Spobbles
New Zealand
 
 
I occasionally write detailed game reviews for various curators and/or websites, and do some 3D modelling work [www.deviantart.com] from time to time.


I'll accept friend requests as long as the account doesn't look dodgy. It helps if you message me or leave a comment on my profile, if I don't know who you are and you're not from a mutual group, or similar. I'm not interested in Steam inventory trading.

For communication not suited to steam messaging, such as developer contact, I can be reached at spobbles@gmail.com
Currently In-Game
Red Dead Redemption 2
Artwork Showcase
Sci-fi Hand Cannon - Worn
Review Showcase
9 Hours played
A decent game dragged down by excessive filler and recycled content.
This review contains no story spoilers.
In short:
Aragami 2 is a game that improves on various gameplay elements of its predecessor, but sacrifices its tone, charm and unique nature in the process. The enjoyable teleportation mechanic has been replaced with one that offers less freedom, the clear sense of progression was ditched in favour of repetitive filler, and the focused narrative has become a wider and far less concise affair. Judged as an independent game and not against the virtues of its predecessor, Aragami 2 is a decent game at best, and an absolute drag at worst.

Let us begin.
Beyond the tutorial, our story starts with the Aragami, our protagonist, being killed and thus discovering that he can respawn. When he does, he finds himself in Kakurega Village, a place populated by other Aragami who immediately start giving him jobs to do. Being an entity seemingly lacking independent thought or desire, our protagonist then proceeds to perform every theft, assassination and scouting mission asked of him without question. The motivation for all of this is that, apparently, the Aragami suffer a curse that grants them their abilities, but slowly consumes their minds.

If you're a fan of the first Aragami title, you've probably noticed that everything I just said clashes with the entire plot of said game. It seems that Aragami 2 is not so much a sequel as a re-imagining, and the protagonist's appearance and the general theme of his abilities are the only meaningful connections between the two. This would not necessarily be a bad thing if the new story were grander and more fleshed out, but it was not to be.
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2607260993&fileuploadsuccess=1
Bland, meandering, repetitive.
The first game featured a relatively simple and narrow plot in which the Aragami was a shadow spirit called to assist his summoner by defeating her enemies and enabling her rescue from the forces of the light. With that, we had a simple light vs. dark theme facilitating and being reinforced by gameplay mechanics. This story was not an especially deep one, but it provided a clear setting and a simple premise that saw players continually progress through new areas with a clear goal in sight, encountering and overcoming new obstacles along the way.

Such a sense of progression or theme is completely absent in Aragami 2, dropped in favour of something larger but with little depth. Kakurega Village acts as a hub for the player to return to between missions, and offers limited services such as a vendor for the game's new consumable items, including health potions. The main function of the village, however, is to house the NPCs that continually give the player missions. The nature of said missions is the game's biggest problem by far. To begin with, players move between several areas, completing simple objectives such as assassinating a target or stealing an item. These objectives are broadly the same as those featured in the first Aragami title and are quite enjoyable the first time. You may be tempted to take your time, plotting your path and making use of your stealth abilities and the host of new combat items such as stun grenades and poisoned needles.

However, if you found yourself in this same place again, heading for the same building as last time but for a slightly different objective, would you want to put so much dedication into it again? What about the third time? What about the fifth? Content is endlessly reused, with very little challenge or variety added in the process. Some new enemies appear, but this changes nothing about how you'll play the game, and I rarely felt it necessary to use the majority of my abilities or items. New locations do appear now and again, but you'll always end up coming back to the same old places from the start of the game – places that often look very similar, to boot. The objectives you'll be taking on in these places hardly change, either. This constant revisiting of old content slows the story's progression to a crawl, and it's painfully obvious when a plot point exists solely to make the player do more of it.

At over eight hours into the game, I found myself in the same place, doing more or less the same thing that I was doing at one hour into the game, and with no noteworthy challenge or mechanics to make it different. It was at this point that I decided I was done with the game, and to write this review. I normally like to finish the games that I review, but moments of interest are so few and far between that I am simply too bored to continue.

The gameplay itself is pretty good, though.
Something that bothered me when playing the first game was the Aragami's inability to scale low walls or climb ledges. Aragami 2 addresses this by adding not only ledge-grabbing and climbing, but a double-jump and mid-air dash as well. When combined with the reworked teleportation ability that allows one to instantly move to a nearby ledge, it's possible to traverse terrain at significant speed – something that quickly becomes very useful when ploughing through the filler content.
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2607259657&fileuploadsuccess=1
If one doesn't feel like avoiding enemies, the game does have a combat system, though it is more likely to cause the player's death than an enemy's. This is not because the combat itself is particularly difficult, but because the game tries to force players into combat mode when an enemy attacks, snapping the camera to the enemy and severely inhibiting the player's movement. Combine this with the enemies' ability to seemingly teleport to and strike a player who is attempting to flee, and there's cause for much frustration. If one does stick to a stealthy approach, however, the gameplay is solid.

Technical:
This game was played with the following PC specs:
AMD Ryzen 5 3600
16GB RAM
GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB
1680x1050 resolution
Windows 10
Game installed on NVMe SSD

Running the game on its max settings, I got a consistent 60fps with no drops. Bugs were minimal, with just a few minor issues that did not impact gameplay in any meaningful way. I did, however, discover some baffling design decisions; namely a complete lack of keybind options or a pause function – even for singleplayer.

A shift in visual style, and a nice soundtrack.
While Aragami 2's graphics are a technical step-up from the first game, they still look rather dated and no longer have a stylised flair to mask the fact. Though this game does have some nice-looking areas, I think the original looks better. Smaller visual elements such as animations, meanwhile, have been improved and generally look quite good.
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2607257848
Upon arriving in Kakurega Village, one may notice a beautiful track playing in the background; it's the highlight of the game's soundtrack, which is of high quality and lovely to listen to, for a while. Unfortunately, its tracks seem to be few in number, and they quickly get old. The rest of the game's sound effects are of decent quality, and there's little to complain about on that front.

In conclusion:
While Aragami 2 would not qualify as a worthy sequel to its beloved predecessor, it would pass as a decent and relatively enjoyable stealth game if it were not burdened with a weak story and unnecessary filler that drags the experience down into the mud. If played in co-op and/or in short stints, the game is serviceable, but it meanders far too much to hold my interest. This makes me sad.

This review comes courtesy of the Devils in the Detail curator.
Featured Artwork Showcase
Half-Life 2 RPG
8
Recent Activity
282 hrs on record
Currently In-Game
1,374 hrs on record
last played on May 19
5.7 hrs on record
last played on May 18
Spobbles Apr 1, 2023 @ 10:10am 
@villegl
I wrote for a curator that requested a copy from the publisher.
villegl Apr 1, 2023 @ 9:44am 
how do you get aragami 2 free
Spobbles Feb 7, 2022 @ 5:55am 
Teh Spooble
Tamaster Feb 7, 2022 @ 5:01am 
The Spobble
Majordomo Feb 7, 2022 @ 4:49am 
The Spobble
Spobbles Feb 4, 2022 @ 6:35pm 
Done