When it comes to indie games, you never know what you are going to get. Having played tons of them, from a plethora of different styles and genres, I have seen very bad ones, as well as, very good ones. Recently, I caught wind of a new bundle called the IndieFort Bundle. The IndieFort bundle is comprised of six very different games, collected together for a smaller, discounted fee. In the IndieFort Bundle, is a game called Wanderlust: Rebirth. Wanderlust: Rebirth is a top down, retro style, action RPG, much like the older versions of Final Fantasy that features a stunning world filled with beautiful imagery and reminiscent sounds.
When you first enter the world of Wanderlust: Rebirth, you are greeted with a strange, yet familiar, feeling. The game begins with you selecting your character, and you can choose from the following: Fighter, Alchemist, Cleric or Elementalist. After choosing the character you wish to play, you are then taken on a small, humorous tutorial that will instruct you on everything you need to know about your class. After that, there are a few choices you can make on deciding how to proceed with your Wanderlust: Rebirth experience. You can play the story chapter by chapter by yourself, or you can choose to journey online with up to three of your friends.
Let’s begin with the story mode. The story starts with your character in line to compete in a tournament of champions. After registering, you are placed in a small waiting room, where you stay until one of the guards informs you that you are ready for combat. The first task for your group is to battle a small pack of wolves, and after they are quickly defeated, you then return to the waiting quarters. Your next task, after you have been called into battle, is against some guards, that potentially provide more of a challenge that the pack of wolves did. Still, they are easily defeated, and you take a seat back in the waiting quarters before your final battle.
Before you attempt to battle your final opponent, a extremely cocky bandit makes his way to the front of the line. He goes on and on about how he is the best, and that you don’t stand a chance. After his belligerent boasting, he is then thrust into battle where he promptly gets his ass kicked. Shocked beyond belief, the announcer bellows out the bandits defeat, and you are called upon to participate in the final challenge. The last task to complete is a boss battle with a monstrous grizzly bear. The battle is slightly harder than the previous two, but nothing your band of heroes cannot handle. The grizzly is bested, and you return to the waiting quarters for one final time.
While in the waiting area, a nerdy looking young man named Rowan has come to see the winner of the tournament of champions. He meets you, and you are quickly invited to Castle Lexington for a huge celebration on your behalf. Lucky for you, Rowan has a teleportation spell that will get you there in a jiffy. Unlucky for you, it doesn’t work (surprise, surprise). Rowan then informs you that you will have to make the journey on foot, and that you can rest at the local inn until you are ready to proceed. That will conclude your chapter one, and you are free to move on to chapter two.
Gameplay and Execution
The game is very easy to control. By the time you finish the tutorial, you will feel like an expert, ready to take on any challenge the game has to offer. The battles are fast paced, happen often, and with the small number of spells and abilities to use, you always feel like you are in control of the situation. At first, the battles are so quick, you will hardly get a chance to really understood what happened besides a bunch of ass kicking, but after a few fights, you will begin to see what is happening and prepare accordingly. The battle mechanic is a welcome change from most games of this genre. Usually you are given a cookie cutter, turn based battle system for most RPGs, but in Wanderlust: Rebirth, you are treated to more of a button masher battle style. This is very welcoming, considering how quickly the battles are fought. This idea has been done before, true, and it is an old idea, but very few, if any, top down, action RPGs have been as well executed as Wanderlust: Rebirth. From just the tutorial, you can really get a feel for how this game is going to play, what to expect and that it will be good. Everything just seems to fit together, culminating in a rewarding indie game experience.
When you first see and hear Wanderlust: Rebirth, you will be instantly taken back to a time when these where the games you couldn’t wait to play. It all feels so familiar, yet so foreign, that you can become excited about playing a new game and experience new adventures, all the while maintaining a familiar feeling that you have been here before. The music is very well done, and the tunes help to recreate those reminiscent times when you spent hundreds of hours questing on the Super Nintendo. As for the visuals, the game has the appearance of most early 90′s top down RPGs. While some people might be turned off by that, I can assure you, the way the art and gameplay mesh together, is perfect. It cannot be imagined in any other graphical styling than that of early 90′s pixelation.
This game is outstanding. The visual and audio stylings are there to take you back to the glory days of top down RPGs, while providing you with something new and fresh to experience. The mechanics are top notch, and the gameplay is fluid and exciting. Battles are fast paced, and happen often, so you are never stuck wondering where all the action is. The game is beautifully crafted, and the creativity to make a game from a genre whose time has long but passed, and freshen it up so well that you wonder why these games of the past seemed to die out in the first place, is something to behold. Overall, the game is a must buy for indie game lovers everywhere, and if you love top down, action RPGs that seem to have been thrown into a wayback machine, Wanderlust: Rebirth is the game for you.
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