With the success of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it wasn’t long before a developer came around to capitalize on the anime girl Metroidvania concept. Frontier Hunter: Erza’s Wheel of Fortune from developer IceSitruuna takes a chance to not only deliver on what fans love about this genre but also provide players with a charming cast of characters and a narrative that hypes you for the future this game has in store.
Frontier Hunter: Erza’s Wheel of Fortune has an interesting story as we are introduced to Erza, who is busy live streaming before a mission. We learn that she is wearing a hairclip possessed by Diablo, which speaks directly to Erza but has a skill that can talk to others. However, he’s kept a secret, so expect him to chime in every once in a while with some funny comment. On a mission, the ship is almost destroyed by creatures as it makes an emergency landing.
Following the events, the world opens up, and Erza is joined by other characters who assist here with taking down the baddies and saving the day. The narrative has some decent world-building as the main characters, and even the supporting cast gets a little time to establish their role on the crew. The relationship between the playable characters, Erza, Ciara, and Niel, grows during short clips and dialogue shared while exploring the environments.
Much like in any Metroidvania, skills are needed to progress through areas. However, the game utilizes some of its core systems to get through blocked areas. Players can customize weapons using cores that can add passive abilities to attacks. Now, abilities such as double jump and additional attacks are learned. Still, I liked this customization feature because it relied on you constantly trying new loadouts on your arsenal of weapons.
The combat in the game feels a little light, as attacks don’t seem to pack a punch. There’s just no weight behind melee attacks, or when you’re hit, the characters appear unaffected. I’ll also say that the ranged attacks are just way too overpowered, even though there’s ammo that replenishes slowly. Grunt enemies can be quickly taken down from afar by shooting them with a rocket. I cheesed my way through many encounters by just flinging rockets everywhere. Boss battles require some attention, given that dodging can be finicky sometimes, but I’m sure you’ll get through it.
With the development of Frontier Hunter: Erza’s Wheel of Fortune in early access, this looks to be a fun anime-esque action game that prides itself on large explorable maps, deep weapon customization, and cute characters with optional costumes. While movement takes some getting used to, I believe early access was the best choice for a game like this. The developers can now fine-tune what they have through feedback while continuing to expand on this world.
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