Is Aragami 2 rough around the edges? You bet. Does it lack challenge? Unfortunately. But, that doesn't mean that it isn't a heck of a lot of fun. In fact, its arcade-style approach to stealth gameplay had me hooked and I'm looking forward to more sneaky action.
Aragami 2 is a very linear stealth experience that gives too much power to the player, making it extremely easy to overcome any kind of challenge the game throws at you. Repetitive missions and buggy performance make it a hassle to play through.
ARAGAMI 2 REVIEW
Reviewed on Playstation 5
I have read a couple of reviews from well known sites such as IGN, and they are pathetic! These journalists keep comparing indie games with AAA games, expecting a low budget game to be like Red Dead Redemption 2. Journos have lost it, that is why I do not buy a game based on reviews, I go and watch gameplay and if I like it, I grab it.
Do not fall into the stupid cycle of reading a review and thinking because a journo said the game is bad, then it is bad… this is an incredible Shinobi/Ninja experience. DO NOT MISS IT!
I am a Shinobi/Ninja aficionado… Ghost of Tsushima, Sekiro, Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden… you name it. This game has interesting mechanics, and it allows the player how to approach your opponents. I will be comparing this game with other Shinobi/Ninja games, so you get my meaning… if you have not played those games before, go and watch gameplay videos in youtube to understand what I mean.
The game is not a direct continuation of the original, but rather like a side story… as an Aragami you are an agent of shadows and need to protect your home from an evil empire. Simple enough and as like with the first game, it suffices… these games are all about the gameplay, not story.
Core base mechanic is stealth, and if you have played stealth games before you know what this means: hiding all the time, either in rooftops, grass, covering behind walls… stalking your enemies and awaiting the perfect opportunity to launch a devastating attack and put their miserable lives down!
Many stealth games have repeated the same approach and there is something compelling about these types of games that keeps attracting players. Aragami 2 is faster than its predecessor and offers a very nice approach to stalk your enemies… crouch, double jump, slide, air-slide, hang onto ledges… and position yourself strategically to deliver your death blow… it is so satisfying, it never gets boring, it is cool! You will enjoy it… it is different than Sekiro’s and Ghost of Tsushima’s stealth killing mechanics, but it is indeed well done.
This is a new mechanic vs the original Aragami. You decide if you want to battle enemies, but they will surround you and you will die, a lot!
If you are discovered you can still run away, try to hide, and wait for the enemies to calm down to go back into stealth mode again… as it happens with other games of the genre.
Combat is relatively simple but to master it, it will take some time as enemies move slow, fast, they can slide, they can jump… it is not easy, and a few hits and you are done. Pressing the parry button at the right time is not simple, and as there is a stamina gauge you cannot just take a parry stance all the time as enemies will break your stance if you are not aggressive as well.
You need to dash back (which consume stamina as well!) and prepare strategically your approach, but seriously, you will die a lot in this game if you decide to go bravado on the enemies or if you fail to conceal yourself. This is NOT bad, but it can be frustrating (I mean, how many times did you die playing Sekiro, eh? Still awesome, right?)
Whilst you sneak around, take your time to seek for coins. It is a good approach as you explore around sneaking and slaying foes. Not too much to add, but you just do not go around killing. Scenarios will open new areas as your progress in the missions, so there is plenty to explore and sneak about!
As with the first game, the visuals are a la Zelda Wind Waker, like cell shades with HD resolution. It looks great, and I do not expect fully animated voice characters from a small company as Lince Works. However, let me tell you that the assassination visuals are incredible: running, crouching, jumping, hanging, etc, feels natural. The game looks and feels fine.
Ambient music with the occasional Asian instrument in the background makes it for a nice approach in your stealth missions. Get discovered and the music will change. As with the original game, the music is good and you will get accustomed to it, it does not get boring
My final Verdict is a solid 9.0 for the game.
This game looks and feels good, it is not a AAA game with amazing animations, cutscenes like a Hollywood blockbuster, or an Orchestrated soundtrack. I do not need games like that all the time, this is an amazing adventure, thank you Lince Works!
And you, gamer, do not heed stupid reviews like the one in IGN. If you are a Shinobi/Ninja fan, this is a must for your library (not many out there, by the way.) You will enjoy this game!
