Read young souls review: Young Souls is the latest offering from The Arcade Crew editors, the same behind the excellent Infernax; but it is also The great debut of the independent team 1P2P Studios as a developer in the world of video games for consoles and PC after almost 6 years of hard work.
Young Souls Review
And while it’s a recent release for many, the game isn’t entirely new to a certain group of gamers: Google Stadia fans. Being a first-time team, the creators had to seek help to complete the development and it was said that the company came to the rescue by signing an exclusivity deal that lasted around 6 months.
But after fulfilling its end of the bargain, Tristan and Jen’s adventure finally managed to appear on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC recently on March 10th.
This captivating project interestingly combines classic beat ’em ups from the Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis era with several modern elements such as character customization and RPG loot or advanced combat techniques such as counter-attacks and attacks. breakouts that turn into something quite special and, after playing it for several hours, I must say that it is one of the indies that most deserves to be highlighted in this first half of 2023.
The story begins with a beautiful message “Dedicated to those who have lost a loved one or found one without knowing they needed it” and introduces us to twins Jen and Tristan, two somewhat troublesome orphans who go through their adolescence without clear direction by skipping school, wasting time and taking advantage of the distraction of their adoptive father: The Professor.
This old scientist lives obsessed with his work and although he is a very loving father, he cannot avoid forgetting small details, like lunch, when he immerses himself in his research. Unfortunately, tragedy visits them unexpectedly on a day like any other when the brothers return home from a visit to the nearby town. Before his eyes are his house in a total mess and in a worrying state as if an intruder had invaded and looted it.
Desperate, they cry out for the professor, but with no answer, they realize he has been kidnapped and their only clue is a mysterious locked door in the basement lab. Although they were forbidden to open it, they decide to enter anyway and inside they find an elevator to a deep basement where they find a pair of swords and a huge portal that transports them to another world.
In this strange place, the goblins are the masters and most of them hate humans. After saving one of the few friendly “Gobbons”, the boys begin their quest to delve into dangerous dungeons to rescue their guardian and stop an invasion of the surface world by the fearsome Dwarvengobben and his followers.
The plot presents you with a simple and straightforward objective, a classic rescue mission; but the world around you is truly creative and each new narrative layer that appears makes the events happening around you more complex and interesting. Throughout your campaign, you travel through 4 large areas of the Gobbon world and not only smite every creature you encounter but also encounter allies and enemies with lots of personalities and fun dialogue.
And since I’m talking about the dialogues, I must say that the script is very well written both in the humorous moments and in the more dramatic moments when you realize your rivals are much more than just monsters.
I just think the story is so entertaining and the conversations so successful that I feel like it’s a shame that the 1p2p Studios team couldn’t find voice actors for this great game. While I don’t have a problem reading a lot of text, I feel like the voice acting would have given it a bit more punch to effectively reinforce the animated movie look it sometimes sports.
That yes, although at first glance it is an adventure for all ages, there are quite a few rude words and although it corresponds to the way teenagers usually speak you may need to enable “Language Filter” in the options menu if you play with smaller ones of the House.
On another side, Young Souls gameplay blends its classic 2D combat influence with modern Tips n’ slash touches and tons of RPG mechanics. To start, I should mention that you can play the entire campaign on your own, switching between the two twins to maintain hit points and chain combos; or you can also spend it in co-op with a friend.
One way or another, the two protagonists are still on stage. This, yes, the multiplayer mode is exclusively local without any online option sharing first-player progression and customization.
Combat is very much like what you would see in a side beat with your heroes running, punching, and jumping. When attacking, you use the primary weapon you have equipped, such as swords, daggers, axes, or hammers, each with a different style some being stronger or faster than others.
These tools feature little combos that you can tweak to launch your opponents into the air or to the ground, or you can also hold down the strike button and use a charged attack. But also, if you want to survive the toughest duels, you need to use defensive techniques effectively and this is where the dynamic starts to get more complex.
Much like you equip a weapon, you can also charge up a shield or, by default, use your mace or blade to block attacks. Each slowed impact gradually subtracts your defense bar which recharges, but if it runs out it will cause a “Guard Break” leaving you unconscious and vulnerable. To avoid this problem, you should use Parries and Evasions.
Parries can be a tricky mechanic to master, but it’s essential that you learn how to use it. To do this, just hit defense just when you see a slight shard appear on the attacker’s hands (something that wasn’t present in the previous demo) and if you’re accurate you not only dodge pause, but you also stun the opponent, ready for a counterattack.
However, strong opponents such as level bosses will not be immediately stunned as they have a “Stamina” bar which depletes with each parry. Performing these types of maneuvers often and with precision is initially tricky, but once you get used to them, it becomes one of the most satisfying, exciting, and useful things you can do in combat.
Second, evasions will be useful when you are overwhelmed by a large number of enemies or techniques that are difficult to block. When using it, roll or jump on the side of your choice, but consume a square of “Endurance” at the same time creating a very familiar mechanic for Dark Souls fans.
Many times you have to approach to attack and retreat immediately with a quick evade, so always keep an eye on how many stamina frames you have left so you don’t risk it in vain and wait until they recover before going on the offensive again.
Young Souls is one of the best indie experiences released this year and a potential “best indie” of 2023. If you like mixing action with rpg, classic 90s beat ’em up and a good level of challenge, you have to play it. Whether you enjoy it alone or with a friend, this is an opportunity not to be missed.