Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey is a bit of a puzzling game: on the one hand, it has a lot of little things that make it feel unfinished; on the other hand, however, it’s just fun. And to me, that’s a game that accomplishes at least one of the primary commandments of gaming.
You play as the title character, Akara. Although she lives in what used to be Mexico before the demons invaded, her name is Japanese and so are the names of half of her companions. The other half have Latin American games.
The story is a very standard fare of “demons invaded, we’ve been living in this for long, it’s time to be free” type of thing. However, there are some elements of Mexican folklore that, had they been used more in the game, would have taken the game to another level.
The gameplay is classic hack ‘n slash isometric top down ARPG. It reminds me a lot of Diablo II, as I mentioned in my First Impressions article a couple of days ago. And it seems like it would get repetitive soon, but actually, there’s something there that keeps you coming back.
It isn’t the variety of enemies, as there aren’t that many. I think it has to do with the sheer volume of enemies (you battle A LOT of them), and the fact that each of your party members have different abilities. Once you start getting magicians in your party, things get colorful and interesting again.
Another issue with the game are the graphics.
The problem is that all the press material on the game is based on the PS4 version, which looks fantastic. The PS Vita version, though, looks like a slightly upgraded PS1 Diablo engine. And I don’t understand why: Gravity Rush proved that we can have MASSIVE games looking good on Vita. Obviously, the budget and dev team size are different, but the graphics really do like they came from an early build; and I think there’s no need for that.
It’s not like they are ensuring 60fps: the game runs at less than 30fps. Steadily, yes, but still, nowhere near 30fps, which makes it all the more puzzling.
The music is forgettable, the sound effects are something you wish you could forget.
The level design, however, is actually pretty good. However was in charge of that really knew how to make a limited set of resources feel fresh.
I think that’s this game saving grace: at the end of the day, it’s a pretty basic, but pretty fun hack ‘n slash ARPG.
Yeah, the dialog is poorly translated sometimes, as well as not following the actual lore of the game. The graphics look like a PS1 game on weak steroids. The music is bland and the sound effects are bad. The story is generic (though it had potential to not be).
The truth is, though, that I kept coming back to it, and I couldn’t put the game down. I had fun playing it. And for all the budget and whatever else that makes AAA games on PS4 and other consoles… Sometimes they are just joyless.
And that’s not the case with Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey. It’s weird, slightly bad even. But it is fun. And you know what? I wish more games had that “can’t-put-it-down” factor.
- Title: Murasaki Mist: Akara’s Journey
- Publisher: Hollow Games CO S.A de C.V
- Developer: Hollow Games CO S.A de C.V
- Format: PSN Download
- Memory Card Space Needed: 527Mb