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Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince Review (Switch eShop)

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Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince Review - Screenshot 1 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

Within the first 12 months of the Change’s life, it was comparatively frequent to see large indie success tales from builders who managed to get their sport on the eShop earlier than the veritable torrent of latest sport releases — a lot of them wonderful — flooded the shop on a weekly foundation. One among these titles was Blossom Tales, a cute motion sport that wasn’t even remotely shy about how closely it was cribbing from the playbook of The Legend of Zelda: A Hyperlink to the Previous. After the big and sudden success of Blossom Tales saved the event staff from having to close down, work started on Blossom Tales 2, and we’re joyful to report that this sophomore effort is each bit as gratifying as the unique — though it’s additionally simply as by-product.

Right here the narrative as soon as once more takes place as a ‘story inside a narrative’, as an aged man tells his two keen grandchildren a story that options each of them as characters, with Lily, a courageous warrior, dwelling along with her obnoxious brother in a fantasy land. The 2 begin out collaborating in all kinds of enjoyable at a close-by honest, however a petty sibling squabble causes Lily to want that the evil Minotaur King would come and take her brother someplace distant. By some means, this causes the actual Minotaur King to indicate up and do exactly that, which kicks off her quest throughout the land to reclaim her brother and defeat the evil king.

Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince Review - Screenshot 2 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Change (Docked)

It isn’t an extremely deep narrative, but it surely performs nicely with the premise of being a narrative advised by a campfire and echoes with parts of Labyrinth and The Princess Bride. At many factors, the kids will bicker over explicit particulars of the plot, which finally presents the participant with a alternative between two choices that have an effect on the result. For instance, while you’re given the token ‘magical instrument’ merchandise, the kids bicker over what sort of instrument it really is, and we opted for the accordion. We appreciated these moments, as they aren’t used excessively, however happen usually sufficient that they hold you from forgetting that not one of the occasions on display screen are literally ‘actual’.

Gameplay is just like the basic top-down Legend of Zelda video games, and by “comparable” we imply “virtually indistinguishable”. Whereas the unique launch appeared to take extra from A Hyperlink to the Previous, this launch feels prefer it’s extra according to Hyperlink’s Awakening, proper right down to the complicated owl who sometimes visits to level you in the suitable path. You begin out with three hearts and journey an expansive overworld plagued by enemies, secrets and techniques, and obstacles that you just overcome with a slowly rising stock of helpful gadgets. Once in a while, you’ll end up in a dungeon stuffed with puzzles and enemies which might be normally ‘solved’ by discovering the dungeon’s merchandise, and you ultimately clear the dungeon by successful a boss combat which grants you a further coronary heart and advances the plot just a little additional.

Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince Review - Screenshot 3 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Change (Docked)

Very like its predecessor, the most important disadvantage to Blossom Tales 2 is that it isn’t very authentic in its gameplay design. Minit was clearly impressed by Hyperlink’s Awakening, but it surely was all constructed round a 60-second life on your character. Crosscode borrowed a lot from Zelda puzzle design whereas nonetheless mixing in lots of parts of ’90s JRPGs. Swords of Ditto was a roguelike the place the entire overworld would reset and randomize. The purpose being, there’s nothing improper with borrowing from Nintendo’s legendary sequence—there’s a cause it’s so acclaimed—however most video games merely decide and select parts that serve a grander imaginative and prescient primarily based on a extra distinctive concept. Blossom Tales 2 is extra content material to repeat 2D Zelda wholesale, however the execution isn’t nearly as good.

Alternatively, Blossom Tales 2 proves to be virtually nearly as good because the video games it’s emulating and this isn’t one thing to be dismissed out of hand. Positive, it might be by-product, however it is a launch that doubles down on what it’s attempting to perform and doesn’t water something down. Even when we sighed when the thrilling ‘new’ merchandise in a dungeon was only a legally distinct hookshot, the dungeon itself nonetheless proved to be a genuinely participating and enjoyable place to discover. Plus, the expertise of slowly uncovering the overworld whereas getting every kind of stories toys to subtly change up fight and motion proves to be well-paced and addictive all over. Each puzzles and fight are easy sufficient that they aren’t essentially arduous, however they continue to be difficult sufficient that it feels satisfying while you overcome them.

Blossom Tales II: The Minotaur Prince Review - Screenshot 4 of 4
Captured on Nintendo Change (Handheld/Undocked)

As for presentation, Blossom Tales 2′ visuals look just a little extra superior than its predecessor, although it nonetheless adheres strongly to a basic 16-bit retro look. Whether or not you’re preventing evil cacti within the desert or dastardly pirates close to the ocean, many of the spritework includes a cute, easy aesthetic that matches nicely with the vibe of a narrative being advised by a loving grandpa.

We’d have preferred to have seen just a little extra creativity within the atmosphere design—forests and deserts really feel so performed out by now—however what’s right here is satisfactory to maintain sections of the sport from feeling like they blur collectively. The music, in the meantime, is rather less spectacular, consisting of a sequence of rousing adventurous tracks and extra low-key tunes for the dungeons and villages. Not one of the soundtrack is especially memorable, although this additionally means it doesn’t get in the way in which by feeling too distracting or repetitive.

Conclusion

Blossom Tales 2 is the sort of sport that’s completely good, however positively not nice. The lovable narrative premise, stable dungeon design, and pacing of total development all make this one worthwhile, but it surely’s additionally the sort of sport that feels prefer it’s hamstrung by its lack of daring to attempt one thing new. On this sense, it’s the epitome of a “purchase it on sale” sport; you’re not lacking something by ready to snap it up at a later date, however if you happen to’re a fan of the standard 2D Zelda template, it’s in all probability price getting sooner or later when the temper takes you.





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