After decades of gaming, it's getting hard to innovate. Even this year at E3 all the games people are excited about have been done before – it's just in new skins or settings. You're still fighting monsters, you're still solving similar problems and you still make the same decisions. It's like that Simpsons gag about the same doll coming out again – this time it's with a 'new hat'. As Azure Sage: Pathfinder shows, it is still painfully here.
You are Synch. On your way to a planet, you crash land on another planet. The world you're on is basically magical Medieval levels of technology, and you come in with futuristic technology. You team up with the locals to defeat invading monsters. It's not a bad story, and some on the intricacies were pretty great within dialogue. Fish out of water is used often, and Pathfinder uses an old premise and still makes it fun.
On the PC, controls were pretty solid. Despite what the opening part gave in terms of what the game was going to be, it's a very simple 3D game, and controls were not as many as I thought there were going to be, especially for a JRPG. Good, but could have been more.
Gameplay was typical JRPG fare. You walk around, solve puzzles, fight, talk, fight as groups in turn base and general, again, JRPG fare. Besides the shifting art styles, there was nothing really to make them different. Dialogue was better than average, but the fighting and puzzle solving are all the ropes again without much to differentiate it from others. Playable, but could have been more original.
The graphics were all over the place, literally. During cutscenes it's a really high quality art. In fight scenes it's still good quality, but a mix of still and the weird, hinged graphics the fighters have. Exploring the map has this cutesy style that looks really out of place. And then there are other parts where it decides on another art style or something. It can't decide what it wants, and it ends up suffering for it. It's way too distracting to do so many styles and types at once. Some styles were good, some weren't. Some just didn't work. It's all mashed together and it looks really thrown off.
The sound and music are pretty expecting. Music is straight fantasy if that comes as any shock, although during fights it becomes faster paced and more instrumental, with quieter moments changing to fit too. Sound is really basic. Characters don't talk (It comes off as a quick text sound instead), and everything else are basic sounds. Nothing is out of place, but again, nothing to really make it against the grain here. Very by the books.
The frame rate for the game was pretty good. A few times the game stopped with characters moving on screen as if it needed to think on what to do next, but that only happened a few times. No real glitches to speak about either. For all of it's faults, it was a pretty smooth running games.
Azure Saga: Pathfinder had a few good moments here and there – dialogue especially singles itself out. But generally it's very by the numbers. I kept trying to find those moments of brilliance or parts where they do things other games haven't, and they weren't really there. Not to say they did them badly – Pathfinder didn't. There just wasn't much to distinguish themselves with.
Final Score: 6.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.