We love Japanese culture (duh!), and we also love games (double duh!), so one of the titles we're looking forward to this month is Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, a lovely story about an ancient yet childish princess who also happens to be a harvest goddess.
Are you hyped up about this one? How about a sneak peek, then? Stay with us, as today we're talking about our experience playing Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin!
If You Want to Be Taken Seriously, Start Killing Monsters!
Our story starts when the titular character, Sakuna, tries to catch a group of intruder humans who are prowling the Lofty Realm and interrupting a celebration called The Day of Tribute. Actually, it starts much earlier, when these humans lost almost everything and started roaming the lands of Yanato in search of food or a place to call home. After an incident involving the humans, the divine garner, Sakuna's recklessness, and some fire, Lady Kamuhitsuki banishes our little goddess from her side, forcing her to explore the Isle of Demons and rid it of the fearsome monsters that live there as punishment. Ugh... humans always complicate everything!
Cute, Colorful, And Pretty Fun
Although Sakuna looks extremely sweet and stubborn, he's the daughter of a great warrior who once fought in the Isle of Demons. If she wants to win Lady Kamuhitsuki's heart back, Sakuna's only option is to start bonding with these humans and see how they can help each other, which is nothing but the start of a tender story of mutual understanding, friendship, and overcoming your own flaws. In terms of gameplay, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a gorgeous-looking action-adventure game that mixes platforming mechanics with a simple yet effective battle system with several RPG elements.
Discovery is a key part of the experience, so you'll find yourself investigating different places on this island in search of resources to help you survive one more night, not only killing monsters but also collecting a lot of resources. This is important because in Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, you can cook and process ingredients to help with your stats, for example. And yeah, we know a lot of games allow you to cook, craft or even take care of your own farm, but this game uses those mechanics in such a unique way that everything feels fresh, fun, and rewarding. Combine that with a vibrant color palette, and you have an exceptionally attractive game where you can kill demons for the fun of it, or just lay back and enjoy the fascinating world of rice cultivation.
Much More Than a Rice Farming Simulator
After watching the first trailer, many people started describing this game as a rice farming simulator. Now we got a chance to try it, however, we feel the urge to say that this game is waaaay more than that!
The farming mechanics are quite interesting as they're fairly complex. This is not about buying seeds, planting them, watering them, and waiting to harvest them to make some profit; taking care of your rice plantations will make Sakuna more proficient in combat, resulting in a strong synergy between the two aspects of the game, for example. When we say that this system is rather complex, it's because you have to take into account things like the weather, fertilization, how far apart you plant the seeds, the water level/temperature, etc. If you're new to farming simulation, everything will sound overwhelming at first but give this system a try, and then we talk.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is one of those games that one could say are so easy to overlook or underestimate, so we feel the need to give you a heads up before it's too late. After all, you don't want to be the only person in your group of friends who haven't played this indie gem, right?
It will be available on PlayStation 4, PC (Steam), and Nintendo Switch starting on November 10th.