When I play a game in this day and age, I tend to take some things for granted. Namely, that when I load up a new game, there are bound to be issues since most developers and publishers release games that need a little bit of polish. Ary and the Secret of Seasons definitely has some things to talk about on the technical front. However, I am going to focus first on what I like about it.
I love the idea of the season crystals that factor into solving puzzles. It does remind me of a Zelda game before Breath of the Wild. While the main world felt a little bigger than it needed to be, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way before, it still had a lot of potential to be a fun adventure game.
Unfortunately, the problems I had with this game ruin the experience that starts with booting the game up. The graphics are so buggy that water doesn’t show up where it should. The disturbed water at the bottom of the waterfall tends to just hover a good Ary high amount above where it should. The characters are bland at best, especially the NPCs, as well as the buildings, and the gigantic world surrounding her.
There may be some reasons or excuses as to how this game got to this point, but I was so frustrated within the first ten minutes of playing this game with the long load times, the terrible frame rate, and the strange blurry spots that look like you’re looking through some transcendental mirage where there should be none (like a grassy knoll by a normal house). Because of the bland world, I would rather not have four NPC characters that all look the same and tell me the same thing or make the same completely unimportant comment like, “What happened to winter?”
The music is light and fits the game fairly well, but when you are subject to it cutting out during load scenes, it just sucks you out of the moment that could’ve been quite moving. There are times when I wasn’t sure if my Switch was going to recover. At one point there was nothing other than Ary riding on a hyena dog filling up a progress bar that did everything but actually tell you the progress of the loading. The bar snaps from zero to 95% and then back to 50% then up to roughly 80%. During this crazy progress jump, the animation of Ary and the dog creature stutters and spits just like the environment and areas you explore.
I can understand that some bugs will escape to the release date, but the amount of issues I had were just ridiculous while playing docked. I was about to give up when our intrepid editor, Craig, pointed me to some workaround posted by the publisher. You know what I’m not going to do at 12 years old? Scour the internet looking for ways to get my game to work. I’m going to complain to my parents that the game sucks and quit playing it. I know this because I have a 12 year old that does that. A game clearly aimed at the younger crowd doesn’t get a second chance at a first impression. I’m sorry, but that’s not how kids work. Sometimes they power through because they bought it with their hard earned money and are trying to salvage something from the purchase. I believe I made myself quite clear to friends of mine how much I disliked Acclaim back in the NES days because their games irritated me with their boring gameplay and the fact that I wasted money on them.
I can’t recommend this game to anyone in the state it’s in at release. I wouldn’t even give my friends the thumbs up to give it a shot. With the problems I encountered, unless some major reworking happens in the coming weeks, I would steer clear of Ary and the Secret Seasons. I couldn’t be more disappointed with a game than I am because there are some things that truly could have been amazing had I not had to fight with the issues I’ve mentioned.
Ary And The Secret Of Seasons Review
- Graphics - 5/105/10
- Sound - 5/105/10
- Gameplay - 4/104/10
- Lasting Appeal - 4/104/10
Final Thoughts: MEDIOCRE
A rather bland experience that is tainted by technical issues that almost render the game unplayable on the docked Switch, but made slightly better with some published workarounds. Once the game is patched and cleaned up it might be worth checking out, but I’m not sure that’ll be enough to make the game fun.