Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey is a Hack’n’Slash RPG style game released Mar 15th, 2016 for the Playstation Vita. The game was created by developer Hollow Games.
Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey is set in a fantasy post-apocalyptic world where demon’s have been let loose. You take control of a young girl named Akara, whose goal is to prepare for a demon attack that re-occurs in the world. If this sounds bare bones, it’s because it is. While the cut scenes that open this story really set the mood, the rest of the game does it’s best the ruin this for the player. The result is an ultimately uninspired and entirely forgettable story.
However, for many, story is not a deal breaker for an RPG. What is arguably the most important part of an RPG is the gameplay; the combat. Unfortunately, the combat is not ideal. Right away, you notice a strange dissonance between the cutscenes of Akara’s Journey and the gameplay. This is because the game seems to run very sluggishly. The animations feel extremely choppy, and this extends to even make the movement feel unresponsive and disorienting. This is a very big problem in an action-oriented game like this. Beyond this, the game’s additional mechanics are barebones and uninspired. They do little to distract from the core issues of the game, or to elevate this game from being more than just another Action RPG. What’s worse is that the gameplay mechanics are explained with very confusing tutorials despite the mechanics being inherently quite simple. This problem is compounded by inconsistent menus that seem to choose at random when you should use touch controls and when you should use the Vita’s buttons. It’s quite the aggravating experience overall and it’s very unintuitive to control.
The graphics and music in Murasaki Mist is not much better off. With how poorly the game runs on Vita, you would think that it might make up for it in graphical fidelity, but it doesn’t at all. The game looks very generic and very bland. There is little art direction here. Instead, what you’ll find is the same greens and browns over and over again, with confusing enemy designs, confusing areas, low quality anime-style character art, and an overall muddy look. However, as I had previously mentioned, the animated cut scenes are actually quite well-done. They are very smooth and have quite the unique art direction. If only it had carried over to the rest of the game. The music is, at best, forgettable. There was nothing that was outright grating, but nothing I’d ever choose to listen to again, either. The sound effects were often awkward sounding. This would sometimes cause confusion as to what action was actually causing them. They made an already disorienting combat system even worse.
The issues don’t end there, unfortunately. Murasaki Mist has an asinine amount of loading screens that continually tried my patience. As soon as you start the game, you are greeted with a loading screen for the start menu that lasts upwards of two minutes. Once you stumble through the confusing menu, you are greeted by another. Then you watch a cut scene, which is immediately followed by a third. After booting the game up a few times, I was more than annoyed at how ridiculously long this game took to load, especially considering the quality of the visuals and game overall. It made an already trying game even more of a slog to play.
Overall, this was not a fun experience. Murasaki’s Mist: Akara’s Journey doesn’t have any problems that outright break the game, which may mean Action RPG diehards can find things to enjoy, but with the amount of high quality games we have access to these days, I couldn’t ever recommend it. Ultimately, Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey fails to do anything more than irritate, and it does so far too well.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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