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: Astria Ascending (PS5) – Beautiful 2D RPG Falls Flat

Descending into mediocrity.

Astria Ascending is a beautiful hand-drawn RPG set in a vibrant world and has a twisting narrative filled with plenty of sacrifice and betrayal. It’s definitely been influenced by classic Japanese RPGs, which is not a surprise when you consider that some of its development team have previously worked on the Final Fantasy franchise. While it clearly has old school roots the gameplay has some much needed quality of life improvements, although these are sadly not enough to stop the game from feeling a little bit too grindy at times.

The game is set in the world of Orcanon, a diverse place filled with lots of different races who are all able to live together peacefully thanks to the power of Harmony. Every three years a number of people are selected to become demi-gods and are given great power in order to defend the world. While it’s a great honour to be chosen it’s also somewhat bittersweet. The power they get is limited to just three years and once it’s gone they pass on from this world.  

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