Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden in Review – The air smells strongly of Zelda

Devoid of a console for most of my life, one of the franchises I never had the chance to truly dive into was the (pardon the pun) legendary Legend of Zelda. As one of the grandfathers of the Action RPG  genre, it has always been renowned for the perfect blending of Action, Adventure, light puzzle-solving and even lighter RPG elements. Considering this classic series has still not graced the App Store, it’s not much of a surprise that Gameloft has attempted to fill the void by releasing Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden, a title almost bursting with a certain Z-quality.

Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden is mostly an Action/Slasher title with some light RPG and puzzle-solving elements thrown on top. Millennia ago the god Uryah defeated and imprisoned the evil Amonbane. But after ages of peace, darkness has begun to seep back into the world. Young Ayden is very much surprised when the beautiful stranger he rescues turns out to be Lyanora , the princess of Lasgalen. Injured she tasks Ayden with recovering the legendary Uryah’s Grail, the only artifact that can stop Amonbane once and for all.

Sacred Odyssey is heaven for anyone looking for a solid action/slasher. You’ll spend most of your time advancing through levels, pausing only to chop a bunch of enemies into small pieces. The downside is that the combat part of Sacred Odyssey can get rather repetitive, with only a couple of simple combos available and the option of fighting mounted. The additional weapons, unlocked as you progress through the game, sadly are almost useless in everyday monster hunting, leaving you with the sword and shield for 99% of combat.

Sacred Odyssey is generally split into 4 areas, some available on foot, some only via airships with an associated town and dungeon in each. In your search for the pieces of the legendary grail you’ll have to explore these dungeons and face unique bosses, each requiring a specific tactic to defeat. But going through the dungeon is not all hack ‘n slash however, with various environment-based puzzles scattered around the areas to challenge your grey matter as well. And of course, attentive players can focus on finding parts of the ancient artifacts that are hidden all across the levels, and receive rewards for completing sidequests. Unfortunately, quite a lot of these artifacts require the use of certain weapons to reach, which are only unlocked much further in the game.

Visually Sacred Odyssey is feast of colors and models. Overall the graphics quality is remarkably high, taking full advantage of the iPhone 4’s Retina display. Controls mostly make use of the traditional virtual joystick and a couple of buttons, with a special drag-out menu at the top right to switch weapons. And this menu is sure to provide some frustration, as you can only perform the switch after the current attack has finished completely. In the situation where you have to quickly change a weapon (i.e. any kind of fighting, especially a boss) you’ll often find yourself spending valuable time and attention carefully tapping and dragging on one, only to be rewarded with zero effect.

Despite the minor flaws in controls and game design Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden is surprisingly addictive, grabbing you firmly until the very end, thanks to great graphics, a solid storyline, artifact-hunting and varied gameplay. I’ve never played Legend of Zelda but from what I hear Sacred Odyssey is a worthy incarnation of the famous franchise on the iOS. I would definitely recommend it to any mobile gamer who has half-a-dozen hours to spend on an action/RPG.

With this I declare Sacred Odyssey – Rise of Ayden officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Sacred Odyssey – Rise of AydenDeveloper: Gameloft
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.1.3
Price:$6.99App Size:405.56MB
  • Excellent story
  • Nice graphics
  • Blend of action slasher and puzzle-solving gameplay
  • Rewards exploration with artifact bonuses
  • A lot of early bonus artifacts are impossible to reach until much later in the game
  • Useless weapons apart from the sword
  • Boring combat
  • Frustrating weapon switching controls

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