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Terra Memoria

Developer: La Moutarde

Publisher: Plug In Digital

  • Price: $19.99
  • Release Date: Mar 27, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E10+ [Everyone 10+]
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    While perhaps its best quality is its charm, there’s just something special about the vibe of Terra Memoria

    One of the more fascinating things to observe over the years has been the evolution and diversification of RPGs. Originally text-based, evolving more into party-based dungeon crawlers, then into the heyday of the JRPGs, for a while most games in the genre tended to adhere pretty closely to the style of the time. But then everything sort of exploded and went into many directions from that point, whether action RPGs like Diablo, tactical RPGs, or even the emerging open-world titles like The Elder Scrolls series. In this generation, especially with most indies, it feels like things have come full circle, with many of them returning to the JRPG style of the SNES era. That is one of the things that makes Terra Memoria at least a bit interesting, the fact that while it has many elements and beats that are in line with that style, it also dares to simply do things its own way in many areas. The results may not guarantee universal appeal, but at least it can stand out from the crowd.

    What I like most about the game is simply that, to me, it feels refreshingly different. A bit lighter, more cheery on the whole, and willing to be a bit weird and silly with the added elements like a variety of sub-systems and mini games that it brings to the table. Most notable among these involve your ability to concoct recipes that will bestow you with permanent stat upgrades, which is a deviation from a norm but feels consistent with what’s generally a friendlier and easier genre experience than average. That also extends to the game’s combat, which remains turn-based and has some nuances like how your party members get paired for each battle, but on the whole isn’t as taxing as genre veterans are likely used to, especially since your health and all stats are freshly restored for every fight.

    That sort of transitions well into areas where there are some fair criticisms for the title as well. This feels far more friendly and approachable for people either newer to the genre or who would prefer something less challenging than usual. Oddly, in many regards the simpler nature of the combat system also represents the nature of the story as well. Rather than there being a grand overarching narrative dominating the entire experience Terra Memoria is much more focused, it seems, on the smaller-scale stories and characters that you’ll meet along the way. Getting drawn into side missions is a great way to flesh out the world, gain some experience, and get to see some of the game’s more amusing beats. There’s quirk, heart, and stories that are worthwhile to find, but if you’re not inclined to stop and smell the flowers that way, it’s likely the game and its world will likely feel more small and limited, since the big picture simply doesn’t seem to be what this experience is all about.

    Taking it all in what you’re left with is what feels like quite a unique RPG experience, just one that may not suit all genre fans' tastes. There’s a light-hearted spirit when compared to its peers who often seem more dour and angsty in some way by comparison. The good news is that the generally lighter degree of challenge (though not to say it’s non-existent) feels well-suited to that vibe as well. Weirdly, I’d say that may give it more appeal to more casual genre fans, or people testing the waters rather than the typical genre die-hards. But if you’re just looking for an agreeable and pretty unique RPG it fits that bill quite well.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.9]

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