This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.
Developed by Kiro’o Games Studio, Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is a 2D African fantasy adventure game that focuses on the young Prince of Zama, Enzo Kori-Odan, as he fights for his Kingdom. On the day of his coronation (and wedding), Enzo is overthrown by a coup and banished from Zama. Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan follows Enzo and his wife Erine as they search for allies to retake their kingdom and save their people. The world of Aurion takes inspiration from African culture and mythology, and there is a lot of detail given to help shape the in-game universe.
Visually Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is interesting, but simplistic. The 2D cartoon style is colourful and the levels and characters are designed with a focus on world building. The style itself is bold with vivid colours and thick lines helping to separate each section on screen. The style is unique – I haven’t really come across anything like it before, and though I’m not sure whether I like the style itself, I do like how the the character and level design manage to convey a lot about the world. Unfortunately, the style does not really lend itself to smooth movement and the cartoon characters running about look quite awkward, reminding me in all the worst ways of one of those flipbooks I used to make in math class when I was bored.
Music in Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is upbeat, fast and the African influence is very noticeable with a solid use of drums and song. Though the soundtrack seems to keep a similar tonal theme throughout, I found that it managed to avoid becoming annoying simply because it was so upbeat. Sound effects are used sparingly, with the majority occurring when in battle; the sounds of Enzo’s yells and the swish of his attacks remind me slightly of classic fighters like Street Fighter or the Tekken games, though when combined with the distinctly African inspired soundtrack, the soundscape of Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan manages to come across as both in line with other videogames and but also as something just a little bit different.
Gameplay manages to somehow be both too simple and too convoluted. When exploring the levels, the 2D cartoon style limits the scope of exploration to running left and right and picking up items. When you come across any foes, there is a loading screen as you load into the ‘fight scene’ – and there are a lot of foes, which means a lot of loading screens. Movement here looks just as stilted as it does outside of battle, and the character controls are similarly clunky. As the game progresses more fighting techniques become available, but rather than feeling like an earned development of character, this instead just feels like the game developers have thought of as many different combat mechanics as they could and then decided to use all of them. Where exploration is a little barebones, combat in Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan feels too full and unpolished – it’s a repetitive chore rather than a satisfying experience, and as each new battle mechanic is added into the game I found myself less interested in the world and story and more overwhelmed by the overly convoluted game mechanics.
While the music, visual style, and world building in Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan are all done well, the unique qualities this game has unfortunately do not counter the overly convoluted combat system and the frankly ridiculous number of loading screens. While I enjoyed how the world was built, the gameplay itself just wasn’t what I wanted, and I almost feel that this is one of those few games that would have been better off as a visual novel rather than an actual game.