Home » Astria Ascending – Tips and Review

Astria Ascending – Tips and Review

Beautiful music and great art aside, polishing this game could have made this a classic but does it not live up to its potential.

Note: I have already did a major early access preview with the final version of the game and went over all the basics, detail some of the storyline and characters, and other aspects. Without wanting to repeat what I said, it can be viewed here. Consider it a supplement to this article.

Allow me to give potential or current players some gameplay tips to help make the game easier or smoother before I delve into the overall experience. Some may be obvious, others not.

BASIC TIPS:

SETTINGS CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR EXPERIENCE. GO TO SETTINGS IMMEDIATELY WHEN YOU FIRST START.

There are three setting fields. The first one is mainly language and audio options. Let’s look at the second field below coincidentally named “Field.”

For ‘Side Quest, Hunts, Boss, and Treasure Chest,’ I would set them all to yes. Depending on how much you want to fight enemies for the other two options is dependent on you.

Let’s look at the third setting named “Battle.”

The first four options are default set to yes and probably should stay that way. You can control how much experience and skill points your reserve characters get ranging from 0% to 100% in intervals of 25%. Weakness Indicator Display should be set to yes if you want to avoid scanning enemies for their weakness and not waste a turn doing so. It will highlight what a particular spell will do to an enemy.

The last option is probably the most important one. It changes enemy difficulty. Enemies in this game at normal difficulty probably have more speed than your characters when entering a new area so you have to wait for their turn before you can do yours. For regular battles this can get tedious. Switching to easy or very easy allows you to beat them faster and there is no penalty XP,SP, or Lum wise for changing the difficulty. For a good game experience, maybe do a couple battles in a new area on normal, switch to easy for faster regular battles, then change to normal before a boss.

ALWAYS USE TRY TO USE SLASH TO AVOID AMBUSH ENCOUNTERS. IT NECESSARILY WON’T MEAN YOUR PARTY GETS A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE PER SAY SADLY.

Slashing does about this much distance as freeze framed. Here is not close enough distance for an encounter.

Ambush encounters in this game can be deadly as the enemy on “normal” difficulty usually has greater speed when entering a new area so they can get off almost two rounds before you can get one as stated above. There is no getting around trapped treasure chests with a monster in them as far as I know.

“Precaution” is a very useful support skill that all but eliminates surprise attacks except for trapped treasure chests. It can be learned via the Assassin ascension skill tree.

EXPLOIT WEAKNESSES AND FOCUS.

In the top-left and top-right are the enemies’ focus points and the player’s focus points respectively. Focus points for the player don’t last longer than the turn they are acquired and are not stored. Using a focus point allows you to increase an attack by 50% up to four times so potentially double the damage. The enemy can focus as well but the indication they did is subtle which may you lead the player to forget about it, but try not to.

Let’s talk more about focus.

USE HELP SECTION FOR J-STER RULES AND OTHER GAME ADVICE

The screenshot above gives more information about getting focus points and is important to remember.

USE TELEPORT FOR TRAVEL AND TO QUICK HEAL VIA A LOCATION IN A TOWN.

After you are able to select a location on the map very early in the game, it goes without saying it should be the main form of traveling.

Think of these as checkpoints where you can heal your entire party with a tent or so in a standard RPG except this game doesn’t have tents or even inns. HP recovers on the field and towns but MP only recovers in towns. Get to a checkpoint, warp to a town, wait several seconds to heal, and then go back to the checkpoint. Doing so only takes less than a minute.

PLAN OUT YOUR ASCENSION SKILL TREE ROUTE BEFOREHAND AND THINK CAREFULLY WHICH CLASSES YOU WANT TO PICK AS YOUR MAIN JOBS. YOU CAN NOT CHANGE JOBS ONCE YOU HAVE SELECTED THEM AS YOUR MAIN JOB.

Once you have selected a job you want, you can see all the skills and abilities you can learn. Look over it carefully and plan ahead so you can optimize your SP.

ALEK’S ‘MULTIPLE HIT’ IS ONE OF THE BEST MOVES IN THE GAME AND CAN BE GOTTEN VERY EARLY.

This move is great for bosses and hunts because usually there is only one enemy on the screen.

OVERALL:

Astria Ascending is a game that had a lot of bugs upon initial release. During the first day of playing the press demo, it seemed any limitations or bugs would be fixed for the final release. And there was a lot of bugs of lethal variety gameplay-wise. At a certain point a couple hours in, the game refused to credit any items or experience even though they were bought or earned. Maybe this was a time-bomb done by the staff to limit progress until the final version but it severely hindered any progress. It was fixed for the final version.

I have witnessed several more bugs during the final version including having the lead character fly up into the sky like Superman for a short time (sadly I couldn’t recreate it).

Astria Ascending had absolutely beautiful music lead by Hitoshi Sakimoto, wonderfully graphic worlds and characters, and a basis for a great game. It’s mini-games like a shooter and token game were very well done and a good break from standard RPG gameplay.

It’s limitations on customization like not being able to change jobs,lack of detail on turn order, not enough detail for adequate gameplay (this may be a nitpick. They mostly did a good job of telling you what to do but could have expanded on it for a richer experience), lack of detail on character development especially in the final stages (without spoiling, I will just say it is a disappointment. Sadly it seems almost every RPG does this nowadays. They either don’t do anything or plague them with clichés as a last-ditch low-effort finish. I actually prefer them doing nothing compared to the clichés), and several bugs made this potential classic into something not lived up to its potential gameplay and story wise.

Summary
Astria Ascending looks and sounds the part though some may not like its appeal. While they did a good job of honing the mini-games in the main game, not enough customization or detail was lent to its gameplay as apparent with several bugs. The further lack given to its story and character development in the final stages leaves the player unsatisfied with lots of unanswered questions. A potential classic not lived up to its potential in certain aspects.
Good
  • Breathtakingly good music
  • Great art
  • Interesting battle system
  • Fun mini-games
Bad
  • Plagued with bugs
  • Lack of character development in final stages
  • Lack of customization for jobs
  • Potentially unbalanced gameplay
7
Good
Written by
Been playing games basically since before I could read and not just RPGs | Love the arts | Love a good story |

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