There isn't a gamer alive who hasn't heard of The Legend of Zelda, either the more recent Breath of the Wild—which we can't wait for the sequel to release—or maybe the N64 classic Ocarina of Time. Regardless of which version you played, The Legend of Zelda nailed what makes an adventure RPG so addicting and fun. Exploring dungeons to find new tools and powerful upgrades never gets old, and you, as the player, begin to feel Link grow stronger with each quest conquered.
Developers big and small have tried their hardest to capture what makes The Legend of Zelda so epic, but many have never been able to, sadly. Archvale seems to want to try and make a Zelda-like game that also dabbles in another addicting genre, bullet hell. Has Archvale found the perfect Zelda formula, or is it just another hybrid RPG that will be lost to time? Let's find out in our outlook of Archvale!
Wait…Dark Souls and Hades Meets Zelda?!
Archvale looks a bit like an even more retro-styled Zelda title, but players will quickly notice this isn't just a Zelda clone. At its core, Archvale plays akin to the more recent indie game Hades and a bit like Dark Souls. Sounds wild, right? Well, here's why this dual formula works so well in Archvale and why it quickly becomes a challenging but addictive game.
As a small "hero," your little warrior quickly is tasked with stopping an evil threat and must do so with whatever weapons they can find. You'll notice that, like Dark Souls, your character has a stamina bar—represented by little green orbs—that allow you to roll and dodge almost all threats. You even have a stock of health potions that can heal several of your hearts but can only be refilled at fountains that act like bonfires from Dark Souls. However, the Hades element comes into focus when combat begins, and you see a bunch of enemies looking at you as if they want to rip you apart!
Like Hades, Archvale allows players to move around various attacks—that come in bullet hell format—and equally use several weapons such as swords and spears. Each weapon gives players a distinctive feel. Spears have more damage than a sword but only hit forward and are narrower in their area of attack. Likewise, swords have arcs to them in their attacks but are shorter in reach than a spear and do less damage. There are also ranged weapons like bows and magic tomes which aren't super strong but give you the means of attacking from afar! Just like Hades, Archvale requires a bit of practice to find your perfect weapon, and sometimes you'll want to switch weapons when the need arises.
Get Ready to Die…a Lot
We will not lie, Archvale kicked our butts here at Honey's Anime, and we consider ourselves pretty good at Dark Souls-like games. Enemies are aggressive and rarely care if they are overwhelming you in sheer numbers. Add to that the bullet-hell element and Archvale requires quick reflexes and even faster reaction times. Archvale will kick you and make you die multiple times, even in the earlier dungeons. Be prepared to rage a bit while playing!
That Zelda-like Feeling
The Legend of Zelda, released back in 1986, wasn't like the more recent games where they explain your goal and present you with a deep story. The original was very vague and just gave players enough information to know you're a hero and you need to save the world. Archvale captures this mysterious feeling by letting the players talk to NPCs and explore the world to see the story and how your actions will affect this strange world.
Simple but Effective Retro Graphics
Archvale is…a pretty simple retro-looking game with small sprites and simple NES visuals. That being said, if you love that retro style, you’re going to adore Archvale. However, don’t expect Hades or Zelda level of graphics…Archvale doesn’t even come close to those titles.
Archvale probably won’t become a legendary franchise, but that doesn't mean it's not a solid game. We love the challenge and gameplay Archvale offers, and really recommend it to fans of adventure RPGs. When Archvale releases to the general public sometime this year, we think many of you will want to dive into this tough-as-nails adventure game!
Archvale is now available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox One X/S, and PC. Go play it!