ANIMA GATE OF MEMORIES: Official Game Direct Free Download

 

Anima: Gate of Memories is a third person action RPG that tells the story of two beings bound by an unwilling pact, an ancient monster and a girl who lost her past…
Forced to stay together, their lives will take a unexpected turn when both discover that something darker than they could imagine is about to start, a war in the shadows in which they will have a leading role.

Anima: Gate of Memories brings to videogames the world of Gaia from the Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG table-top books. You will enjoy a deep and multifaceted story where your choices and actions directly impact the journey and decide the fate of the characters.

Dual characters
In Gate of Memories you control two different characters, Ergo and The Bearer of Calamities, and you can exchange from one to another thanks to the special synergy they have. What makes this system truly unique is that both are not “physically” present at once, but we can invoke the other even in the middle of any action, continuing the movement and creating spectacular combos. Each character also has at its disposal a large set of special skills that you will be able to develop and customize as in a traditional RPG.

Features
• A deep and multifaceted story. The player’s choices and actions will influence the journey and decide the destiny of the characters.
• Epic battles with formidable opponents. Challenge many legendary entities, each with their own special features and game play.
• A deep combat system. A combat system which combines RPG elements with fast paced action and spectacular attacks and spells.
• Unique locations. Travel through the tower of Arcane and the world of Gaia across stunning backgrounds and places.
• A huge world. You can move with great freedom, visiting different locations and giving you the option to always retrace your steps to revisit areas, discover new secrets and unlock access to previously inaccessible places.

Combat plays a huge part of this action RPG, naturally. Here, they are going for a speedier, skill based type of deal. Players can switch between the Bearer and Ergo (in human form) with the press of a button. In theory, this can mean that each can be set up to focus on magic or physical attacks. In practice, because there are enemies that show up here and there that can only be damaged by one or the other, it’s best to try to balance the two for both and treat each character as a way to bail out of a bad situation, which happens often.


A major component of the the problem comes from foes that fire projectiles. They tend to gang up, so even making use of the dodge/recover mechanics combined with the ability to shoot down incoming projectiles still leads to loops of getting knocked down repeatedly with no real chance to get out of the way. This leads to brutally hard encounters that end up overly frustrating on normal difficulty. It is with great shame that I had to opt for easy mode just to get back to a reasonable challenge. Even then, it manages to be tough. This is coming from someone who enjoys the challenge found in Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.

When the combat works, though, it really works. Some of the boss fights were extremely tense, like the final encounter in the Mansion of Puppets. Giving away too much about the bosses would also give away a heap of what makes the story effective, but only one mini-boss was particularly irritating. There are still plenty of good vanilla encounters to be had. Each enemy has an effective way to take them down. So, falling into a loop of dashing in, executing a combo, targeting a distant orb and firing off a couple of magic shots, using a spell to knock back surrounding foes, and then proceeding to pick them off one by one does happen. It’s just that each great encounter gets counterbalanced with one dripping in garbage.


Then there is the platforming. Simply put, this game likes to throw in platforming challenges but is unable to execute these properly. An early mini-boss, the Heart of the Mountain, highlights these shortcomings rather effectively. Here, the player must constantly wrestle with the camera and take guesses at timing to jump over beams that cause instant restart if they hit. The perspective never feels right for these sections, leading players to wonder if a ledge is supposed to be reachable, or if further chicanery with the environment must be undertaken before proceeding. (Looking at you, Fifth Wing.) Simply put, when there is platforming, it’s going to be a bad time.

Aesthetically, Anima is intentionally all over the place. Most of the character models sport bright colors with thick lines that really do help the game to survive its lower budget roots. As the tower itself acts as a clearinghouse for portals to other lands, a wide variety of environmental styles can be utilized, meaning no area will feel alike. One particularly effective area was the winter portion of the tower wing centered around the seasons. The bold UI and character colors against the white, snow saturated background made this region rather striking. Appearance wise, there is no denying that corners had to be cut due to monetary concerns, but the artists made smart decisions to keep a decent level of quality present.


Finally, we have the puzzles. For the most part, these are great. There are instances when note taking becomes almost mandatory to solve some of the riddles, giving the player a feel of investment in the proceedings. Others revolve around paying attention to the lore that is liberally doled out. For the most part, these conundrums were well put together, which makes getting flummoxed when there isn’t meant to be a riddle all the more challenging.

Anima has a tendency to fail to call out interactive objects when needed. More time than should have been necessary was spent trying to figure out how to open a path forward, only to finally realize that a glowing pillar that seemed to be set dressing was actually a switch that sinks into the ground when activated, opening a door in a different room. Because, of course it was. Also, here’s a quick tip: in the Cathedral, there are doors that must be opened by hitting switches in the sequence shown by each entry. One switch with its symbol is easily seen, sitting on a podium in plain site. The other two will be to the left and right of this, requiring the player to double jump and smack it in midair. It took me more time than I care to admit to discover these, and they were right there!


Closing Comments:

Much of the time in this review was spent bagging on Anima: Gate of Memories’ many, many (many) flaws. Whether it was due to lack of experience, budget, or some combination of both, this game can be rightfully derided and relegated to the junk heap. Every positive that it brings to the table is counterpointed with a legitimate detraction. Yet, there is something here. The story is contrived, but intriguing. The combat is poorly balanced, but still has moments of greatness. I have never reviewed a game with so many glaring problems that I have enjoyed so much. So, players with a strong sense of patience and more forgiveness than should be required in their souls should check this out. There are jewels among the rubble of this tower.

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