Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan – a Cameroonian Action-RPG game demo at PAX East 2016 developed by Kiro’o Games and can be purchased on Steam.
Aurion is a story rich Action-RPG that is based off of African lore with a fantasy setting. The story follows Enzo Kori-Odan, a prince that is dethroned by his brother-in-law. His newly wedded wife, Erine Evou, joins him in battle to seek help from other countries to regain the throne after being exiled. Within this rich storyline resides dynamic and fast paced combat. It is very much like a beat ‘em up type of fighting style. There is an arsenal of spells and skills that the main character and his wife could use which makes it very fun and it is very easy to swap through them on the fly. Enzo has control of various elemental attacks which has their own unique uses. For instance, fire is a strong forward attack spell akin to a blade while ice is a mid-range ground attack which pierces enemies from below. You will need to swap spells quickly to get around enemy defenses – more so on bosses than normal mobs.
The graphics are very vibrant with rich color palettes, and the skill animation is very satisfying to look at as you do special attacks. Enzo can tag in and give Erine orders to assist you in battle both offensively and defensively as well as other characters you may recruit later in the game.
Even though the combat is very enjoyable, some obstacles in the game I find to be a nuisance. For example, there was a part where you have to wall jump to go up a path while avoiding spikes. Maybe it was just me, but the hitbox of the spike seemed very unforgiving as it caused me to fall many times and sometimes the prompts don’t even show up to show the trajectory. That being said, the first encounter with such a path is optional.
The jumping mechanic is also a bit strange. The ascent is fine and what you would expect from most games – not realistic in height but normal in speed or what you would expect from the main character. During the descent, however, the controls become rather floaty and is hard to control, especially when you are trying to position yourself behind an enemy and time an attack correctly or just continue an air combo.
This is basically your normal beat ’em up with a rich storyline. I would suggest getting this if you’re into games with concepts similar to the Tales of or Star Ocean series. Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan indeed has a unique presentation which infuses fantasy with African culture and lore, and then presents it with beat ’em up – RPG elements. That being said, the controls ultimately were not very intuitive. That’s not saying it’s bad, but it is very easy to miss attacks. I kept switching from spells to items unintentionally because I was unfamiliar with the controls. Certain spells have long animation locks which really break the flow of battle and can put you in undesirable situations. The presentation of the story was also lacking a little and may only cater to a smaller community. Overall, the concept is well thought out but it could use a little more polish.