• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Kena Bridge of Spirits Review Thread

Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
Lol people really dont like challenging games huh? I wouldnt even say kena is all that challenging, i think people are being over dramatic about the difficulty or dont know how to observe boss loops properly.
So far I think it is a fair challenge, there have definitely been some bosses that initially can feel cheap, but like you say if you observe what they are doing then they are not too hard. Also you do have to pay attention to what the game is telling you and giving you, if you don't parry and harvest rot powers to hit the plants and power up mid-battle it may seem more challenging.

I'll caveat all of the above with the fact that I've not finished it yet, think I'm about 6 hours in with 26 Rot and one weapon to still unlock.
 

Exentryk

Member
Finished the game (on expert). Thoughts below:

Pros:
  • Graphics: The screenshots above speak for themselves, but the game looks even better in motion. The use of lights and the set direction is outstanding as well. (Bonus GIF)
  • Sound Design: The sound team is the hidden MVP here. Not only is the music great, but the sound effects for little things like enemies charging you, or attacks coming your way, or not having enough arrows, etc., it's all there. This level of polish is not something I'd expect from an indie studio in the first game. So yeah, Theophany and team have done an excellent job with the sound design.
  • Animation/Cutscenes: All the various animations and the cutscenes are very well done. It has that PIXAR like quality, and a video of all the cutscenes is essentially a mini Disney movie (see here), which is a massive complement.
  • Combat: While there are some issues, overall, it was fun engaging in combat. It's responsive, using the bow and other abilities feel good and it all comes together well enough.
  • Dynamic UI: I appreciate that the UI automatically hides and only shows when you need it. This is the best way to do it for me and my immersion loving self.

Neutral:
  • Story: The story isn't very engaging. I mean Kena comes to this village to go to the mountain shrine and helps a few people along the way. That's the story. We barely know anything about who Kena is, about her past, about this world, why she wants to go to the Mountain Shrine, etc. There is a small scene about her past, but it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. So yeah, the story could have been more engaging.

Cons:
  • Combat issues:
    • The charged melee attack doesn't always activate properly. Try to complete a fast melee combo, and then hold the charged attack button immediately after, it won't activate.
    • Some enemy hit-boxes (like Taro's grab attack) are crazy big. Need fixes. Can also consider reducing enemy attack tracking a little.
    • The healing mechanic of running around, finding the plants, centering the camera to them and then activating a heal isn't great. It would have been better if the heal was just mapped to a d-pad direction and you can use heals based on whatever is available in the area.
    • Enemies can attack from off-screen, so some visual notification about that would be good.
    • Parry window could have been bigger, and it can also use some better feedback when you trigger it.
  • Rewards: The cosmetic rewards like hats and hat currency wasn't very enticing. It would be better if they could improve that in the future. Perhaps consider more abilities/weapons/armor/accessories/etc., that would improve the combat or help world exploration.
  • Voice Acting: Apart from say Toshi, most voice acting is pretty poor/dull. Hope they get a better casting unit next time around.
Overall, this is an excellent first game coming out of an indie studio. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and look forward to what they'll make in the future.

Until then, I guess I'll just sit and meditate...

 

Dibils2k

Member
i am at final boss... not sure i am gonna bother beating it tbh, they are just throwing everything at you and i just find that tedious
 

chinoXL

Member
I'm having fun with the game...the bosses piss me off initially but then i end up beating them with a decent amount of health bar left. i have 65 rot and 2 more unlocks to go so i think i;m fairly close to the end at this point. fun game, definitely going to finish it
 

Exentryk

Member
i am at final boss... not sure i am gonna bother beating it tbh, they are just throwing everything at you and i just find that tedious
It's not so bad. It's confronting at the start, but take your time to see what each phase is and it's pretty simple actually.

 

fermcr

Member
The game isn't very good. Played it on PC for 7-8 hours and didn't even bother finishing it... after some time it just becomes uninteresting and tedious.
Graphics are great, but I honestly can't understand how some reviewers gave this game a score of 10. Nowadays, a review of 9-10 has little to no value, reviewers give them out like it's perfectly normal.

Would give it a 6 mostly due to the nice graphics.
 
Last edited:

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
what scenes can you not skip? i was able to skip cinematics on retries no problem.

Using the Wood Boss as an example.....if i die, i have to do that 30 second or so slow slide down the hill that i cant do faster. Then i can skip that first scene at the bottom but then i see a 3-5 second scene of the monsters spawning in the trees. Then i kill them, and then another 3-5 second scene of the Wood boss spawning out of the ground. It all adds up.

