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Kena Bridge of Spirits Review Thread

Phase

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Anybody else having an issue where Kena stops walking for a split-second constantly? It's really annoying.
Yeah, plus when using the forest tears the camera gets stuck for a few seconds after clearing stuff.
 
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KyoZz

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Sooo I've been playing a few more hours and.... DAMN that game has hard boss fights , like really hard.
I know there are going to be some pro players who say they beat the game with one hand on maximum difficulty but I really find the boss fights too punishing.

Other than that it's a blast: the OST is top notch, gameplay is simple but very mastered by the dev team and become surprisingly more deeper as we progress.
The story is nice too and of course the graphics are incredible, this can't be said enough:






Not finished yet but I already hope we get a sequel, someone please give Ember Lab everything they need.
 

Captain Toad

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I'm kind of surprised how much people like this. I just beat it today and I'd say it's a solid 7/10 - definitely not in my personal GOTY list with Returnal and Psychonauts 2.

The graphics looked good, but everything else definitely did not feel AAA - invisible walls everywhere, weird/broken animations when jumping/sliding off stuff, no footprints, little interaction with the environment (nothing breaks when you hit it, etc).

The worst part was the story. I had hoped to care about the characters and world, but there's not much plot.

The best part was probably the boss fights. But, damn, some were way tougher than I expected going in.
 
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mejin

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I'm kind of surprised how much people like this. I just beat it today and I'd say it's a solid 7/10 - definitely not in my personal GOTY list with Returnal and Psychonauts 2.

The graphics looked good, but everything else definitely did not feel AAA - invisible walls everywhere, weird/broken animations when jumping/sliding off stuff, no footprints, little interaction with the environment (nothing breaks when you hit it, etc).

And you know why.
 

Phase

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I'm kind of surprised how much people like this. I just beat it today and I'd say it's a solid 7/10 - definitely not in my personal GOTY list with Returnal and Psychonauts 2.

The graphics looked good, but everything else definitely did not feel AAA - invisible walls everywhere, weird/broken animations when jumping/sliding off stuff, no footprints, little interaction with the environment (nothing breaks when you hit it, etc).

The worst part was the story. I had hoped to care about the characters and world, but there's not much plot.

The best part was probably the boss fights. But, damn, some were way tougher than I expected going in.
I agree with this. It has it's shortcomings. I rate it as an enjoyable 7.5 to 8.
 
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Malakhov

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Bit surprised by the fauning over the graphics. I'm playing max settings on PC at 1080p/60 and it looks nice enough, but nothing i havent seen before on PC. Ratchet looks a level above imo, at least some of the worlds anyway.

Its a solid game though, about 4 hours in now.
Im playing in 4k on pc, highest settings, getting 60fps, this definitely feels next gen, not as good as Ratchet, but up there.
 
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tmlDan

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Bit surprised by the fauning over the graphics. I'm playing max settings on PC at 1080p/60 and it looks nice enough, but nothing i havent seen before on PC. Ratchet looks a level above imo, at least some of the worlds anyway.

Its a solid game though, about 4 hours in now.
God, its not because of its tech, it's because of its world and its art - kinda like how people say BOTW is gorgeous.

Stop comparing an indie game to a AAA Sony IP.
 

Aguero9320

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I’m playing it on PC and it’s… okay. Feel people have been fooled by the (beautiful) CGI cutscenes because the in-game graphics are just average. Annoyingly my controller keeps disconnecting (possibly unrelated to the game) so I can’t get any kind of flow going, but the gameplay is also very average and very basic. Agree with the 7/10s discussed above, might even nudge it down to a six tbh.

I’ve always been a big review guy, but things are out of hand these days. Too many fanboy sites hyping everything to ‘GOTY’ standards.

I’m not a massive Zelda fan, but comparisons to this are quite ridiculously over the top. It’s not a bad game by any means, but for me at least, nothing like as good as it has been painted.
 

