Eastern Exorcist Review (PC)

  • Genre: 2D side-scroller
  • Platforms: Playstation, PC
  • Developer | Publisher: Wildfire Game | bilibili
  • Age Rating: PEGI RP| ESRB RP
  • Price: UK £13.49 | US $16.99 | EUR 13.99
  • Release Date: 14th August 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to Renaissance PR!

Note: this review concerns the early release version of the game.

Story/Characters

In this side-scroller you play as the exorcist Lu Yunchuan, battling the many faces of evil. The game is set in fantasy Eastern world, filled with demons and humans struggling for survival in this brutal reality. There are many characters you meet during your travel, though none are really relevant. Apart from the main story line, there are also side stories to be encountered (such as obtaining a talisman for an old lady).

Gameplay

Maybe it’s just that I’m not accustomed to playing games on PC, but I’ve noticed there are many control functions, which are spread out over multiple keys. And since they’re really close to each other I’ve never really felt like I had an optimal button lay-out.

The basic idea is to hack and slash at enemies, while also timing your attack to perform a counter-attack for extra damage. This works well on the lower demons. The problem lies in your Stamina, though. Especially when battling demon bosses. Every strike of your sword drains a bit of your Stamina. And as it takes a while to replenish, you often find yourself running out just when you need it to strike it at the boss.

Anyway, scattered throughout the levels are orbs. These can also be collected by defeating monsters. Gather enough of these and you can use them to level up, or buy more heart potions. As you progress through the story you also unlock skills for your Skill Tree.

Graphics, Sound, and Performance

The use of a Chinese ink painting style creates a stunnig view, especially with the scenery in the background. The soundtrack is really good and adds an extra layer to the story. There is actual voice acting in this game, but it’s all in Chinese.

I did notice that during some cutscenes there were no subtitles, and when there were subtitles they sometimes had some spelling mistakes.

While the performance overall is good, there were several occasions when the system was slow to respond to a key command, leading to many deaths. Yes, I kept trying.

Difficulty

There are several difficulty settings, which can be changed at any time. The gap between those settings felt quite great, though. From what I could tell the greatest difference lied in the amount of Stamina used in a battle. (Having more Stamina in a easier mode, leading to more sword strikes.)

On the regular setting the Boss monsters in particular are formidable foes, though as I’ve explained before, this is mostly due to you burning through your Stamina.

Conclusion

While this side-scroller has a beautiful art style and an interesting story, I feel the game is let down a bit by it’s combat mechanic, in particular your Stamina.

Verdict
Interesting side-scroller hampered by it’s combat mechanic.

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