When all you want to do is get back and try again, the unskippable scene of the archers forming, and then of the wood boss spawning is too much. Like let me see those once, and then not again.
 

Exentryk

Member
Last few screenshots as I try to find a new game to play :(



 

bargeparty

Member
Using the Wood Boss as an example.....if i die, i have to do that 30 second or so slow slide down the hill that i cant do faster. Then i can skip that first scene at the bottom but then i see a 3-5 second scene of the monsters spawning in the trees. Then i kill them, and then another 3-5 second scene of the Wood boss spawning out of the ground. It all adds up.

When all you want to do is get back and try again, the unskippable scene of the archers forming, and then of the wood boss spawning is too much. Like let me see those once, and then not again.

Well never play a souls game I guess...

btw the entire slide down + waiting for archers to spawn before you can control again is 30 seconds, so don't exaggerate too much.
 

Arun1910

Member
Finished this yesterday... loved it.

Puzzles were really fun, game kept adding stuff at the right time to not get stale, loved the VA, world. Story was simple but fun, great soundtrack.

Combat actually ended up being better than I thought. Once you string together a bunch of different moves you can be really swift and effective in taking out large groups.

Only "issue" i have is the Jump from open world enemies to Bosses is pretty extreme, even on Normal.
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
Well never play a souls game I guess...

btw the entire slide down + waiting for archers to spawn before you can control again is 30 seconds, so don't exaggerate too much.

I've finished every souls game and Bloodborne.....several times. I know annoying game design when i see it, and what i described is definitely annoying. Take your passive aggressiveness elsewhere.
 
My oh my...when I got this game I wasn't aware that I would be playing DARK SOULS 4!! The bosses...please have mercy on this old tired gamer....

I'm no stranger to Souls games (beaten DS 1,2,3 and Boodborne without online assist) but I'm getting my ass handed to me during the second boss fight....
 

bargeparty

Member
I've finished every souls game and Bloodborne.....several times. I know annoying game design when i see it, and what i described is definitely annoying. Take your passive aggressiveness elsewhere.

I guess you suck at them if you have to repeat boss fights enough where it becomes so annoying for you.
 
My oh my...when I got this game I wasn't aware that I would be playing DARK SOULS 4!! The bosses...please have mercy on this old tired gamer....

I'm no stranger to Souls games (beaten DS 1,2,3 and Boodborne without online assist) but I'm getting my ass handed to me during the second boss fight....
Nevermind...I just beat her.

Anotherone.gif
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
I guess you suck at them if you have to repeat boss fights enough where it becomes so annoying for you.

I guess you're a shithead who's being added to the ignore list

Like, you asked me what scenes i couldnt skip and i told you. Your response was to be a jackass in your reply with your "dont exxagerate too much" comment. If you don't want to have conversation where someone may point out legitimate gripes against a game without being ignorant, then don't ask followup questions. Simple right?
 
Last edited:

bargeparty

Member
I guess you're a shithead who's being added to the ignore list

Like, you asked me what scenes i couldnt skip and i told you. Your response was to be a jackass in your reply with your "dont exxagerate too much" comment. If you don't want to have conversation where someone may point out legitimate gripes against a game without being ignorant, then don't ask followup questions. Simple right?

You're being a whiny baby.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
I'm slowly digging my way through the game every day but I won't lie, I'm no liking the game the way I thought I'll be. The open-world nature kills the entire pacing, plus no guidance at all makes you lose even more time walking around looking where to go, the map is sometimes just like "go... here... somewhere... figure it out", then it turns out you took a wrong turn and walked 2 miles for nothing, your stuck in front of a corrupted wall and now you have to go back those 2 miles, and then another 2 to reach the objective from other side... Then there's all this backtracking which makes me think every time "do I have to figure out how to go through this, because there's all this blue stuff in here, or will I come back here later on with new skills?". Other than that everything is really really nice, but that open-world pacing is killing me :/
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
I'm slowly digging my way through the game every day but I won't lie, I'm no liking the game the way I thought I'll be. The open-world nature kills the entire pacing, plus no guidance at all makes you lose even more time walking around looking where to go, the map is sometimes just like "go... here... somewhere... figure it out", then it turns out you took a wrong turn and walked 2 miles for nothing, your stuck in front of a corrupted wall and now you have to go back those 2 miles, and then another 2 to reach the objective from other side... Then there's all this backtracking which makes me think every time "do I have to figure out how to go through this, because there's all this blue stuff in here, or will I come back here later on with new skills?". Other than that everything is really really nice, but that open-world pacing is killing me :/

