I mentioned this before, but when you purchase a PlayStation Plus membership, you get access to 2 “free” games on the first Tuesday of every month. Usually they are some sort of indie plat-former, but sometimes they release top games. For instance, this year I downloaded NBA 2K16 and Tropico 5, not too shabby. I end up playing these free games quite a bit because they are usually short, fun, and require no great commitment. You can bounce in and out of them between watching a show, or writing in my case. I reviewed The Deadly Tower of Monsters last month, and thought that I would continue reviewing one of these games every month. This time the two games are Stories: The Path of Destinies and, Invisible. Stories sounded more interesting to me so that’s the one I’ve been playing, and it’s been good.
“Stories: The Path of Destinies is an action-RPG set in a vibrant fairytale universe filled with floating islands, majestic airships, and colorful magic. Reynardo, ex-pirate and unintentional hero, suddenly becomes the last line of the defense against the mad Emperor and his countless ravens. Can he come up with a plan that won’t blow up in his face, for a change?
In Stories, each choice you make takes Reynardo into a unique narrative. From tongue-in-cheek takes on heroic adventures to dark, Lovecraftian scenes, Stories’ repertoire is as diverse as it is action-packed. But Reynardo’s fateful decisions won’t always come easy: Sometimes retrieving a weapon lost at the beginning of time means sacrificing the life of an old friend. But with so many choices to make, so many potential dire destinies, wouldn’t it be great to be able to come back in time, learn from your mistakes and find the one true path.”
A lot of times when you’re playing games that have a choice based system you’re left to wonder what might have been? With Stories, you don’t have to wonder because after you get to the end, you go back to the beginning with the new knowledge gained from that play through. You can then make different decisions. This is quite fun in the beginning, and the game is not too long so you want to keep playing the different story lines to see what happens. There are 24 different endings in fact. However, this is also its problem. You end up doing the same thing over and over, seeing the same locations over and over, and without the ability to skip dialogue, you end up hearing the same thing over and over. This becomes quite tiring, and it’s replay value definitely goes down.
The fighting in Stories is really fun!…in the beginning Haha (you can see a pattern forming). It’s a slasher game, but you have powers that help you fight including a hook shot, slowing down time, and dashing at super speeds. I should also mention you get different swords to forge and level up (although there are only 4 and the each only level up 2 times). They have different abilities that help you defeat enemies quicker, and you also use them as keys to open up different areas of the maps. The actual combat feels almost like a batman game where you are in the center of a bunch of enemies bouncing around defending yourself from attacks from all angles. Once you have that down the game throws in different enemies that have to be defeated certain ways, explode, or power up other enemies. This adds a new level of challenge and keeps the fighting entertaining. That is until you level up Reynardo to the point where he negates the challenges of the new opponents. For example, one of the most annoying and challenging bad guys is ravens with big shields; you either need to throw another raven into them or hook shot them and rip the shield off. This can take time and leaves you open to attack, but it also adds a level of strategy to an encounter. However, later in the game you get a gem that allows you to hit Ravens that are carrying shields, and then the fighting returns to how it was at the beginning of the game, fairly mindlessly bouncing around killing everything in site, not having to really pay attention.
Some other things I really enjoyed about this game is the narration. It’s superb. The voice actor does a great job, and it’s very funny with
so many great puns, and references to recent pop culture. That alone makes this game play worthy and engaging. The art and visuals of the game are awesome, and the maps they built (although not very many) are intricate and fun to explore.
Despite it’s flaws, this game is a lot of fun. Like I mentioned above the great things about it are also the problem though. You get to go back and redo old decisions, but this becomes tiresome. The fighting and level up system are engaging, but you can get to a point where the fighting becomes too easy. All in all, I would rate this a definite download while it’s free. Have fun beating it 4 or 5 times (takes a minimum of 4 to learn everything) and then put it down and move on.