Review - Stories: The Path of Destiny

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Review - Stories: The Path of Destiny

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:20 am

So next up on games I've completed and wanted to share is Stories: Path of Destiny.

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This one is a brawler (A la Arkham series) set once again in what's basically Disney's Robin Hood (I swear, this isn't becoming my thing, it's just a coincidence)if people were getting murdered and sacrificed on screen in Disney's Robin Hood. It concerns you, Reynaldo, a former pirate fox who's had a mysterious book suddenly thrust into his possession, the owner of which was killed by Ravens sent by the Mad Emperor. This book allows you to glimpse forward in time, which will make sense here in a second.

This is a game where "The choices you make drastically change the story" is actually true. How it works is there are four main paths: A malevolent orb, an ancient world-ending machine, a rebel spy, and the emperor's general. You can veer between them on a single playthrough that lasts between 3-5 missions, trying to figure out how to get to the one good ending among twenty-five endings. Each playthrough can take up to an hour or an hour and a half between them. When you fail (and you WILL fail at least five times, there's no question there), you'll be sent back, and it will be revealed that the book is letting you 'see' your path ahead. In each of the four main paths lies a truth to be discovered about whatever it is that's at the center of the path, until you can finally unlock the true path forward, which is (to my disappointment) signposted at the first set of missions, although no further than that.

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The story is also told entirely through a narrator, dialogue (male and female) included. The narrator was good enough, not quite on the level of Bastion, but it reminded me a little bit of the Stanley Parable narrator, though still not quite on that level. On the whole, though, he delivered well enough, and though the writing could occasionally be eye-rollingly referential, it had its moments.

As for the combat part, it's a brawler, and pretty standard. At first, I thought it was clunky, uncoordinated, and unnecessarily difficult. Then I realized it's just because your character starts out slow, clumsy, and not very powerful. As you upgrade, you get to the point where you can literally chain together 100 attacks without taking one hit like it ain't no thang, which I truly enjoy. When navigating the missions, there are often different paths forward that can be unlocked if you have a certain type of sword, which can be crafted by looting ore and essences. Altogether, it creates a game that really makes you feel increasingly powerful as you go, although it can still sometimes get a bit clunky. Given how many times you have to play to see the ending, it can also start to get a little repetitive and dull.

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Part of the problem are enemies that absolutely require you to stop mid-combo and run away, or risk being hurt by them. Also present are enemies that require you to pick up and hurl other enemies at them, which can be obnoxious because it takes a few seconds to aim, and they will typically attack you within that span of time. In the effort to provide a greater variety of enemies, they've unfortunately created enemies which require the flow of combat to stop, which I find a little jarring. Also, once you upgrade enough that you can dash across the field to hit enemies, the screen can zoom across the field too quickly, creating a somewhat disorienting and difficult-to-follow battle.

There are also a few glitches here and there. It was made in Unreal Engine, and though I don't care enough to confirm it, I suspect it was an indie game. I got stuck every once in a while in the level geography and had to restart the entire level, making sure to avoid that particular patch of ground the next run through. It could also load up you before your surroundings on occasion. The graphics in general are just...alright. Not terrible, not amazing, though it does combine an odd combination of kinda-cartoonish 3d surroundings with enemies and objects that are cell-shaded.

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On the whole, though, for...I think it was 15 dollars, not bad. I enjoyed my time with it, and even though I figured out the true path pretty quick, I still might go back through and pick up all the other endings, since even the wrong ones were pretty funny.

Would recommend to: People who like their differing-path stories, brawlers, fast-paced games
Would not recommend to: People who hate brawlers or fast paced games.
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Doodle Dee. Snickers
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