Captain Toad

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outside of some minor bugs it does, though.
I disagree. The way the character jumps, invisible walls on top of stuff, non-interactive environments, etc don't feel AAA to me, but I wouldn't call that stuff bugs. She swims through leaves that don't move or react, she walks in mud and snow without leaving footprints, she can whack boxes with her staff and her staff just goes through it - stuff like that.

It's not a bad game, by any means. But, if a Sony first-party AAA game came with those kinds of issues, I would be pretty unimpressed.
 
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Pedro Motta

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I'm devastated, cannot progress past Corrupted Taro, game breaking bug. Cleared the boss 2 times in hard mode (believe me it's hard) and same game breaking bug. Not touching it again until a patch comes out.
 
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Dusktildawn48

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Holy shit, the update raised the max camera sensitivity! They literally fixed my only gripe with the game in the very first update.
 
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Punished Miku

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I’m playing it on PC and it’s… okay. Feel people have been fooled by the (beautiful) CGI cutscenes because the in-game graphics are just average. Annoyingly my controller keeps disconnecting (possibly unrelated to the game) so I can’t get any kind of flow going, but the gameplay is also very average and very basic. Agree with the 7/10s discussed above, might even nudge it down to a six tbh.

I’ve always been a big review guy, but things are out of hand these days. Too many fanboy sites hyping everything to ‘GOTY’ standards.

I’m not a massive Zelda fan, but comparisons to this are quite ridiculously over the top. It’s not a bad game by any means, but for me at least, nothing like as good as it has been painted.
You really have to just rely on your eyes and block out what people say about it. I'm looking forward to it after some sales, but I just didn't see anything that crazy visually, or artistically. Kind of looks like those Unreal Engine fan made demos you see sometimes, with some great lighting. I'm personally not that into Pixar at all, so that doesn't help my case personally as far as liking the characters. I watched the Skill Up review, and he didn't talk about anything but the graphics until literally the half way point.
 

Mossybrew

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About those hard bosses - how's the checkpointing? If you die to one can you restart right there without some long trek back to your corpse or some other weird death penalty?
 
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I disagree. The way the character jumps, invisible walls on top of stuff, non-interactive environments, etc don't feel AAA to me, but I wouldn't call that stuff bugs. She swims through leaves that don't move or react, she walks in mud and snow without leaving footprints, she can whack boxes with her staff and her staff just goes through it - stuff like that.

It's not a bad game, by any means. But, if a Sony first-party AAA game came with those kinds of issues, I would be pretty unimpressed.

i have no issues with the way the character jumps

The invisible walks is a minor thing but I guess if you’re jumping around everywhere then maybe it gets annoying but it’s pretty clear to me where you are allowed to go

all of these complaints you listed just seem very minor and many AAA games have similar issues (Horizon comes to mind)

to me what is AAA about it is the quality put in to the look of the areas and the animations. The world feels very lively as a result, especially as you clear corrupted areas
 
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Aug 31, 2016
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I'm kind of surprised how much people like this. I just beat it today and I'd say it's a solid 7/10 - definitely not in my personal GOTY list with Returnal and Psychonauts 2.

The graphics looked good, but everything else definitely did not feel AAA - invisible walls everywhere, weird/broken animations when jumping/sliding off stuff, no footprints, little interaction with the environment (nothing breaks when you hit it, etc).

The worst part was the story. I had hoped to care about the characters and world, but there's not much plot.

The best part was probably the boss fights. But, damn, some were way tougher than I expected going in.
so you changed your avatar to a game you din't like that much ? lol
 
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DeepEnigma

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God, its not because of its tech, it's because of its world and its art - kinda like how people say BOTW is gorgeous.

Stop comparing an indie game to a AAA Sony IP.
Just like Souls games. Not technically impressive, though their animations are stellar.

It's all about the top class artwork.
 
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GHG

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Bit surprised by the fauning over the graphics. I'm playing max settings on PC at 1080p/60 and it looks nice enough, but nothing i havent seen before on PC. Ratchet looks a level above imo, at least some of the worlds anyway.

