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    AMEDAMA Early Access Review – Building Toward a Strong Launch

    A complete story, but there's more to come.

    After being pleasantly surprised by the game’s demo, I was curious to discover how much IzanagiGames and Acquire would improve AMEDAMA in its Steam Early Access version. Fortunately, I was just as content with the full game, which greatly enhanced the overall gameplay experience and graphics for a more refined 2D action game. AMEDAMA harkens back to simpler times with the original PlayStation, but it also brings refreshing new ideas to the table as a “soul-shifting” action game that stands on its own. 

    Firstly, I was relieved to see my progress carry over from the AMEDAMA demo. Various improvements were made to the demo after I completed it, but I still surprised to see how much clearer and vivid the game’s graphics were in the launch version. There’s still room for improvement in AMEDAMA, but the game still brings a complete experience in early access. 

    AMEDAMA Brings an Intriguing New Tale in the Edo Period

    AMEDAMA

    Once more, the story of AMEDAMA kicks off with the young swordsman Yushin and his sister Yui at their umbrella shop in Edo period Japan. Their peace and tranquility quickly runs out when a group of bandits attempt to kidnap Yui. Yushin puts a valiant effort in protecting his sister, but he’s ultimately ambushed and fatally wounded. He watches Yui being kidnapped as he dies, but his death is not final. 

    After death, Yushin is surprised to be in control of his ethereal self (his very soul) near this dead body. The soul-shifting mechanic of AMEDAMA is introduced here, as Yushin attempts to pursue Yui and the kidnappers by a taking control of people and animals. What’s more, Yushin may level up and carry over his fighting prowess and money while soul-shifting. This means that he should have enough money for healing items throughout all the routes.

    The Kirikumo clan incident is where I continued from after loading the demo save data, and I was quickly surprised by how the game opens up from this point. Branching paths become available for multiple routes, and it’s up to the player to make important decisions that could lead to a dead end. These dead ends are valuable, since Yushin may revise the information he gathered in the seven-day cycle before it begins anew. There are many routes to explore, each leading Yushin closer to the truth about Yui and the current situation in Edo. 

    Straightforward Combat

    Combat in AMEDAMA is slightly improved from the demo, as it’s more responsive and polished. Each character that Yushin may soul-shift into feels very unique, especially the boss characters. A mix of light and heavy attacks are great against weaker enemies, but AMEDAMA emphasizes the use of a counter during tougher fights and boss battles. Light attacks feel very weak against bosses, so many of the Yushin’s combos feel ineffective. 

    By holding down the counter button, Yushin can unleash a strike that deals tremendous damage, right before the enemy’s attack lands. This counter quickly drains Yushin’s stamina, so players must be careful to not expend the entire meter in battle. If the meter is completely depleted, Yushin will be stunned and his death is almost guaranteed in many battles.

    AMEDAMA

    As briefly touched upon, fighting styles and stats vary depending on the body that Yushin inhabits, with boss characters having unique move-set with powerful abilities. However, AMEDAMA stresses the importance of balance, since Yushin cannot inhabit a single body for many battles. Defeating enemies will drain the soul count that’s present with Yushin’s body at a given time. Once depleted, Yushin must find another body to inhabit in order to continue his journey.

    Soul-shifting so frequently means that players shouldn’t get too comfortable with a new favorite character. In fact, needing to inhabit a specific person’s body may be required to progress a certain route. I found this to be one of AMEDAMA’s most intriguing elements, since Yushin must go incognito as another person to find the answers he seeks.

    It’s worth noting that AMEDAMA can be a challenging game, with Normal difficulty being somewhat difficult if you aren’t in tune with the game’s mechanics. Once again, the counter becomes an essential mechanic. 

    AMEDAMA is a Solid Action Early Access Game on a Budget

    Despite being in early access, AMEDAMA feels like a polished and well-developed game, and I was fortunate not to encounter any bugs that affected gameplay. Exploring Edo, swapping bodies and defeating enemies with counters, and uncovering the mysteries behind Yui’s kidnapping made for a unique experience. For only $24.99, there’s dozens of hours of content to enjoy in AMEDAMA.

    However, it’s safe to say that some balance adjustments would make combat more enjoyable, especially adjustments to light attacks. AMEDAMA is still a work in progress in its early access state, of course, but the game may be completed from start to finish with all Steam achievements being available. I’m looking forward to how AMEDAMA will improve and develop over time, as it’s one of IzanagiGames and Acquire’s most promising games to date.

    Disclaimer: IzanagiGames provided Final Weapon with a Steam key of AMEDAMA for review purposes.

    SUMMARY

    AMEDAMA is an intriguing 2D action game that sees players hop from body to body in a tale set in Edo period Japan. As young swordsman Yushin, players will experience a captivating story from the perspective of the people he inhabits as he attempts to find his sister Yui. Although the game is in early access with some improvements needing to be made, AMEDAMA offers great value in the action adventure genre.
    Soul Kiwami
    Soul Kiwami
    Raul Ochoa, a.k.a. Soul Kiwami, is the Managing Editor of Final Weapon and a Games Writer at Game Rant with four years of writing and editing experience. Raul is passionate about the Japanese gaming industry, and he's a huge fan of Nintendo Switch, PC hardware, JRPGs, and fighting games. business email: [email protected] | Muck Rack: https://muckrack.com/raul-landaverde-1

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    AMEDAMA is an intriguing 2D action game that sees players hop from body to body in a tale set in Edo period Japan. As young swordsman Yushin, players will experience a captivating story from the perspective of the people he inhabits as he attempts to find his sister Yui. Although the game is in early access with some improvements needing to be made, AMEDAMA offers great value in the action adventure genre.AMEDAMA Early Access Review - Building Toward a Strong Launch