Aragami PlayStation 4 Review

Aragami clearly isn’t a perfect game, but perhaps has just enough in it to keep you attached to it till its end.

By RON, Posted 25 Oct 2016

The action stealth genre has its own charm, especially when a game comes with a combination of solid gameplay and a tempting story. Aragami, emphasizing more on the stealth, blending action gameplay with magic, tries to vary things up from the regular games in this genre. It surely brings individuality into its presentation, while its complicated gameplay holds it back from being something superb. Don’t lose patience already, though! Aragami is still an interesting game on its own.

Aragami,PlayStation 4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Princess Yamiko

Aragami is a story about Princess Yamiko, who seems to be a captive of the Kaiho army, set to take revenge on the army for murdering her family. As a player, you take the role of a spirit summoned by the Princess that also happens to be an avenging ninja. A ninja possesses many skills and so does Aragami. But in this case, he happens to be a hero who prefers lurking in the dark. Because the Kaiho army controls the light and spirit, they can take you down with a single blow. So, Aragami must move or teleport among the shadows, and kill his way past the Kaiho army to rescue the Princess. As you play, Aragami starts to have visions from his past and slowly learning his purpose, which is equally significant for how the story goes on. This isn’t, however, a typical saving the princess from a castle story. There is plenty of history to explore with flashbacks, memories of both Aragami and Yamiko’s pasts. If explored, the story gets complex beyond the conflicts and it’s worth exploring to uncover its rich context. If you’re simply playing the game without giving much attention to these details, even with the many plot twists, Aragami might just feel like an average game to you. Then again, why would you do so!

If you’re familiar with how the Tenchu series works, you’ll find the gameplay very familiar, except mostly depend on shadows to travel from one place to another. You’re going to realize soon after you start that Aragami is pretty much helpless without the presence of shadow. Moving from one place to another is easy, but teleporting requires shadow, and in most cases, if you’re planning to implement strategy, without the presence of shadow, it’s quite difficult. Before making any plan for a kill, every alternatives must be thought of, as there’s hardly any room for mistakes. When moving in the lights or closer to any source of light, Aragami starts to lose his power. That’s not the worst part yet. When spotted, Aragami is killed in a simple blow of light by the Kaiho soldiers. The game quickly loads from the last save point, but getting killed in such an easy manner becomes very frustrating very fast. The players are rewarded with extra points when not spotted by the soldiers. It’s somewhat easier when Aragami gets the ability to create shadow, but that’s also for a limited time. Even though the game starts with a brief tutorial, be prepared to die many times when playing your first few chapters.

Aragami,PlayStation 4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Princess Yamiko

The controls don’t feel as fluid as they should. Aragami’s movement is quite slow and hefty. There are places where you’d like to walk faster or jump small distances, but cannot do so. Teleporting slowly becomes the main way of movement when things get difficult in the later chapters. To teleport from one place to another, you must point the cursor to an exact point, where there’s presence of shadow of course, and press the control button. Sometimes when teleporting over a wall or roof it’s not easy to measure the positioning, and falling right in front of the Kaiho soldiers will happen. There are skill scrolls in each level unlocking a number of abilities. Dragging enemies towards the shadow, temporary invisibility, leaving no trace behind, are very handy when in tight situations. There’s a multiplayer mode campaign to be discovered after finishing the single player. I haven’t yet played in this mode, but it is definitely something worth checking out with your friends. There were times during my single player playthrough when I felt like needing the presence of a support from the other end, and this network multiplayer mode might just be that.

Visually, Aragami makes a decent stand. The characters and the stages are designed in a cell-shaded art style that pleases the eyes. The action and kill animations are mostly repetitive but still enjoyable throughout the game. Stealth kills are sometimes a bit slow, taking away the fluidness of the gameplay. This slender visual drawback is rather covered up by a superb background music. A combination of violins, flutes, vocals and Shamisen adds to the immersion factor. The level design is simple and yet smart enough to make you to work hard to get past each of them. Each level requires a player to implement different strategies. Players can’t stick to a single set of skill or abilities, and must use a mix of them to get past different situations. The boss fights, however, could have been a bit better, as most of the time they feel unpleasant due to their homing in on approach. There are also not enough hints on how to defeat them.

Aragami,PlayStation 4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Boss Fights,Princess Yamiko

Despite these drawbacks, Aragami is still a decent game to play. It requires patience, scheming and strategy to get past the 10-12 hours of gameplay and its story. It has great potential for crafting a fine game, especially for the Tenchu fans. Its hefty gameplay gets frustrating at times, but the visual and background music with the stirring story get things going. Aragami clearly isn’t a perfect game, but perhaps has just enough in it to keep you attached to it till its end.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information



Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Lince Works, Merge Games Ltd.
Developer(s): Lince Works
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Stealth
Release Date: 2016-10-04

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