[Beyond PlayStation] Alwa’s Awakening Review
Alwa’s Awakening is a fun retro-styled 2D Metroidvania that has now released on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about this gem in our Alwa’s Awakening review!
This is a double review for Alwa’s Awakening. The game was played by Tracey and EdEN, and this review presents what they both had to say.
The story begins with a small cutscene with Zoe heading towards town. Apparently, the vicar has stolen objects which are important objects of power. He has given them to four different guardians, and each of these guardians will act as a boss in the game. In order to recover each item of power, Zoe must defeat the guardian that has it within its grasp. This one is a Metroidvania, and that means that s you progress in the game you will find new abilities that will open the way and will allow you to reach areas you previously couldn’t gain access to.
Like any retro Metroidvania worth its salt, there are puzzles you need to overcome and plenty of obstacles that get in your way, and just as many dead ends. The first dead end you come to will be when you find your staff, which will be of great use during your adventure, and from there you can smash walls to gain access to other areas that you previously couldn’t before. At first, the game appeared to be very easy, but as you progress the difficulty does ramp up, not overly so, but definitely at a steady pace.
There is a ton of exploration fun to be had as you more upgrades for Zoe. Along with your staff which can be used to attack your enemies with the Y button, this adventure also includes other magical abilities such as summoning a block to help you reach platforms of block your enemies’ attacks, firing lightning projectiles or creating bubbles. The lightning projectiles can be used against your enemies, but you can also use it to open new passages that are blocked by special doors with a big lightning bolt.
To help you a little bit, since the game is a lot bigger than you might first expect, you’ll get access to a handy map that will tell you where you’ve been as well as where you should be going so that you can be strong enough, and ready, to battle the different bosses in the game. There is some backtracking involve since, as I mentioned before, this is a Metroidvania game, so making good use of your map is definitely a must. Alwa’s Awakening is far from linear, and the game has some surprises for you here and there, so be ready!
Something you need to keep in mind is that Zoe’s jump can be used at two heights, and she actually jumps very high right from the start. The smaller jump should be used when going from platform to platform when the ceiling is too low or if it has some deadly hazards such as spikes that will kill you if you touch them. Platforming is a big part of this Metroidvania, but worry not since you’ll get the hang of things in no time and you will know that if you miss a jump or end up being defeated by a hazard it was not the game’s fault but your own.
All in all, Alwa’s Awakening is a very enjoyable game with a lot of depth and a big non-linear map to explore. It’s a game that has been created with care, and you can tell that the developers have pouted their heart and soul into this retro-styled project. I had a blast playing the game for my review, and I look forward to seeing what the team thinks of next!
Alwa’s Awakening is a game that I had been looking forward to playing for a while. I had been following its development and release on Steam, and had hoped it would at some point be ported to a Nintendo console so that I could take it out for a spin, and I’m happy to see that it has landed on the Nintendo Switch, which is perfect when you consider that the game is paying homage to some of the classics we got to play on Nintendo’s first home console. If you’re a fan of Metroidvanias, then you’re going to love your time with this one!
Tracey has covered the game’s basic gameplay mechanics, so I’ll start by talking about one of the collectibles in the game. There are blue orbs to find all over Alwa, and finding them is only part of the equation. You won’t be able to reach all of the blue orbs you find as soon as you spot them, since some of them might be out of reach or could require that you use one of your skills to get to them. Collecting them is highly advised since the more you have with you, the more powerful you will be when battling the Protectors, dealing considerable damage before the fight even starts. There are 99 blue orbs in the game, so if you want to 100% if you’re going to be spending some extra time with the game!
As you explore the game, searching high and low for blue orbs and for the Gemstones that will add new abilities to your staff, you will need to use a new addition to Alwa’s Awakening that is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version: HD Rumble. You see, when playing the game on Nintendo’s hybrid console your Joy-Con will vibrate when you are near a secret, so if you have HD Rumble enabled, you will be able to locate areas of interest that you might need to revisit a bit later in the game once you have the skill needed to be able to open the way.
Each area in Alwa’s Awakening is color-coded on your map, and the game will also tell you the name of a new area when you enter it. You’ll visit the Forsaken Valley, the Town of Westwood, Central Alwa, the Altar of Echoes, the Sacellum Depths, Solstice Mountain, Amethyst Passage, and many more. Each area will add new enemies and hazards into the mix, so you should always be ready and pay attention to your surroundings and to the movement and attack patterns or enemies to make sure you can get the upper hand in each fight.
Alwa’s Awakening is a very fun and polished Metroidvania that has finally found its way to the Nintendo Switch, a console where things come full circle on a Nintendo console, what with the game paying homage to Metroid and other action platformers of the Nintendo Entertainment System era. We had a lot of fun playing the game for this double review, so we highly recommend that you get it today!
This Alwa’s Awakening review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Elden Pixels.