Since IGN did this game dirty & gave it a 5/10. Then went ahead and gave FIFA 22 a 7/10 got me to come here & review this game myself. I think people misunderstood the style that this game is going for, it might not be the best looking game but the gameplay is so much fun & if you’re into the art style you will be playing it non-stop. The campaign missions are longer than I expected & the gameplay flows much better/faster than the original Aragami game. I really like this vision of the game more because it really makes you feel like ninja, deadly, quick and flashy. With that being said I will have to take away 2 points for the co-op performance issues, Frame drops & delayed animations causes detection which after some time I couldn’t take & just gave up on the co-op until they fix it. Overall, a great game for the price & I cant wait to see where they are going to take this series next
Aragami 2 had potential to be a great follow up to an indie classic released five years ago. Unfortunately it lacks any real challenge and feels bloated with repetitive mission types and locations. The game starts to overstay its welcome after a while, but there’s definitely fun to be had before reaching that stage if you can put up with the plenty of bugs that still need to be fixed.
With a patch or two, chances are Aragami 2 will turn into a game that’s well worth a stealth fan’s time and money, especially if they like dabbling in multiplayer. Until then though, you might want to think twice before diving in. While it’s initially fun nipping around Aragami 2‘s maps thanks to traversal options such as shadow leap, and later unlockable abilities really empower you, repetition does take its toll on the experience. All the while, frequent bugs and technical issues make you wonder if you’re playing something that was ready to step into the light for all to see.
Aragami 2 could be a good stealth game, with a good foundation of stealth gameplay and even an intriguing story, but it is plagued by constant bugs, performance issues, poor level design, pacing, rough implementation of gameplay mechanics and a visual style that only further serves to make its flaws even more evident then they already are.
I liked the first game so there was no doubt I'd get the second one as well.
Overall the gameplay felt smoother and more fluid, you can now jump and climb which are great additions I felt like they didn't really get the combat right. To be fair I haven't engaged in too many open fights, but the few ones I actually fought felt a bit like Sekiro, but not really and certainly not as well done/polished. Don't get me wrong, it was not COMPLETELY bad, but enough for me not to use it.
One thing that really bothered me was the fact that I glitched through walls and floors like there was no tomorrow and was caught more than once with a body over my shoulder which made me restart the mission. One could say that it was my own fault for being so perfectionist, but I think being sneaky is the whole point here.
The boss fights were somewhere in the middle, not too bad but also a bit too tough on the "no detections" players. I got "no detection" on almost all missions besides the bosses and then gave up on it after finishing the stage, because it didn't make a difference. Same with the "kill every enemy" medals that became incredibly tedious around mission 20-30 as there were just so many enemies, normally 50 or even more.
Overall I'd give the game a 7/10 or maybe even slightly higher, but all these glitches and the lenght made it overall a bit more tedious that it needed to be as the story felt too drawn out for what it offered.
Aragami 2 is a sequel with some very curious design choices and a decent attempt at expanding the original, but ultimately falls flat and well into the average territory.
The graphics are the most obvious difference. Aragami 1 had a nice cell-shaded style that made it instantly recognisable, like the main character from Journey had become a deadly ninja. It wasn't anything particularly new but it worked well for the purposes of the game. Aragami 2 has taken the bewildering approach to go for slightly more realistic graphics that you would find in Dynasty Warriors. The downside of this is that it all becomes painfully bland and showcases only the budget that the developers must have lacked, unlike Aragami 1 where the graphics likely had even less of a budget but capitalised on this creatively using cell-shaded approaches.
The gameplay of A2 has evolved, mostly for the better. What they are trying to achieve is very good, however this often also falls flat on its face, sometimes literally for the player. The option of direct combat is a welcome addition instead of insta-fail for being discovered/hit, but this combat is a bit luck-based; when I bash an enemy with my sword, I can get the option to finish them in one blow and other times this won't happen despite stamina levels etc. remaining identical.
Speaking of stamina, A2 continues the trend popularised by Dark Souls of the dreaded stamina bar, and I rarely found it to be a welcome game mechanic. For a ninja, Aragami has terrible cardio, doing only two dashes/rolls before gasping for breath. There are options to improve this as you progress, but like much of the game it could do with more planning; Dark Souls use attributes to allow you to customise your stamina use as well as various weapons etc, while A2 has almost none of this.
