. The objective is none other than to avoid the attacks to the central zone of the town, the reason why it will have to create points of defense to avoid the arrival of the enemy. To do this, we must create houses, have food, wood, and enough souls to take advantage of the magical powers that Helios gives to the villagers of each region.
According to complete new actions you are accessing new constructions, which can be helped by the protagonist god himself sending lightning against the rivals, rain, slow downtime or the sending of a divine soldier that will help the allied units to finish with all the threats that To present themselves. The enemies of the action sections have been taken advantage of for the strategy campaign and some areas are dotted with weather elements that change the dynamics of the game. Up to here are all good ideas and intentions. The problem? It seems that the wood is an element too powerful and that opens the doors to the rest of the constructions of uneven form, ruining the section.
Although in the first missions of tower defense it cost me something more and I saw a coherent challenge, it did not take in deducting that the strategy to follow was to collect all the wood of the possible zone in the first turns to begin to build houses, farms, and posts of war. From there, we only have to wait for the weapons collection to unlock a new area of the map and overcome the different levels of action until we reach the final enemy. SolSeraph may have required some other resource that would have complicated the strategy sections somewhat more, since the quick access and without any limitation to the wood turns half of the software into a mere procedure between screen and screen.
Divine, but not so much
The legendary Yuzo Koshiro, known for his incredible work on the soundtrack of the legendary Streets of Rage, but the music to the original ActRaiser. For the occasion, ACE has wanted to work with the Japanese artist, who has composed the main theme of the title. The rest of the soundtrack is by Patricio Meneses, who has been able to compose some catchy songs reminiscent of the 16-bit classics but with a serious problem: some melodies are somewhat repetitive and do not appear as a loop during the departure, presenting sections in which, suddenly, silence prevails. Equally repetitive are the voices and sounds of the rivals and the din of the battle: there is no great work here.
While Helios presents a great appearance, I can not say the same about the rest of the enemies. He is not very imaginative at the time of creating the different monsters of the videogame, opting for an army of topics that go on horseback to the tributes to the original ActRaiser and the different monsters that appear in the imaginary of the genre of the last 35 years. It is not the case of the final bosses: there is some great one that will be a pleasant surprise for the player. Do not lose sight of them! Varied in the scenarios, it looks much better on PS4, Xbox One, and PC than on Nintendo Switch, port with lower resolution and ratio of images per second.
Despite having enjoyed a pleasant experience at the controls of SolSeraph in Switch, the reality is that I also suffered a fatal bug that forced me to restart the game when I was very advanced. I was able to get in touch with the developers, who have come up with a solution and hope to have it fixed for the premiere of the videogame. Beyond my incident, the reality is that it has been a rewarding experience that, if I had been able to put the strategy section at the height of the platforms, would have shone as a great option to play a good, a nice and cheap game in summer. In the end, and although it does not disappoint, it does not stand out in any of its sections, being parked for the nostalgic who want to reencounter with an approach to the Quintet classic in 2019.
The good intentions of SolSeraph are seen on all four sides, but also some questionable decisions in the playable, visual and sound design of the production. Its sections of platforms are very enjoyable and varied, quite the opposite of the bland moments of the horde. The tower defense part is fun and functional, but it is not able to maintain the challenge when you add all the structures and it ends up becoming a mere procedure between section and action section. Being a good videogame and a great tribute to the ActRaiser series, I could have aspired to more if I had been more careful in the details.
- A genuine tribute to the classic ActRaiser
- Fun in the sections of platforms, I wish I had some more level!
- The new Helios attacks help the protagonist and improve the adventure
- Good ideas in the moments of strategy …
- … although tower defense ends up being too simple as the game progresses
- The abuse of hordes is disappointing. They do not contribute anything
- Unimaginative in sound and visual