A while back I was interested in a game called Aeternoblade, but was put off by the large amount of negative reviews it had been getting.A while back I was interested in a game called Aeternoblade, but was put off by the large amount of negative reviews it had been getting. Recently I noticed it was on sale for about $1 (yes, I am not exaggerating), so I decided to take the plunge and download it. While it is a bit rough in many areas, I can confirm that it is certainly not as bad as it has been made out to be.
You play as Frejya, a girl who is out for vengeance against an evil creature named Beladim that has just destroyed her village and killed everyone in it. The plot is fairly standard, with a few twists and turns along the way that are, to be honest, a bit predictable. I will mention here that the game has two different endings, and not to spoil anything, but if you don’t want to restart the game all over again just to get the true ending, I recommend that you use a guide to figure out what to do to get it.
Aeternoblade plays as a metroidvania hack-n-slash with light RPG elements mixed in. The game is split across seven different stages, where you will be fighting enemies, solving puzzles, and facing a boss at the end. Freyja’s moveset is quite small at the beginning, but as you level up her abilities combat really begins to open up, and it becomes quite fun to destroy hordes of enemies with one large combo attack. I will say that the level design was not very inspired: the levels seemed a bit bland and some dragged on for a long time, with every single level having a bunch of rooms where you would have to kill a bunch of enemies before you could progress. I don't know if this is common place for hack-n-slash games, as I have not played very many, but I found that there were just way too many of them here. Each stage was also muddled down by the very frequent load times. After travelling a few screens, you would have to wait for the area to load, and while the load times were never too long, they got annoying after a while.
The puzzles stem from Frejya’s weapon of choice, the Aeternoblade. This sword lets Frejya travel back in time for as far as 10 seconds. This one aspect can bring you back from the dead and try to win a particularly difficult battle. Other parts of the blade allow Frejya to teleport to a manually-placed checkpoint on the map, rewind the movement of objects in the world to reach a new area, and more. The puzzles were, for the most part, quite fun to solve, and some left me scratching my head for a long time.
I found the end-stage bosses to be the hardest part of the game. To take down each foe, you would have to learn their moveset and attack patterns before you could effectively take them down. I don't think I ever beat a boss on one try; they are that tough.
The visual presentation of Aeternoblade is... not very good, to be blunt. The character models, animations, backgrounds, and occasional cutscenes look like they came from a PS1 game, and while I personally thought it was quite charming, it may leave others with a bad taste in their mouth. However, one thing that Aeternoblade absolutely nails down in presentation is the music. I honestly was not expecting much on this front, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got to listen to it. The music for each level is atmospheric and often catchy, while boss music and other events were fast-paced, emotional, and downright comical. I would say the music was the best part of the game overall.
Aeternoblade was a fun surprise. While it is rough along the edges in terms of gameplay and visuals, it certainly is not a bad game. It is priced at $17 in Canada (I believe it is $15 in the US), and I would say that is a bit too steep of a price. The game took me about 15 hours to complete, and there was still plenty of things left to do after, so you definitely get a good value. I believe there is a sale every year during Christmas that drastically cuts the price down, so if you are patient then I recommend you wait until then to pick it up. For fans of metroidvanias and hack-n-slash games, I would say Aeternoblade is a great way to pass the time.… Expand