Batora: Lost Haven takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, with most of the Earth destroyed after a mysterious event. The main character is Avril, a 16-years old girl, who, due to the event, lost her older sister. Avril and her friend Mila discover two amulets connected to two unknown entities, the Sun, and the Moon. After this, both of them are transported to Gryja, the planet representing the Earth element.
Batora: Lost Haven brings the player to four different planets – each guarding an elemental essence – to develop and acquire the necessary physical and mental power for Avril afterwards.
Are you still with me?
Are you Haven a laugh?
This is a game whose combat is more important than the story. An action RPG that is very action-heavy and light in the traditional RPG sense but that is not a terrible thing. While the combat system can feel a little clunky at the beginning, once you get used to the controls, it becomes second nature. There is a satisfying blend of button mashing and twin-stick shooting involved.
When taking on foes, you have two forms; a purple moon mode which makes you into a spirit unleashing ranged psychic attacks, and the orange sun which lets you use your sword for close and powerful physical attacks.
Both powers are indicated by colours, and because of that, you can only use a specific power accordingly, against an enemy of that corresponding colour. This adds an extra element of strategy to each battle and can be very satisfying to use, especially when fighting against bosses, which makes you use both the elements throughout.
As you progress you earn runes which upgrade your powers and as your powers upgrade, the combat is equally more fluid and intuitive. This is as far as the RPG element goes and to be honest, it is all better for it.
The graphics are nice indeed. As a top-down shooter, your view of the characters is sometimes a little on the far-away side, but the characters have more than enough detail in them to know that a lot of care had gone into their creation. The backgrounds look great and there is a clear difference between each of the four worlds that Avril visits, giving each world its own unique feel and aura.
Can you Master Batora?
The storyline is a little hit-and-miss, leaning towards mostly miss. The dialogue between characters is passable but can be clunky and formulaic more often than not. The voice acting also could do with an overhaul.
The story has somewhat of a branching narrative, allowing the player to make certain choices, with the outcome changing what type of powerup you receive. Most choices are pretty inconsequential and make no obvious difference depending on what answer you go with, but not all of them.
There are a couple of different endings to the game, dependent on some of the decisions that you make. While this may seem like a cheap way to encourage replayability, the game negates that by offering a New Game Plus mode which allows you to go replay the campaign already armed to the teeth with all the ruins you collected in the first playthrough, which completely alters the mood and tempo of the game.
For any gamer that likes their RPGs to be in-depth with tonnes of customisation and levelling up, you will be left disappointed. But for those who enjoy simple and enjoyable action games, this will be a welcome addition to the catalogue.