REVIEW: “Titan Souls” Is “Shadow Of The Colossus” Meets Pixel Art
Developer Acid Nerve’s indie outing, Titan Souls is as charming as it is difficult.Its minimalist visual design and haunting melodies imbue the experience with enough character to offset the lack of any overt plot progression. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles to be found here. What can be found is a challenge of equal parts strategy and skill.
Taking clear inspiration from its desolate landscape, vague story and boss-battle exclusivity, it’s easy to see why Titan Souls has been described as Shadow of the Colossus by way of pixel art. Armed with a bow and only a single, retrievable arrow, players must use a combination of pattern recognition, quick reflexes and no small amount of luck to defeat each enemy.
Titan Souls isn’t difficult in a throw-your-controller-at-the-tv kind of way.
The bosses never feel cheap or unfair but there’s a reason there’s a death counter attached to each save file (full disclosure, at the time of writing this article I am at 15 enemies defeated and 170 deaths).
Death comes swiftly and often as you learn each enemy’s abilities, patterns and vulnerabilities. I love that they keep smashing you even after you’re already little more than a red smear on the ground, adding insult to injury.
These bosses become more difficult to defeat as the battle wages – rapidly and wildly affecting the arena, keeping you on the move at all times. Even once you have a decent strategy in mind, you know you’ve probably lost the upper hand after the first ten seconds. Your first loosed arrow often decides either your victory or demise.
I’ve never thrown so many swear words at a game before, but each one was from behind a wide grin.
Once you are able to suss out a strategy, enemies are still no cake-walk and every victory was accompanied by a cheer of excitement. It’s the kind of game that will make you a glutton for punishment because the eventual win is so gratifying.
Titan Souls is my new Rogue Legacy – I’m not going to sit here and run through it in a weekend. There’s no story driving momentum or any form of reward for a job well done. But I’ll keep coming back for a little more abuse every day.