Retro games are becoming more and more common these days, but for every Shovel Knight, we get ten that just fall flat. With that in mind, I was worried about Alwa’s Awakening and did not know what to expect. I had seen the images and videos but it didn’t give me a sense of what the game would be like.
I have heard this game be compared to Shovel Knight in terms of a throwback to the NES days, but I do not feel that is an accurate assessment. To me, this game is much more of a throwback to the games of the Turbo Grafx 16. The look and sound of the game just feel like a game one would find on the system and as someone who still loves to play Turbo Grafx 16 games on an actual Turbo grafx 16, this is a great thing.
The game’s plot starts off as a very simple one, to set things off and then you get into a great metroidvania adventure. As you progress further and further, you feel more and more like you are in a timewarp. You feel like you have gone back to the past, to play those awesome games that kicked ass ( sorry cinemassacre). The music is absolutely amazing right from the beginning, and never lets up at any single point. It is just pure audio bliss and a feast for your ears. The art is amazing and looks like something straight out of the 80’s/very early 90’s and just feels fun.
The gameplay is spot on, combat and controls, for the most part anyways. There are some issues, as the game feels slow at times but it isn’t. I realize how awkward that sounds but it is just how the game feels. Jumping can feel stiff yet work perfectly. I don’t know how else to say this other than the game replicates the feel of awkward controls, while having excellent controls. This may sound like a fun but, but it really threw me off for a while. As well, the hit detection is almost perfect but there are times where hitting the enemy doesn’t connect and you can get hit by the enemy instead.
Those issues aside, this is a great game and I had a lot of fun with it. The game feels like a throwback to one of my favourite systems and eras in gaming, and I cannot stop smiling while playing it. I must recommend it, as it is a game you will not regret playing at all.