Is Dark Souls a JRPG? No but this is, kind of.

Lost Epic is a side scrolling metroid-vania style JRPG hybrid that has an elegant vibrant yet dark look from start to finish. The game is a hack and slash adventure created by oneoreight and Team Earth Wars and takes place in a world ravaged by gods. As a chosen Avatar you pick one of many Custom characters and a handful of custom costumes and colours before you are thrust into a world of despair. While there isn’t much in the customization itself it does allow for some freedom of expression into your journey.

You begin the game with a small cutscene and some dialogue before you venture out into the world. While the story does leave little to the imagination, the world itself does look really good and from the beginning I was impressed with what I was looking at.

The first area takes place outside in a grassy wilds. Progressing through I saw the background and was greeted with a vibrant aurora cast over the area with a pillar of light bursting from the mountain. A genuinely pleasing aesthetic and along with the level of detail in the foreground as grass sways and foliage can be seen in the foreground, I was more than impressed visually with Lost Epic.

With what I have seen from the Character design I expected enemy designs to be just as good and for the most part they are, however the animations of both characters and enemies do feel less than desirable. The playable character has many types of movement from running and double jumps to roll dodging enemy attacks, my issue is they all look rather odd, when you do a double jump the character remains almost in a fixed position, and this something that I have seen throughout my playthrough, this goes for enemies and foes also.

The only time where I noticed fantastic animations was during cutscenes with other characters. The enemy designs do look fantastic but again are let down by choppy animation. I will say the placement of certain enemies is very odd but that does feel like a very minor issue.

I noticed very early on the game has some Dark Souls inspiration due to the fact enemies explode into Red Crystals coupled with the crystals being a means to level up, there is a lot of dodging and retaliating with strikes at the right time to take down a particularly strong foe. It does work well though, as you level up so does the amount of Crystals needed to level further. You also gain an SP with each level which allows you to attain new skills in a skill tree. You are stuck to a certain path should you choose a skill and unlock something higher up along that path.

A lot of the different trees that you can learn upgrades are hidden by beating bosses and completing requests. Requests are something you can pick up early on and require you to beat a certain amount of enemies or pick up items and in doing so you are rewarded handsomely.

The bosses themselves provide a decent challenge and I’ve found myself succumbing to them, much like I have done in Dark Souls, speaking of which you will lose accumulated experience if you die so it’s probably best if you don’t, easier said than done I suppose. There plenty of skills at your disposal to help you and many fights do have warning prompts for certain attacks, while not necessary they can be helpful for a less skilled player. The difficulty option is also there if you are someone who does or does not like a challenge.

Lost Epic is a fantastic game with some fantastic features that helps bring a challenging game to life. There is Cooking, Crafting, Fishing, Farming and Quests as well as many areas to explore. As a metroid-vania style game it is important to explore as much as possible, not only does it make the journey much easier it allows you to use those hard earned abilities to navigate areas you otherwise couldn’t before.

Cooking allows you to use gathered resources that will allow you to heal and gain extra buffs to your character. Crafting allows you to create a plethora of different trinkets such as healing items, weapons, items and cosmetics which change the look of your character. Using different items can add different elements on your weapons so it is worth experimenting to see what works for you.

Overall Lost Epic is an enjoyable time and the small minor issues are shadowed by its colour vibrant world and great gameplay and did I also mention fantastic music? There’s many hours of fun to be had for the average player and I highly recommend Lost Epic to anyone.

A Nintendo Switch code was provided by oneoreight