Actually, it’s not that bad. I just wanted to have a word pun in the title. You can hate me all you want.
So! From the Abyss is an Aksys “off to the side” game for the Nintendo DS. I’ll say right here and now that the sole problem with this game is that it is dangerously vanilla. There are absolutely no unique factors to this game whatsoever, therefore branding it a terminally standard RPG. I’ll go about as in-depth as the game does.
To start, you can choose one of three character sprites that have four color options. They’re not very pretty, and your character has no speaking role, so don’t expect to get too attached, yeah? There are three paths you can take in regards to class: Mage, Archer, or Warrior. They aren’t exactly set in stone, as the only class-definitive aspects of the game are the weapons you choose and the stats you focus. Still, best to focus a certain area so you don’t wind up so jack-of-all-trades that the final boss sneezes you to death.
Plot time! For what little it counts. You are a hero! You serve a princess who lets you know that a portal to the Abyss has opened, and that you have to go in as deep as possible and destroy the source, therefore closing it forever. They try to connect the characters with the bosses, but let’s be serious here. If you don’t get unique items and goodies from talking to the ugly townsfolk, who gives a hard damn, right?
Combat. Combat’s basically the entire game, and it isn’t very flashy if you’re not a mage. At the bare minimum, you have one spell and nothing but a cheap sword, spear, wand, or bow on hand. In order to obtain more skills, you must use the Soul Catch ability, which you cast on an enemy and rapidly tap the cast button in order to overpower them. If you succeed, you get a new spell, one per specific foe.
The selection of spells is rather small, but I’ll categorize it for you anyway:
- Combo Passives: Increase the number of strikes with your weapon.
- Weapon Spells: Allow a special action with your non-wand weapon.
- Elemental Magic: Very standard. Rock, Ice, Fire, Wind, 4+ spells each.
- Utility Spells: Dash forward, dash back, heal, speed cast.
Grinding. Oh god, did I just say “grinding?” As in, grinding for rare drops that you need in order to purchase new weapons? Yeah. Yeah I did. Sorry about that. Want to know something worse? Every stage is a randomly generated grid labyrinth with four levels, the final being the boss. Each progressive stage gets more rooms. The eighth and final stage’s maze looks like a square tentacle monster from hell. And the worst part? No saving while you’re in the Abyss. No sir. The only way out is to use the expensive and rare Angel Statue to teleport home, or to die.
Recap: Vanilla, grinding, low creativity, low interaction, low fun. Well, damn. I guess From the Abyss is an abysmal game. And there I was just trying to be funny. That’s good news for you, because now you know what to avoid!
Henry Gilbert of GamesRadar has the right idea. It seems a lot of reviewers have the right idea. From the Abyss is BLAND. Bland, boring, and monotonous. I guess reading about a boring game is boring, but just in case you actually want to check this one out, here’s his review so you can learn even more: http://www.gamesradar.com/from-the-abyss-review/