To get lost
When there is Nintendo half, though only transversely, one must always make a point: Alwa is not the protagonist of the adventure, but it is the na
me of a land invaded by obscure forces that threaten the poor living there, whose hopes of salvation are all put into the young heroine Zoe, a simple girl
with the passion for video games, awakened without a real motive right in her favorite title and from which she will have to escape, freeing Alwa first from the Vicar’s clutches and her henchmen .
On these simple assumptions, the time machine that catches the name of Alwa’s Awakening , a work where the very reason for the journey is traveling. Game areas are connected in pure metroidvania style but, despite the map, the Alwa lands are constantly lost. Often you find yourself retracing the same areas
without even knowing how you got there with the backtracking that goes wide between one section and another; all the sense of deja-to, the slightest feeling of frustration and frustration vanishes in an instant when there is a new passage, when the road to a new area
to explore opens in front of the young Zoe’s feet. The hours of play to complete the adventure are not really many, but time seems to expand into Alwa’s Awakening, where seemingly for-purpose loss and wandering are also part
of the gaming experience, whose real fulcrum is also end-to-end exploration, perhaps in search of a secret road, a tunnel that at the first step we did not noticed, but that we noticed by observing an enemy passing through a wall, realizing it was not a bug, but a new
path to explore. There are actually some real bugs, even those annoying ones that force you to use the lapidary combination ALT + F4, especially when poor Zoe does not really want to get out of a wall or keep going up and down one area to the other without possibility of exit.
Few ingredients for a successful recipe
Alwa’s Awakening is also a photograph made with an old Polaroid car, a yellowed shot that reminds us that even the simplest tools can be the birth of little masterpieces. The Elden Pixels guys have kept up with what an old SNES controller had to offer, and all th
e actions of the young Zoe are enclosed in a few buttons, with no useless trombones, stunts or combinations, and this simplicity works extremely well. But, just like old classics, Alwa’s Awakening is a game that’s so easy to handle as it’s difficult to com
pleteand, if in the early stages of the game the platform sections are little more than simply scooped down, when it comes down to the depths of Alwa or penetrates the fort at the top of the city, the situation becomes much more complicated, between rotating bl
ades, spikes, platforms that move and fall into the void, and bubbles that burst right under Zoe’s feet. The good success of a jump is then played on a pixel file but, using in our case the Xbox One pad, the controls are always accurate and without lag. Alwa’s
Awakeningbut not just a reflection test, but it is also a tool for working the mind. By advancing into the adventure, it comes to the possession of three different powers, three simple skills that Zoe can “launch” with his magic wand: the first allows the creation of a green block to be exploited as a platform or barrier, with the second creating bubbles on which to
jump to reach the highest positions of the scenarios, while the last one launches a lightning strike with which to open new steps, but also to throw out the enemies. Apparently, these three abilities seem to be the key to logically and linearly scraping all the puzzles, but that is not the case. Alwa’s Awakeningis a work that leaves a white card to the player, there is no indication of where to go or how to overcome that single passag
e and sometimes this hermetically gives rise to attempts frustrated by dead people, but it is also the passage to find always different, for a series of ever-new ways to deal with enemies and grab the key in an unreachable place. With a green block lane the road to a sk
eleton, launching a magic open a new door and to overcome a stream of water to create bubbles on which to jump: there was some warning or suggestion to apply this technique? Absolutely no one, and that’s just nice, no help – except for a few NPCs explaining
the use of some of the items to collect – and the total non-linearity that joins the game areas, making it soAlwa’s Awakening is an apparent loop, where new steps are constantly unfolding, thanks to the perfect complementarity of the three powers.
The only neo in this 8-bit fairy resides in enemies, not so much in their design, however, to make Alwa’s Awakeninga light-weight, all-in-one adventure, in their attack patterns, virtually non-existent. There are some, like wizards, who cast some sort of hadouken, but in the vast majority of cases, they just go back and forth on their platform. The only opponents wort
hy of this name are the bosses, but as they have taught us all the adventures of this genre, they also have predefined attack patterns and just observe their behavior and calculate well the time of a jump and an attack to get the better after a couple of attempts went blank.