If you are looking for a game that is always fun and never gets boring, then I’m sad to say that Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is not the game for you. I have to say that the storyline was very intriguing and made up for the repetitive gameplay that got dull after the first couple of hours. I did not have a terrible time with the gameplay, but I felt that it never got more fun or exciting no matter what I did.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is an action RPG that will have you fighting magical creatures, tribal warriors, pirates, and even giant lizard people. You get to use magic powers along with a weapon and armor of your choice. I found the beginning to be a blast, with its fast-paced mechanics, like rolls and quick magic attacks. Also, the amount of loot is insane, almost to the point that it is too much loot. (I never thought I would say that, but seriously the devs put too much loot in the game.) Once I found a weapon I was fond of, I mainly stayed with it since the abilities you get only favor what type of weapon you are using.
With three ability routes to take, you must pick and choose which way to go. You can select between magic, melee, or distance fighting, and even though you can mix the two, I found it useless to try and pick abilities from different play styles. Luckily you can reset your abilities at any time for the cost of some gold. Gold never seemed to be a problem, though, because you could sell all that extra loot whenever you were near a vendor. Every chance I got, I sold all the loot I picked up, and eventually, I decided to stop picking up loot because I had so much money and didn’t need anything that could be found.
So you may be wondering what seems to be the issues here. You have massive amounts of loot you can make unlimited money to get the best gear from vendors, plus you can also change your abilities whenever you want, pretty much. Yes, this is all true, but even though this stuff is fine and dandy, it doesn’t make up for the actual combat you engage in.
The combat is almost an endless battle with way too many enemies and only four abilities to use at once. With way too many enemies, you sit there hitting the four same buttons repeatedly with minimal tactics involved, you can roll, but that takes you longer to get your moves off, making the battle twice as long. All you do is sit there while you get hit and deal damage until someone comes out victorious. Then you take a couple more steps forward, and there’s another group of enemies waiting for you to do the same thing. It’s too repetitive and seems like it was done to extend the length of the game.
After struggling with the fact that I had to deal with so many enemies with boring combat, I decided to speed run through each level. This was probably the best way to experience the game as I stopped here and there to fight new enemies I’ve never seen before and enjoy the story plot. When I say the story saved this game from total failure, I mean it. The story about Pachamama and Aluna was so intriguing it made me want to complete each level faster to find out what would happen next. (hence the speedrunning past hordes of enemies.)
Even though the combat was not my favorite, and I ended up skipping most of it, I’m glad I didn’t end up skipping the whole game because once I made it to each boss fight, I did enjoy the combat with a set amount of enemies. It was just the overwhelming of never-ending enemies that got pretty annoying. Saving Pachamama from evil and pretty much saving the world was also pretty awesome, and I give it up to the writers of this game. I know that Aluna is also a comic book, so I’m interested if it follows the same storyline, and if so, I might have to pick up a couple of copies and check it out myself.
Suppose you were to ask me if I would recommend this game to anyone, I would have to say no. Unless you enjoy a good plot and more loot than one person should ever have to deal with. If you can get past the combat repetitiveness, then, by all means, go and play Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards. You are sure to have a good experience with the story aspect of the game.
Just a reminder that this is a review and solely my opinion. If you have any objections, please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your experience with the game. If you were a developer/creator of this game, I never intend to offend anyone or disown your work. I truly enjoyed the artwork and how smooth it ran, but It just wasn’t my cup of tea when it came to the number of enemies you encountered. I look forward to future titles from Aluna, and hopefully, this will help with the development of the future installments.