[Beyond PlayStation] Ary and the Secret of Seasons Review
Ary and the Secret of Seasons from Modus Games, eXiin, and Fishing Cactus is a new 3D action adventure on Nintendo Switch with a hint of The Legend of Zelda series. Learn more in our Ary and the Secret of Seasons review!
Ary and the Secret of Seasons from Modus Games, eXiin, and Fishing Cactus is a new 3D action adventure that, as its name suggests, has the manipulation of seasons as its core gameplay mechanic. You will play as the titular Aryelle – Ary – who will get to go on an adventure on Valdi as the new guardian of winter. With her brother gone missing, and her father struck with grief, Ary will get to use her powers to explore new locations, as well as to aid her in battle. Environmental puzzles will be at the center of this one, with the game having some elements here and there that will remind you of the excellent and beloved The Legend of Zelda series.
As the story goes, a long time ago, a great evil was defeated by the Legendary Warrior who, with the help of the Guardians of Seasons, managed to imprison the evil wizard in the Vault. For some reason, the seasons have started acting up, and it’s because of this that Ary is called into action – along with her newfound skills – so that she can help the Guardians of Seasons to find out what is going out, putting a stop to the different monsters that are certainly up to no good. Could the evil wizard of lore have something to do with this?
To allow gamers of all skill levels to take Ary and the Secret of Seasons for a spin, the devs have included four difficulty options: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Insane. Once you’ve picked your settings, the game will start with a fully voice-acted story cutscene in which you’ll get to learn more about Ary and the aforementioned lore. You will then get to play as Ary in her room – with her mother calling her downstairs, thus allowing you to get used to the controls for Ary and the Secret of Seasons.
You will move Ary with the left analog stick, swinging the camera around with the right analog stick. The ZR button will automatically snap the camera behind Ary. If you press and hold down the R button, you’ll be able to sprint. The B button will allow her to roll so that she can avoid danger, while the A button will be used for jumping. You’ll eventually be able to double jump once you find the right pair of boots for the job. You can talk to other characters with the X button, moving the conversation forward by pressing the A button as needed. The X button will also be used for interacting with things. Pressing the + button will pause the action, allowing you to go into your inventory.
While in there, you can check all of the items you have, separated into equipable, consumable, capability, upgrades, costumes, masks and hats, and key items. You can also check a map and zoom in and out with the ZL and ZR buttons, check a list of the quests you’re working on completing, review any notes you might have found, and check on the options for the game. In there, you can configure the language for the game – between English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and Thai) – enable or disable the subtitles and the minimap, and more.
Once you get into a battle with a pair of hyenas that burst into town and start to eat everything in their path, you’ll be able to use the ZL button to lock onto your target, attacking with your weapon with the Y button. Your first fight will be a short tutorial since the enemy you face will not present much of a challenge. The second one will require you to use your dodge roll, as well as parry with the X button so that you can have an opening for dealing some damage by countering your enemy’s attack.
And then, there’s the power of winter. Winter will be the first power you will gain access to early in the game. Once you find your father’s winter crystal, you’ll be able to use its power by pressing down on the D-Pad. This will conjure a winter sphere, which will have an effect on everything it covers. Water will freeze, which will come in handy if you need to, say, create some ice platforms to help you exit an area. There will be other powers for you to add to your arsenal, and if you want to disable all season spheres, you can quickly do so with the L button.
During my time playing the game for this Ary and the Secret of Seasons review, I did run into some issues – things that the dev is aware of and is currently working to fix by way of a patch. When I started to play the game in Docked Mode, I noticed that the framerate was taking a considerable hit. I played the game in Portable Mode for a bit, and then I went back to Docked Mode while taking some notes for the review. The framerate somehow improved a bit after this, which was odd, but it turns out it’s a bug the devs are working on fixing.
Something else you’ll need to consider is the overall resolution for the game. When playing in Docked Mode, the game is colorful and smoother, but the framerate chugs a bit more than when you take this one for a spin in Portable or Tabletop Mode – or if you end up playing Ary and the Secret of Seasons on a Nintendo Switch Lite. There’s also going to be some pop-in, which you can easily see in the marketplace in town when lamps and other decorations magically appear when you walk closer to them. Loading times are also a bit too long at some points, particularly when you go into the first area outside of town.
Ary and the Secret of Seasons is an entertaining 3D action adventure with fun gameplay mechanics, a charming art style, a dash of a Mulan feel, and a good dose of The Legend of Zelda. The game is not without its issues – framerate hiccups, a lower resolution when compared to the PS4 version, some extra bugs here and there – but if you give it a chance, you’ll find a nice indie release to enjoy at home or on the go. Ary and the Secret of Seasons is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $39.99 asking price.
This Ary and the Secret of Seasons review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Modus Games.