Shalnor Legends: Sacred Lands Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Jonny Ostad

Publisher: Jonny Ostad

Download Size: 150 MB

Release Date: 26/04/2019

Price as of Article: USD 9.99, £8.99 GBP

Game code provided by Jonny Ostad

ESRB: 10+ EVERYONE, PEGI: 7

Story

You assume the role of Rynna, a young girl who finds herself in the Sacred Lands. Anyone who has venture before have never returned.

In order to escape the Sacred Lands, all the trials have to be completed. Even death grants no escape for any who enter.

Gameplay

Straight away you will notice Shalnor Legends: Sacred Lands is heavily inspired by the classic Zelda games. You’ll some other inspirations in the crafting and economy systems as well. Coming from a one-person development team, it feels like a proper passionate project from a fan of that era.

Once Rynna has entered the Sacred Land she will be unarmed until finding a sword. Once the sword has been collected Rynna can fight enemies, cut down grass, and destroy boxes. The combat will be very basic at first, but as you progress and gain more items and skills, it will become more challenging.

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Dungeons

While travelling around the nine Sacred Lands, Rynna will find plenty of places to explore some safe some not so safe. Each of the areas has its own dungeon that you will need unlocked in some way before entering.

Once inside Rynna will need to navigate the perilous halls of the dungeon while fighting her way through enemies and surviving the plethora of traps. Rynna has a dash ability that is the most crucial action she can perform. This allows her to move over a small distance at high speed. Allowing for getting away from attacks or getting through traps, without this Rynna would come to an untimely death. The dash can only be used a set number of times in a row until the green stamina bar needs to recharge.

Shalnor Legends Sacred Lands Nintendo Switch Review Spikes

While in the dungeon, keys will need to be found that allows progression into lower areas where eventually, you guessed it a boss will be found and be defeated. The bosses standout as some of the best moments in the game. As with the biomes, each is different and has some form of relation to its surrounding. The joy comes from figuring out how to and then killing the bosses. I loved every boss. 

Upgrades and Crafting

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Rynne will need to collect money to purchase upgrades. This source of income can be found from enemies and crates. You also have the classic option of cutting the grass! Money is used to upgrade items, to improve defence, damage, bow power. 

Another classic is finding heart pieces to increase health. In Shalnor, three health and mana pearls can be found in each area that will permanently increase each statistic as well as refill the bar.

Talking To Ghosts?

The Sacred Lands does have some inhabitants but not all are alive. Many of the people can be talked to some will help others not. These go for ghosts also. There are shops to get upgrades but also a ghost shop, that takes only ghost coins that will sell a one-off item. Talk to everyone dead or alive.

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Audio

As with the aesthetic design of the game the audio also encapsulates the era.. Jonny Ostad has done a great job of making the music, sound effects fit perfectly in the SNES 16-era of gaming.

I loved the whole soundtrack. Every time a new piece would start an instant wave of nostalgia would hit me.

Visuals & Performance

Visually, you would expect a 16-bit game to look great in this day and age, and it truly does. For the old timers like me who grew up with games like this and countless others, it hit that itch perfectly.

Each of the game’s biomes has its own unique look and feel. Each having a variety of different enemies as well as its dungeon to beat.

Performance wise runs great. Having played both in handheld and dock, I much-preferred handheld for this one, having the action up close felt more gratifying. But of course that is down to personal preference as it’ll run great on either mode.

Overall I have no problems to report.

Value

A budget title at USD 9.99 and £8.99 GBP, you will get your moneys worth with the content and gameplay included here. For those fans of classic Zelda games or those who love dungeon crawling with puzzle elements and fantastic boss battles, it’s a must buy.

 

Physical – NO

 

What another adventure in a new land checks out AWAY: Journey to the Unexpected.

Pros

P

Fantastic 16-bit design

P

Fun dungeons and boss battles

P

Great price

Cons

P

Nothing really original