The 90s were so good to me when it came to video games. I was born in the 80s, but grew up in the 90s and got to experience the early rise of gaming consles. The NES, SNES and SEGA Genesis were taking the USA by storm and you weren’t the “cool kid” if you didn’t have one of them. I remember borrowing games from friends and also lending some out because it was often hard to get my hands on them. There was no Youtube, Steam, emulators or any other way to at least test the game out before I bought it so I would find myself often buying games I wasn’t sure if they were even decent or not. Before you bring up demos, that didn’t exist until the PS1 era where demo CD’s were in the back of gaming magazines.
As I played a variety of sub-genres (which I didn’t know was a thing till years later), I found myself leaning towards RPGs and I wouldn’t realize it till later. Chrono Trigger, Lunar Silver Star Story, Grandia, Breath Of Fire, Secret of Mana and more were my jam as a teenager. That nostalgia for playing games like those never faded, so when I discovered Sea Of Stars kickstarter I was excited to pledge for my digital copy.
The demo finally released on Nintendo Switch after being announced on the recent Nintendo Direct, and I have to say, it was an enjoyable experience! It’s not long, probably an hour or less to beat and there’s only 2 areas you can visit and they are wonderfully done.
One of my favorite composers, Yasunori Mitsuda, who composed the music for Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross & Xenoblade came on the project and the few tracks I heard fit nicely. The first area is a small village where you start your quest to enter an old lab to find a relic for a band of pirates.
You play as three characters, Zale, Valere and Garl, who are adventurer’s but not much else is told about them since the demo doesn’t start in the beginning of the game. I like that most of the main plot is still a mystery as your limited to playing in a random section of the game.
I have to talk about the artwork and gameplay, because that’s where Sea Of Stars truly shines. It reminded me of Legend Of Mana, where the background design looked like someone drew it themselves. There’s so much color to the characters and locations that it really makes them pop out. Whether in battle or walking around, the characters each have their own movements which seem to have more variety than other RPGs and this is certainly an improvement from the past.
The character you chose in the beginning, whether Zale or Valere, are allowed to interact with things around them like pushing, climbing, or activing key items on stones to open new paths. Turn-based battles are initiated when you bump into enemies or they attack you similar to Chrono Trigger so you can avoid some but others it’s difficult to.
There are a few improvements I would like to see though. When your on the world map, the movement is slowed down to a crawl so it does take a bit to get to another section. Also, when it comes to leveling up, I had to grind a little more than I expected but maybe I’m spoiled with modern gen games and forgot how long it took back in the day.
Pick this demo up today, or if your reading this and the game is out already (8.29.23) then go get it! RPG fans will not regret the purchase 🙂
Sea Of Stars can be downloaded on Nintendo Switch.
Sea Of Stars website