Young Souls was one that jumped out to me, visually, right from the get go. It has a vibe that almost reminds me of Scott Pilgrim, obviously with a different artstyle. In execution, the game I saw is channeling that same-side scrolling beat em up, but it’s certainly going deeper into the RPG mechanics. I got to sit down and play through one of the many “dungeons” in Young Souls with one of the developers, couch co-op, and while it was very tough, I had a great time.
To set it up, Young Souls has you playing twin siblings who’s father just disappeared out of nowhere. They look into their basement to find a giant archway, a portal that leads to other worlds full of fantasy monsters, and it’s interconnected to a variety of worlds out there. From there the adventure begins, and I was told right from the beginning over 20 different dungeon worlds would be accessible, and that number would only grow as the game goes on.
Essentially, the siblings will be able to explore the town and talk with the townsfolk throughout the day, gathering up quests that are to resolve issues caused by monsters in specific dungeons to to find things that may have been lost to other dungeons. The two feed into one another, but I just got to see the more action side of things for this demo. In theory this all sounds great, and depending on how the relationships with the townsfolk evolve, this could harken to something almost like a Persona, but we’ll have to wait to see how it’s implemented in the final game.
Diving into what I actually got to play, me and my sibling dressed up in equippable gear, from potions to armor, to swords and shields, the works, before diving headfirst into a castle-like dungeon. From here we battled our way to the top, and while I think Young Souls fits into your standard beat ‘em up, it has a lot of depth there. You have a magic attack, and the one I could use froze enemies, which could be used to combo. From there hacking and slashing got you through most enemies, but there was a huge focus on guarding, and making sure you weren’t hit so much to break your guard, otherwise you’d be left completely open. There were only a handful of enemies on screen, but they were tough, and after a few waves we got to move onto the next room, of which there were only about three, making the dungeon overall feel concise and tight.
When we got to the boss we were getting knocked down a lot, and had to take time to revive one another, which you can do as much as you’d like, but it leaves you very open. The boss had a glowing projectile attack that could be reflected back with a properly time shield parry, and while I didn’t pull it off I did get to see it, and the timing and precision across all of the fighting was dense. It felt like there was a lot to do at any given moment.
Honestly, seeing Young Souls in motion is a lot of what makes it special. It just moves, and it moves fast. Each animation is tight and brief, meaning things are happening at a very fast pace, sort of like a fighting game. It’s snappy in a way that I think you wouldn’t first glean from the art style.
I liked what I saw of Young Souls a lot, but the town-adventuring and the full extent to the RPG mechanics are still an unknown for me. I’m hungry to see more,