Agree with all of this entirely. Overall though i'm enjoying my time with it, but i'm hoping if any sequels come, they address that, and the other little things that drag it down a bit.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Agree with all of this entirely. Overall though i'm enjoying my time with it, but i'm hoping if any sequels come, they address that, and the other little things that drag it down a bit.
I found myself also backtracking and lost at times. The game isn't that open world though. I think it's just that so much of the art design (while very nice looking) comes off as looking so visually similar that it feels easy to get turned around without a lot of distinguishable landmarks. Maybe that's how a forest really is, but it took me a bit of time to mentally map the areas I was in. Eventually I did, but I noticed being lost a few times.
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
Shrine guardian boss battle takes everything annoying with the battle system and amplifies it by 100%.

Unskippable 10 second boss spawning scene each time you try again.....nonstop spawning of little weak bastards with perfect aim to hit you when youre attacking the boss.....input reading boss attacks......who tested this shit and thought that its fun??

I really want to keep going but this game is testing the fuck out of my patience. I refuse to be a bitch and drop to easy mode either

EDIT- Just beat it....wtf that was seriously annoying though lol
 
Last edited:

Mossybrew

Member
EDIT- Just beat it....wtf that was seriously annoying though lol

LOL this seems to be a trend for you sloppyjoe. In future when you feel just frustrated enough to post, push on because you'll probably beat it within the next two attempts!

If you ever feel like you need a small tip on the bosses, this is a good resource: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/kena-bridge-of-spirits-bosses-boss-fights

Anyway I'm at the point where I think I have, two, maybe three bosses left. Kinda going slower now cause also playing FC6, but I also don't want this game to end, I really love it.
 
Last edited:

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
LOL this seems to be a trend for you sloppyjoe. In future when you feel just frustrated enough to post, push on because you'll probably beat it within the next two attempts!

If you ever feel like you need a small tip on the bosses, this is a good resource: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/kena-bridge-of-spirits-bosses-boss-fights

Anyway I'm at the point where I think I have, two, maybe three bosses left. Kinda going slower now cause also playing FC6, but I also don't want this game to end, I really love it.
It seems as soon as i vent here i beat the SOB lol
 

Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
Decided to wipe my save and start from scratch, am glad I did because second time round the game has clicked with me. It may not be the most innovative or sophisticated but its a thoroughly charming, beautiful looking game and really is starting to open up after about two hours of playtime. Incidentally I've completed three boss battles, whilst you need to be on your toes I certainly haven't seen anything (yet) that warrants some of the references to nigh on impossible tasks in overcoming them.

Only downside now is working all week, won't get to play it again until next weekend :messenger_pouting:
 

Mossybrew

Member
Well I have to say the final boss is actual bullshit. Well, not the boss itself but the checkpointing. The battle is a long, multi stage affair that switches up battling the boss, waves of enemies, even a platforming section. I died at the very last stage and it sent me all the way back to the beginning of this nonsense. I just said nope and closed out the game. Shitty end to what is otherwise a great experience.
 

engstra

Member
Well I have to say the final boss is actual bullshit. Well, not the boss itself but the checkpointing. The battle is a long, multi stage affair that switches up battling the boss, waves of enemies, even a platforming section. I died at the very last stage and it sent me all the way back to the beginning of this nonsense. I just said nope and closed out the game. Shitty end to what is otherwise a great experience.
The waves of enemies is fucking painful but once you make it out of that you get the rot back and are able to heal yourself. I'd say the ending is very much worth making your way through the fight
 

Mossybrew

Member
The waves of enemies is fucking painful but once you make it out of that you get the rot back and are able to heal yourself. I'd say the ending is very much worth making your way through the fight

Yeah I got all the way to the end, just got a bit careless and died. I may do another attempt at some point.
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
Ive never had a camera system completely ruin a battle system like this game does....like holy fuck its terrible. You lock onto something hit that and the camera swings to the ceiling, and meanwhile enemies behind you just whack the shit out of you. Just plain and simple needed more tuning and work, its making battles extremely frustrating when they shouldnt be.