Unlike A1's linear and sequenced levels, A2 brings you to a Hub after each mission where you can upgrade and select your next mission. At first this was nice but the Hub is largely an empty space and I think again DS did it better by either doing everything at the bonfire or in a refined Hub, which A2 could have learned from; if you're going to imitate others, imitate the best parts!
Speaking of which, Aragami's gameplay boils down to missions, mostly assassinations. This is fine at a glance, but I spend as much time fighting the game mechanics as I did my opponents. Aerial assassinations look ridiculous - you basically teleport to the ground and assassinate there, bewilderingly. Controls are slippery; quite often I'll hit square to assassinate only to thump my opponent, alerting him and everyone nearby. Levels lack checkpoints, meaning that are very unforgiving if you chose the time-consuming methodical routes. Eventually I discovered you could spam your way through a lot of levels by double-jumping above your opponents for an unglamorous 'aerial' assassination.
Finally, the lack of a map may be my biggest grip with A2. I understand a ninja's job is to spy, but a half-decent spy would want to know the layout and location of enemies before attempting a mission. Added to this is that mission targets do not usually appear until you are close to them and press L2 for 'ninja vision'. This made for incredibly painfully slow progression on levels with obscure targets such as "Collect 3 xxxx" or whatever.
It pains me to say it, but A2 could have learned a lot from Assassins Creed games. Although they **** in recent years, their game mechanics work really well, such as climbing and fighting.
The story of A2 I didn't get far enough into the game to become invested in. When I saw how many chapters there were on the trophy list I got sick of it after Chapter 2, as the game boils down to the same handful of missions. It looks like a good 25 hour game when I think 12 hours would be plenty since the missions encourage replayability.
Overall, Aragami 2 is a bewilderingly blandly designed sequel that takes two steps forwards and another 2 back. The gameplay has evolved but still plays like something from the PS3 era, while the graphics don't help this impression, taking away the uniqueness of the first game. Unfortunately there aren't many competitors for the glory days of Tenchu so this will have to do for any of you looking for Tenchu.
As a huge fan of the original game I am beyond disappointed with this one.
While some of the gameplay is an improvement, a lot of it is also a huge step back. The one thing that I don't understand is getting rid of the shadow teleporting and just shadows playing an important part in gameplay in general. There's also a lot of useless bits and bobs with tools clearly aimed at co-op play and maybe that's the biggest issue, this game being aimed at co-op so much. The game is currently also really buggy. Some bugs I just ignore but there were some that made my do not be detected progress get messed up and such, which is definitely frustrating.
I didn't play co-op and even though I heard it's not great, I cannot comment on it. But I think it made the game suffer. The story is boring and all over the place. There's way too many missions. And none of them optional. They're repetitive, you come back to same areas multiple times too. It feels really ubisoft style half assed, copy-pasted cash grab like. The original was short and sweet and you had the map editor if you wanted new content. Plus you always could replay to get the ghost/don't get detected/kill everyone stuff and get all collectables if you needed a reason to play again. **** just too much. Just seriously wanted this game to end. In my personal opinion they should've done a small proper polished solo campaign and done a separate co-op part with the map editor perhaps and some pre-done levels.
Design wise... It really lost its unique art style and on top of that at least on ps5 the textures are so bad. Especially when it comes to areas in the distance. The mountains look like pixelated jpegs. In one of the maps you can literally see a city just end as if it was cut off and it's not some hardly reachable area. Pretty much every map has these very obvious lazy asset placements as if 'nobody will notice'. There's also a lot of screen tearing, especially in cutscenes.
Some additional stuff - why does Kurai not have any idle animations? I find it so weird when the og had them. Also, the transition between standing and getting into one of those conversations with npcs looks very awkward. Speaking of conversations, Kurai only talking occasionally in cutscenes and not even any text like in original game when it comes to simple conversations, I think is one of the reasons why the story falls so flat. There's just nothing to the character and him reacting to the world around him. He's, quite literally, just some guy.
Basically, like I said before, I am disappointed. I recommend the og Aragami to people all the time and even though I'm sure some people enjoy this one I don't think I could ever in good conscience recommend it. It's quantity over quality unlike the original.