Its a solid game though, about 4 hours in now.

1080p probably won't be doing it justice.

Looks stunning on the 4k oled and in 4k ultra wide.
 

IntentionalPun

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This game plays really good for developers who are making their VERY first video game.
I really don't understand why anyone should care if the developers have made 1 game or 10 games lol

Having said that, many of the team have experience on other games.. so this whole "it's their first game" thing is over-stated anyways. It's the company's first game, but they hired.. game developers. Many of the people who it's "their first game" did art or animation before, for non-games.
 

GymWolf

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I'm sorry if i ask again but this is crucial for me, if when you beat small enemies they don't respawn don't you never feel like the areas get too barren after a while? how much frequent is the combat with this mechanic?

I love good exploration and secret finding but i need to have a purpose\sense of progression and this usually means getting stronger for the combat sections, but if there is not enough combat i fear to get bored...

So basically, can someone clearly tells me if there is enough combat for a 15-20 hours game?!

thanks.
 

Bartski

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I'm devastated, cannot progress past Corrupted Taro, game breaking bug. Cleared the boss 2 times in hard mode (believe me it's hard) and same game breaking bug. Not touching it again until a patch comes out.
if it's freezing in slo-mo when you kill the boss I had that on two different occasions, restarting the game solves it but you have to do the fight again.
 
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Are there side quests? Does the 8-10 hour finish rate include them? Trying to figure out if I can finish it this weekend or start it up next week when I'm off
 

GHG

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I’m playing it on a 4K oled. CGI cutscenes are fantastic, gameplay graphics are distinctly average IMO.

Totally disagree. With HDR this game pops and is stunning.

Don't know what settings you guys are using or whether your TV's/monitors are set up right but this game is right up there graphically, especially in terms of lighting.
 

Phase

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Gotta say this is probably my favorite game of the year. The stories are so-so to me so far, but I haven't enjoyed combat so much in a long time. Great music too, plus the world and puzzles are well done.

I'm just about to start the spirit gates portion. The game has just gotten better and better.
 
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IbizaPocholo

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Dec 1, 2014
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In spite of the few minor issues I have with Kena: Bridge of Spirits here and there, it's hard to deny just what an incredibly engaging experience it is. Almost all of it comes together to deliver a compelling game that's a triumph at almost everything it sets out to do, even if it doesn't set out to do much other than retread well trodden ground.

When the biggest criticism I can level at it is that I wanted more of it, it definitely did something right. With its debut game, indie team Ember Lab has made a confident statement of intent.
 

Bragr

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I like the challenge, but the combat is a bit odd.

I don't think the shield losing strength so fast is a good combat design decision, and having to wait until it heals back up means that if you miss a parry, you have to run around in circles for it to recharge. Too many of the boss fights become a wait for the shield to recharge.

The dodge is also a bit weak, too many boss attacks are so big that you can't really dodge out of the way properly, meaning the shield and parry becomes the best way to win. But that oddly enough, means that you have to "Dark Souls" the game, meaning, learning every boss attack and learn when to parry. Thing is, most of the smaller enemies, you don't have to do that, you can just button-mash, so the transition from button-mashing to sudden Dark Souls-like bosses is very odd.

Some of the bosses also got combo attacks, so if you miss the first parry and your shield gets wrecked, you can't really get away that easily because the dodge sucks.

Once you learn their basic attacks, parry becomes easier and it all falls to place, but the learning process of some of the bosses ain't that great because the shield sucks too much.

I also hate it when games add extra critters next to bosses, you know, having 4 smaller enemies attack you at the same time as the boss, and the game does stuff like that a lot.
 
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Oct 30, 2011
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I like the challenge, but the combat is a bit odd.

I don't think the shield losing strength so fast is a good combat design decision, and having to wait until it heals back up means that if you miss a parry, you have to run around in circles for it to recharge. Too many of the boss fights become a wait for the shield to recharge.

