Axion in review – Who let the ultimate evil out again?
Axiom in Review
Having just finished up a review on Luna Story, I feel like I’m kind of in a “been there, done that” mode with Axion. However, I would consider Axion the “big brother” to the former. It has everything that Luna Story has (except that the story doesn’t seem quite as detailed), but it also has some nice additional features that weren’t present in Luna Story. The visuals are better, the controls are more user friendly, and the ability to create potions, advanced items and “super” pets through the act of compounding allows for a very detailed inventory system. It feels old school compared to a Dungeon Hunter or Chaos Rings, but there’s still a lot to be enjoyed here. Feel free to discuss Axion in our forums.
You play Axion, a boy who was created to defeat the ultimate evil, and who must do so once again now that some silly creatures have reawakened said evil. First, though, you’ve got to regain your powers so that you can face the evil and ultimately reign supreme. As you can imagine, along the way you’ll have to complete quests to earn the favour of the world’s inhabitants and to gain items that will make you even stronger. You will also have to fight lots of monsters. Thankfully you’ll get some cool weapons, armor and skills to help you out in that department. If anything, one might argue that there’s almost too much variety, as it’s hard to decide what to focus on, especially when it comes to skills. I guess that’s why you play the game more than once!
As you travel you’ll find plants that you can dig up. You’ll also get items from some monsters when they are slain, and of course shops in various towns will have goods for sale. Axion’s world has a technique known as compounding, where you can take several base objects and combine them to form a better object. For example, the first item you learn how to make takes a small healing potion, a life plant and an empty bottle and combines them into a much stronger elixir. This can also enhance weaponry by combining elements with swords, for example. You can even compound pets to make them more effective. The final thing you can compound is ink, special items and parchments in order to create scores. Scores can be used with flutes in order to cast spells. As you can imagine, this compounding ability means you could literally have a completely different experience every time you play.
The controls are pretty standard. On the left is a virtual d-pad to move your character. I’d prefer a virtual joystick, but the d-pad works pretty well. On the right is the attack button, which can also be used for talking to people and digging up plants. Thankfully you pick up things automatically when you walk over them, so you don’t need to worry about that. There are 3 buttons on the left and 2 on the right side of the screen that act as “quick slots” for skills, and in the upper right corner of the screen is a little treasure chest that takes you to the menu. I think the whole menu / character dialog structure might be even a bit more convoluted than Luna Story’s. I forget how much this style of game used to rely on the menuing system.
If Luna Story could be sandwiched between the 8 and 16 days, I’d say Axion is the next level up, somewhere between 16 and 32 bit. I love the fact they not only use a combination of fantastical and real creature designs, but they don’t just stick with the standard things like wolves and bats. You even get to fight creatures that look like armadillos! There are also plenty of little background details. One of my favorites is when you run into a flock of birds and they all fly away. Completely pointless, but cool none the less.
The sound effects are okay, but I’m actually a bit disappointed. With as diverse as the creature types are, the sound effects are actually quite generic. The music is good, but again nothing overwhelming. It’s not the kind of music you’ll sit and listen to for hours on end whether you’re playing the music or not. At least there are several different tracks that play while you’re wandering through the land, which is always a plus.
In the midst of all these companies pushing to develop the latest, greatest 3D RPG, I don’t know what’s encouraging these developers to churn out the old fashioned console style RPGs. I’m glad they are, though, and I hope the trend continues. I just wish someone would figure out a way to make one that doesn’t require a ton of menus!