Since it was revealed, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has been a game that I can’t seem to get enough of. Over the years I’ve been able to see it grow visually and mechanically into a game that has consistently stayed on my radar. Luckily, I was able to experience a new build of the game and fight through hordes of enemies and a fairly difficult boss. If you are just going to skip to the video, know that the game definitely holds up and I’m still as hyped as ever.
While I can’t speak too much on the story of the farming sim elements of Sakuna, I did get quite a lot of time playing around with the battle system. Sakuna is extremely versatile in combat. Her basic attacks are light and heavy attacks with whatever weapons she has equipped. While this doesn’t seem too original, its Sakuna’s speed that will make her stand out. Chaining together combos will make battles more manageable, but it doesn’t come without a layer of skill. Not once during my time with the game did I considered it to be easy.
To keep Sakuna’s momentum high, she wields a magical scarf that can be attached to enemies and other objects to be used as a slingshot around the battlefield. Grabbing a target to circle around them and continue a combo will avoid damage while putting some much-needed space between you and any enemies. Furthermore, enemies can be thrown while attached to the scarf, which only adds to its necessity in battle. Outside of battles, the scarf can be used as a traversal item to get over high walls or quickly avoid encounters.
During fights, monsters will drop items and materials that can be collected by Sakuna and used in the farming sim portion of the game. Sadly, I didn’t get to play with this feature. With that said, exploration is rewarded in the game as you seek out hidden paths that reveal new weapons and more materials.
Sakuna is not an easy game. The grunt enemies in the game are all capable of ganging up and taking out Sakuna, which is why it’s crucial to keep moving. The levels themselves contain environmental gimmicks like spikes and other hazards that can hurt Sakuna but can also be used against enemies. Chaining together combos and using the environment to your advantage is a great way to keep from being overrun by enemies.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has been in development for a long time, but it’s nice to see the progress that the developers have made over that period. The game is as adorable as it is difficult and I can’t wait to see more. In the future, I’d like to dig a little deeper into the customization options as well as the farming portion of the game, which is arguably its key feature. As of now, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is looking like a beautiful action title that is fast, beautiful, and challenging.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in winter 2019.
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