Erik Fattrosso ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Titan Souls is a neat little indie game. Best described as Dark Souls meets Shadow of the Colossus, it’s a full game built around boss rush mode. It features eighteen different Titans (several of whom are optional) spread throughout a relatively large, open world; the player is required to find and kill them. The catch here is that the Titans only take one hit to defeat, but so do you. It’s an interesting concept that pays off throughout the experience.
Dying after one hit leads to fights that can (and will) be over in seconds. Oftentimes it’ll take a few attempts before you can figure out what the Titan’s weakness is. They may only need to be hit once, but they have to be hit in certain ways. This ranges from identifying the weakpoint and aiming for it, to strategically figuring out how to expose it. Each battle is a puzzle in and of itself, and discovering how to take down some of the Titans is just as fun as actually doing so. In keeping with the theme of one, you have but one arrow. After it’s shot, you can either run to it or magically pull it back to you, but this causes you to be locked in place. In addition, you have the ability to roll a short distance. That’s it. There’s no special abilities, no items, no unlockables, no collectables, no side enemies. What you start with is exactly what you finish with, and using those tools to best your foes is incredibly satisfying, albeit occasionally frustrating.
The respawn times are seconds long at their slowest, which is great because you will die quickly and often. The ten- to fifteen-second trek back to the Titan that just slew you isn’t as forgiving. That may not sound like a lot, but it starts to add up when you make the trip five or six times in a two-minute period. As I mentioned, figuring out how to best a certain Titan is fantastic. Being unable to actually do that because of a vulnerability window that’s far too short isn’t. On more than one occasion a boss has unnecessary levels of difficulty just because the player is given an unfairly short window of opportunity to hit them. This isn’t to say that the difficulty is badly managed, but it is to say that this particular brand of it can be. On the flip side, most of the Titans feel incredibly well-balanced and satisfying to defeat once you learn the patterns and proper ways to go about dodging them.
The game features a retro, pixelated art style, as seen in many indie games nowadays, and it works. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but there’s also nothing to complain about. The tranquil music that plays as you roam the world is beautiful, as is how it ramps up when you begin a battle. The game can easily be beaten in less than four hours, even if you find yourself struggling on a Titan or two. Once you complete it, there isn’t all that much else to do. There’s a hard mode that makes everything just slightly more difficult and a mode that challenges you to see how far you can get on one life, but neither of these extend the life of the game much once you learn the intricacies of the Titans. Despite its occasional flaws and lack of replayability, Titan Souls is still a fun time that fans of difficult games are sure to enjoy.
Final Score – 7/10