The dodge is also a bit weak, too many boss attacks are so big that you can't really dodge out of the way properly, meaning the shield and parry becomes the best way to win. But that oddly enough, means that you have to "Dark Souls" the game, meaning, learning every boss attack and learn when to parry. Thing is, most of the smaller enemies, you don't have to do that, you can just button-mash, so the transition from button-mashing to sudden Dark Souls-like bosses is very odd.

Some of the bosses also got combo attacks, so if you miss the first parry and your shield gets wrecked, you can't really get away that easily because the dodge sucks.

Once you learn their basic attacks, parry becomes easier and it all falls to place, but the learning process of some of the bosses ain't that great because the shield sucks too much.

I also hate it when games add extra critters next to bosses, you know, having 4 smaller enemies attack you at the same time as the boss, and the game does stuff like that a lot.

im having difficulty timing the Parry as well, it seems like a very small window, and brutally unforgiving
 
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JerryinSoCal

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I'm kind of surprised how much people like this. I just beat it today and I'd say it's a solid 7/10 - definitely not in my personal GOTY list with Returnal and Psychonauts 2.

The graphics looked good, but everything else definitely did not feel AAA - invisible walls everywhere, weird/broken animations when jumping/sliding off stuff, no footprints, little interaction with the environment (nothing breaks when you hit it, etc).

The worst part was the story. I had hoped to care about the characters and world, but there's not much plot.

The best part was probably the boss fights. But, damn, some were way tougher than I expected going in.
It's a $40 first game from an indie studio so what do you expect? There are AAA games that are missing some of those things and have some of those issues. I think people forget just because it looks good that it's still a game from a very small studio.
 
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Withnail

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Dec 16, 2009
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This game is surprisingly good, glad I bought it. Not too far in yet, just got
the bow.
and it feels like there's a long way to go which is good because I thought it would be very short. I can see myself replaying it at some point as well.

Overall it's a nice AA experience like something from the PS2 days and just kind of comfy to play. Really impressive for a self-published indie game, Ember Labs have raised the bar in terms of production standards for indie games.
 

BlackTron

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This game sounds like it's poised to tighten up quite a bit post-release. Think I'll check back on things after the physical copy is out.
 

engstra

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Just finished the game this morning and really enjoyed my time with it. There are some stuff that could've been better. I 100% it which meant I had fully upgraded my skills while I was in the Fields which meant the final third of the game was spent collecting karma which had no use. I would've preferred if either in order to fully upgrade you had to collect all karma in the world or at least there was some sort of completion bonus. Also a huge proportion of collectibles being tied to unlocking and buying hats is not the best incentive in my opinion.
Combat was surprisingly good although I struggled with the parry mechanic and staff and bow being tied to the same button slowed me down in combat sometimes. Think the weakest part of the game is Kena herself, we essentially learn nothing about her and she is dead quiet throughout. World is pretty but feels a bit dead. I understand it makes sense within the story but it's a bit boring at times to traverse empty spaces.
Happy to have played it but feel like I've seen all there is to see. Having 100%ed the map I don't see any reason to play through it again on Master difficulty.
A solid 7 or 8 out of 10.
 

engstra

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I'm sorry if i ask again but this is crucial for me, if when you beat small enemies they don't respawn don't you never feel like the areas get too barren after a while? how much frequent is the combat with this mechanic?

I love good exploration and secret finding but i need to have a purpose\sense of progression and this usually means getting stronger for the combat sections, but if there is not enough combat i fear to get bored...

So basically, can someone clearly tells me if there is enough combat for a 15-20 hours game?!

thanks.
You can find all collectibles on the first run through an area so you don't really need to traverse and revisit them. In that way they don't feel overly barren.
Personally I'd say combat makes up the biggest portion of the game and does a good job of introducing new enemies and power ups to make it feel fresh throughout.
Are there side quests? Does the 8-10 hour finish rate include them? Trying to figure out if I can finish it this weekend or start it up next week when I'm off
Unless you count finding all collectibles as a sidequest I would say no. 100%ing the map and completing the story took me roughly 14 hours.