Struggling to keep going as my infuriation with this glaring flaw in an otherwise amazing game grows. I refuse to go down to easy mode either. If i have to drop from normal to easy to make the game enjoyable, the game is flawed. Taking a break from it, may or may not go back to it. Too many other games to play that dont make me want to put my fist through the wall
 

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
lol i never stayed away long....the game (despite its combat system frustrations) hooks you in and brings you back. Just juggling this game and others at the moment. I hope this sold enough to get a sequel where they can really fine tune the combat system and camera.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Even though it just released earlier this year, speedrunners have already found ways to beat Kena: Bridge of Spirits in under 30 minutes. Ride along with members of the Kena: Bridge of Spirits development team from Ember Labs as they watch their game get completely broken by speedrunner SwiftShadow.

Participating in the commentary from Ember Labs are: Josh Grier (Producer/Writer), Tyler Kirk (Engineer), and James Beck (Combat Designer & Animator).
 

Humdinger

Member
I turned the difficulty down to Story mode, because I would've quit otherwise. As the combat ramped up, I found it more frustrating than fun. I'm not someone who is going to invest a lot of time in studying enemy patterns and getting the timing down. I just want to get on with it. I play games for the fun and relaxation, not for the challenge. I admit I'm not the most skilled gamer, so I'm quick to abandon games that just frustrate me. But I guess that's what Story mode is for -- people like me, who don't want to be arsed.

They made jewels a primary reward system in the game, yet the only thing you can spend them on is hats? Really? Come on.

I saw Skill Up talking about how emotionally evocative the story is. That's one of the reasons I picked the game up, but I'm not finding the story engaging. The characters are two-dimensional stereotypes with no personality and very little to say. It's a weird disjunction. The art style is almost cloyingly sentimental, but the story and characters are flat.

Edit: My comment about the story was unfair. I wasn't far enough into the game to judge. I'm farther now, and I see that it does have some genuinely good story moments. These are rather few and far between, and I stick to my statement about the characters being two-dimensional, but the story is better than I suggested above.
 
Last edited:

sloppyjoe_gamer

Gold Member
Ok, so i finished this last night! Overall, i was very happy with it, minus my previously mentioned weird lock-on and combat issues.

About the ending....

After seeing the ending and what a complete asshole Toshi was, i was kind of hoping he wouldn't get "saved".
 

Humdinger

Member
I finished the game just a moment ago. I wanted to share my thoughts about the storytelling. I think the game falls prey to the same thing that ruins a lot of modern movies -- heavy reliance on special visual effects + raw emotionality, but not backed up by any strong characters or depths of themes.

It's like they want to overpower you with special effects and "emotion" (whether cutesy or angry), but they haven't built the story and characters that would make any of that carry any weight. So you're left looking at the visual spectacle and going "uh, that looks cool," but not thinking or feeling anything in particular, because you don't really care about the characters or what is happening in the world. Story-wise, they spent all their time on painting the house but no time on the foundation.

If they get a good writer, and they tune down the difficulty, the sequel could be good. As is, I found it to be a colorful, cute distraction, but nothing that will stick with me. Just didn't connect with the characters or story. Didn't help that they only had a couple lines of dialog here and there.
 

ButchCat

Member
With no native HDR support I'm curious if people are still using the TV's game mode? An annoying experience that I had with this game is when I turn the game mode on the TV, the cutscenes are very choppy but with game-mode turned off the cutscenes are very smooth despite having all the enhanced motion settings turned off. I understand that these cutscenes are most likely pre-recorded and so with a lot of the post-processing effects off when game-mode is on it might have something to do with it but it's very annoying.
 

Roufianos

Member
Enjoying it so far but man, I'm sick of my exploration usually only being rewarded with useless blue shards. Like I give a shit about buying hats.
 
Enjoying it so far but man, I'm sick of my exploration usually only being rewarded with useless blue shards. Like I give a shit about buying hats.
Biggest downside to the game for me is no good discoverable items.

Should have given kena some alternate costumes or the rot some playstation mascot hats at the very least. Ratchet and Clank had some awesome unlocks
 
Last edited:

Combichristoffersen

Combovers don't work when there is no hair
Played and finished this about a month ago. Graphically it looks amazeballs, the gameplay is like a polished PS2-era action adventure platformer, and the story is decent enough. Overall it's a solid 8/10. This is the kind of studio I wish Sony would buy instead of Housemarque and goddamn Nixxes.
 
Top Bottom