Saturday , 18 May 2024
PSVR GamesReviews

Arashi: Castles of Sin Final Cut Review

The original release of Arashi: Castles of Sin, really didn’t live up to what I was hoping to get on PlayStation VR, so when I heard that Endeavor One and Skydance Interactive were teaming up to release a Final Cut version I was interested in the game again.

Release Date: December 5th 2023
Developer: Endeavor One
Publisher: Skydance Interactive
Price: US $29.99 / CA $39.99 / €28,99 / £24.49
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR 2
* Code Provided For Review *

TAKE ON THE ONI OF IGA

In the game you are placed into the shoes of a Shin-obi assassin and last surviving son of the house Arashi called Kenshiro, as you go take out the Six Oni of Iga, a group that have lead a path of destruction and terror through Japan.

TENCHU-LIGHT

Not much has changed around the gameplay in the Final Cut but, there has been some improvements in areas that were needed. Meaning I still haven’t got the complete feeling of Tenchu in VR, which I was hoping for in the original release.

The game is linear in design with a slight sandbox approach, as you can make it through each section in different ways from the route taken in that area and how you approach it with the enemies. The way to approach them is really up to you, you can try and clear an area stealthy, leaving everyone alive or taking them out quietly or just going in head on and killing everyone in your way.

Each mission is pretty much the same loop, move through the set area of the map, where you will encounter a number of enemies types – standard, armored and archers. You will build up an arsenal of weapons as you progress, these range from shuriken, gas bombs and blow darts to name a few, and a hook shot that helps get to elevated surfaces in the area – but only ones that are marked with targets to hook onto, which is a shame.

Of course we have seen the return of Haru, your trusty wolf companion. You can give Haru a number of commands to help you out from attacking an enemy, howling to distract them, and digging up hidden treasures around the levels. When issuing the attack command Haru will just grab the enemy, so you can move in and finish them off.

After making your way through each set of areas you will need to take on one of the Oni of Iga, with all of them except one using Sword combat as the only factor. In the original this was a big issue because the sword combat was very buggy in relation to collision detection. So, it was great to see that the collision detection has been addressed in the Final Cut, however, this is still not perfect but ninety-nine percent of your strikes will land as expected. But, this is the only improvement you get, there still isn’t any weight to the weapons, switching weapons is still a fiddly as before, and the sword fighting is still just retreat, block and then attack, with little to no improvement to the AI of the enemy.

One area I expected to see an improvement in was the controls, I put the few control issues down the Move controllers on the PSVR version, but now we have analogues surely this should be perfect. Unfortunately, there has been some decisions that make it feel worse, like mapping the jump to pressing up on the analogue for turning, meaning sometimes you might activate your jump by accident – which could be the difference in being spotted or not. Then, I am not sure what happened with movement, but this randomly decides to make you move on an angle rather than forwards whenever it feel likes it, and the only way to fix this is by re-centering and this happens way to often.

FEUDAL JAPAN

With the extra power now on offer from the hardware, we see a big improvement in the resolution and details in the game, so the more bland looking areas you might have encounter in the original, don’t stand out as much now. But, this bump in resolution has introduced a slight shimmer in the distance, but this is not that distracting that it ruins the visual experience.

I don’t know what happened with Haru, her fur in the original looked very soft and organic. But, it seems like they have gone over the top with the extra power on offer now, and where it looks great from a distance, when getting close to and petting her it all goes very blurry and messes with your eyes a bit.

The sound design in the original was great, so this hasn’t changed with the new version. The music, environmental atmosphere, weapon sounds, voice acting and Haru’s sounds will all keep you immersed in the world of Arashi.

COMFORT

57%
NOT QUITE THERE
Summary

Arashi: Castle of Sin Final Cut, has removed the frustration of janky sword combat and improved the visuals, but this is really it. Which unfortunately isn’t enough to make what was already an average game any better than an average game, and in some cases keeps it feeling as dated as the original. I was hoping that the Final Cut, would give me that Tenchu in VR that I wanted the original to be, but it leaves me just as disappointed.

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