Developer: Sabotage Studio
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PS5, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Genre: Adventure, RPG
Publisher: Sabotage Studio
Sea of Stars is a turn-based RPG. Sea of Stars is developed and published by Sabotage Studio. There are many games similar to Sea of Stars that include Pokemon and Super Mario RPG. This review was done for the PC but is also available for all other platforms.
Sea of Stars is a single-player game where you can choose to control one of the two Children of the Solstice. The game tells a story about a boy and a girl who go on to become Solstice warriors and gain the powers of the sun and moon to fight the evil in their world. Along their journey, they meet fellow friends and other party members. What I like about this game is that even though at the beginning you are given a choice to pick either character, whilst you play, you can interchangeably switch between the two. The Solstice warriors work together on their journey to fend off many monstrous creations that were made by the evil alchemist known as The Fleshmancer. It is a very story-enriched game that captures a great essence of adventure and experience. You meet many characters along the way, and each of them tells a different story. I would say I found the beginning of the game to be a bit slow, but after you got past the ‘prologue’ the game started to kick in. Dialogues between the characters are so well fleshed out and truly set the different personalities out. I found that the story aspect of the game made it much more exciting to play.
The controls for Sea of Stars are fairly simple. You pretty much can do everything on your keyboard and not have to use the mouse at all. I found this to be a great way to play, whether I am sitting at the desk or have the laptop on my lap to make it accessible from anywhere. As you progress through the beginning of the game, you get shown which controls do what and how different mechanics work. The good thing is that there are not many controls for you to remember, so you get used to them fairly quickly. With turn-based RPGs, move mechanics are extremely important, and I found that the mechanics used in this game, with the unique skills of the characters, made things more fun. Rather than having plain old moves, each character had different play styles. I liked that you were told to do a variance in your attacks to build up mana points to use spells; this allowed players to try different combos and use the utilities to their best ability. The controls all worked smoothly, and the transversal aspects of the game made roaming around the world easier.
The art style for Sea of Stars is exceptional, in my opinion. It is pixelated but reminisces to the old Pokemon games with different aspects of other classic RPG games. The map that you walk around would have to be one of my favourite parts about the visuals because it reminds me of the map from Super Mario. This game has a stunning charm to it, and with the dynamic lighting, it creates a fantastic environment. Everything in the game stands out, either making it seem bright or dull depending on the location and time of day; it truly sets the atmosphere. There is a lot of attention to detail put into this, and even with the characters themselves, they have such interesting designs.
Most character designs in the game remind me of NPCs from Stardew Valley. Another attention to detail that I really enjoyed was the little cooking slideshow pictures. When you’re cooking something and hold down on the recipe to cook it, with the sound effects, there are pictures of ingredients being washed, cooked, and cut that slide onward to make it seem like the cooking is happening then. I really liked that they added that extra bit of visuals into the game, which makes the cooking even more relaxing than it is. Also, at times, when introduced to new characters or new locations, there is a different, comic-like animation that plays, which adds so much more versatility to this game. The soundtrack to this game is also wonderful. When in combat/battle, the music is amped up, and it sounds like a blend of most RPG battle music but with a bit of quirkiness to it. When traversing through the stunning locations, the music changes depending on where you are, and it perfectly sets the mood. On top of that, the sound effects make things a lot more serene and real. With the combination of visuals and audio in this game, there is a great sense of serendipity; even though you are taking on a great adventure, it still makes you feel at ease.
I really enjoyed this game as it has elements from many classic games put together into a unique storyline. The storyline really drives the game, and with visuals, audio and the little pixelated animation scenes where characters exchange dialogue, it sets the game up so nicely. I would say that the bosses are also well-balanced; some are harder than others, but that’s the beauty of an RPG game. You’re meant to explore the world and fight more monsters so you can level up. The levelling-up progression does take a bit of time, but I like that you can choose additional focused upgrades that can help boost the character’s MP, HP or defence. On top of that, the interaction with selling and buying between merchants is also really good. As you progress further into the game, you can buy upgraded weapons, accessories and shields that can fit well with each specific character. Given the opportunity to roam around the vast and stunning world, you’re able to take a break from your journey and connect with nature in a way. I found fishing in this game to be extremely fun as it’s a unique fishing mechanic than other games I have played in the past, and it passed by some time when you just wanted to farm up on cooking. What I liked even more was the addition of an interesting tabletop game called Wheels. I found myself playing this game whenever I saw a Wheels table, as the game was easy to catch onto and was loads of fun. Everything about this game is absolutely stunning, and it’s plenty of hours of fun as well. The characters grow on you, and you get to learn combos and new skills the more to grow. I was never really a fan of turn-based games as I always found them to be a bit boring, but Sea of Stars was out of my expectations!
Now, if you want to play a captivating pixelated turn-based RPG game that has stunning visuals and an immersive soundtrack. Where you can get lost in the story and play with your team to defeat the many monstrous creatures on your journey. Sea of Stars is truly enriched with everything! Make sure to check it out, as the game is loads of fun and is aesthetically pleasing.
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