Is Ashes of God: Redemption Worth Your Time
Meh, not really.
How Ashes of God: Redemption Plays
There’s a few different modes here. I chose the more story-centric mode as I wanted to immerse myself in the world while also enjoying some tactical gameplay. The story centric mode makes the characters stronger and has an auto-battle mode.
Before I delve in too deeply, Ashes of God: Redemption is a mixture between visual novel and tactics game. You play through three different story lines, which all end up in the same final location. There are some specific choices you make throughout the game that affect the ending (apparently) and depending on your actions you can increase or decrease your team’s morale.
So let’s get into the nuts and bolts here:
Visual Novel Aspect
If you pick the story-centric mode like I did, be prepared to do a lot of reading. You follow the story through dialogue boxes and basically picking certain choices to uncover more of the story. While there some of your dialogue choices affect the story, there just aren’t that many so you end up just picking whatever randomly. And besides a handful of other segments, you can pretty much click through all the options and hear everything without any consequences.
Now there are other parts of the story where you’re confronted with a choice of action. Some of these might lead to you losing money, strixes (currency that heals your party members when injured and consumed when traveling between points) and/or increase or decrease morale. Morale is only for Thorn and Lo Pheng. I was able to get 100% morale with Thorn but was pretty much in the negative with Lo Pheng.
When you play the Hopper parts of the story you deal with the curse and can choose to give in to curse or not. If you give in, it spreads further into your body, lowering your stats. If you don’t, then the enemies get harder. With that said you can adjust the difficulty if it gets too hard so there’s really no consequence to resisting the curse.
I only played through the game once, but seemed to get a relatively good ending where no one died. I’m not sure what choices I would have to make to kill these people off because partway through I kind of wasn’t paying attention to mark for choices that would change the ending.
I read that this was not originally published in English, so I can forgive some errors. However, what’s worse is the clunky and, to be honest, boring dialogue. The characters all sound like each other, it’s often hard to tell one voice from the other, especially when traveling with Thorn. Others are just too stereotypical. Oh, wow, Lo Pheng is the silent, brooding Asian guy. Haven’t seen that one before.
As for the choices, I never really felt the weight of them. There was no obvious tell as to what would happen (besides a couple points) so the outcome just fell a bit flat. Plus, again, the characters just weren’t that endearing to me. Oh no, so and so died. Oh well. He was a bit of a jerk anyway.
Turn-Based Strategy Aspect
I love turn-based tactics games like Ogre Tactics, Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics. There’s something about that I enjoy as it makes you consider your next moves, which characters to take out first and so on.
It’s why I was so disappointed with the combat for Ashes of God: Redemption. It’s just so freakin’ easy. Yeah, yeah I get that the story mode was made to be easier so players could enjoy the story more, but it was too easy.
I managed to level up my characters pretty well and kept a good mix of strong defense and long-range attackers to finish off enemies quickly. Maybe the combo was too good? I don’t know. Either way, even the final enemies didn’t give me any issues and I barely needed to think at all about placement or my next move.
Again, I didn’t have a chance to check out the regular mode, but I’m assuming it must be more challenging, or at least I hope so.
What sucked here was that it took everything bad about turn-based strategy games and pushed them all in. Have a character in front of another, oops, it’s blocking your path. Plus, again it’s all turn-based. That means once you move one character you have to wait until you’ve played all of them (up to 6) to move that guy again. If you want to get through the combat quickly, it’s better to have 2-3 members on the field as you’ll be able to defeat the enemies faster.
Light RPG aspects
There’s also some light RPG aspects. You get to level up your characters and choose specific skills with your skill points. I generally put my points into more attack and health and then, if I maxed those out for the level, got a skill that seemed noteworthy.
You can also equip items on your character that can increase health, energy and attack. There are also some that reduce your strix consumption and can even heal your party members outside of battle. Sadly, you can’t sell these items for more cash, but honestly, at least in the story mode you don’t really need more cash than you earn in-game. By the end, there’s not really many more items or cards you need.
Now Ashes of God: Redemption has pretty great artwork (though I have to say the animation at the end wasn’t great). With that said, everything else is wonderful from the background sequences, to the in-game animations and the visual novel busts. Despite it being a relatively “brown” world, there are some great splashes of color throughout from the red of Thorn’s tunic to the colorful tents in the various town markets. This aspect is really where the game shines. I also enjoyed all of the character animations. They were all fluid and fit the characters really well.
The soundtrack was stellar and haunting. The narrator voice over, not so much. I felt like it detracted from the overall story, especially at the end. The sound effects were pretty decent. I especially liked the sound of the siege weapons during the final scene.
By the end of the game, I’d kind of gotten tired of Ashes of God: Redemption. The developers could have streamlined the game and I probably would have been more invested in the characters if they focused just on one group instead of three. As is, the story just kind of dragged on and with clunky dialogue, characters I don’t care about, choices that don’t really matter to me and mediocre battle system, It took me quite a while to finish the game.
Yes, the graphics and audio are pretty stellar, but it’s a bit of a slog. I would recommend playing Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea if you want something that’s a bit more fun.