Revitaby Aethyna May 4, 2022 | 1 Votes | 22 Played | 0 Reviews
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Centered around a young child who seems to be going through some tumulus emotions, Revita is a twin-stick action roguelite that combines elements from platformers, speedrun games, and bullet-hell, offering short bursts of hectic action as you make your way through the many floors of each tower in the game. Play, die and repeat just so you can return even stronger than before, unlocking new persistent upgrades as well as potentially lucking out on some powerful power-ups.
Unless you read the short story intro on the game’s Steam page, Revita really throws you in at the deep end when it comes to its storyline.
Even with the very brief cutscene and a mysterious boss in the tutorial, you barely know what’s happening, but know that you need to keep taking the metro to the various clocktowers ascending them just so you can defeat the big bad bosses at the very top.
However, there are little hints here and there, namely the name of the metro station and the boss names, that the nameless kid you’re playing as is going through something – maybe the stages of grief? – and had to wrestle with some pretty strong emotions. It is also possible that everything will be revealed at the end… if you do manage to reach the end.
In terms of its gameplay, Revita plays out like a rather typical platforming-based roguelite where the goal is to make it from one floor to another until you get to the final boss and defeat it.
You’ll start at what seems to be a metro station called Memoria Station. From there, you will then board a train to the very first tower, Gazing Grove – it’s always the same one. As you might expect, every tower comes with several floors and each floor will usually contain a set number of enemies that you’ll have to defeat before the exit unlocks and you’ll be able to proceed to the next one.
Occasionally, you may reach a floor that contains a statue where you can then ask for a blessing, or a soul room where you are given the choice whether or not you’d like to free the soul trapped there. Usually, it’s wise to free them since the souls will often be able to help you… usually at a price… during or after your run, and may move into the metro station to set up shop such as the Tinkerer.
Some floors even come with an adjacent room that you may or may not need to unlock using a key. The room may contain a chest that you can open, either for free or at a price. You might stumble upon the merchant, or the gambling lady where you’ll get to pick one out of three mysterious chests after paying a fee as well.
Now, interestingly enough, the price for… well almost everything during a run is your health (a.k.a. Hearts) or, in some cases, your maximum health. In a way, they work like currency in Revita. You’ll need to sacrifice some health to buy relics or power-ups from the merchant, gamble, or open certain chests. You can upgrade some of the more useful relics you get by paying the health price at the blacksmith when traveling in between towers as well.
Even asking for a blessing at the statue will cost you some health, though, the “how much health exactly?” part varies depending on which blessing you decide is worth taking.
What about heals, you may wonder? Well, the game does allow you to collect souls dropped from defeated enemies that will then charge up your soul meter. Once a segment of your meter is full, you can then unleash the souls to heal half of a Heart – and yes, your lives in this game is measured in number of Hearts. If you are at full health, a segment of the soul meter will then add half a Heart to your maximum number of Hearts, letting you to essentially increase the number of “lives” you have.
However, it’s not as easy to fill up even a segment of the soul meter and it may take several floors of enemies to do so. The number of enemies per floor matters, so is the fact that you must quickly collect the souls dropped if they are outside your auto-pick-up range since they will disappear after some time.
So, in some ways, there’s a bit of give and take here. It can be quite the dilemma whether or not to grab that costly but super helpful relic at the risk that you might accidentally get hit by a stray projectile and prematurely end your run due to your greatly reduced health and lack of heals. Not to mention, some relics-ups in this game come with “curses” or “blessings”, making it even more of a headache to decide whether that power-up is worth taking if it comes with a curse.
If it’s a blessing, then it’s probably a no-brainer!
There are an incredible number of power-ups and relics in Revita that you can mix and match depending on your luck in encountering them during a run and whether or not you are willing to pay the price to add them to your inventory. Some are, naturally, more useful than others but it all boils down to your own playstyle and how a certain power-up best fit your play.
Combat in this game feels smooth and satisfying here. The controls are very responsive and you’ve got an array of tools that you can use to avoid the bullet-hell-like projectiles that often cover parts of the screen, such as dash and jump (or even wall jump!).
Speed is also a key factor in this game especially once you unlock that “Chainmeter” expansion at the Tinkerer, which you should definitely do as soon as you can. The reason? It’ll allow you to quickly earn more souls by chaining up kills.
Now, personally, I find Revita to be fairly easy to play and might even be suitable for kids, despite the game’s rather depressing theme. Even the bosses here are all pretty fun to take on. They usually have at least 2 stages of combat and will often switch to a more aggressive stage once their health dropped below 50%. As mentioned by the very first boss you meet in the tutorial, bosses here scale up and become more difficult to defeat every playthrough you make, so you might want to make the most of every run you play.
Unfortunately, unlike some other roguelites that I’ve played before, both the towers and the bosses associated with each specific tower are not randomized so you know what boss you’ll be facing in your subsequent runs after the first encounter. I reckon this might end up making the game feels quite predictable after an Nth number of runs. That said, this worked out for roguelites like Children of Morta, so I reckon it works for Revita too.
Like all roguelites, as you progress, you’ll eventually unlock more game features in Revita, including fishing.
There are unfortunately some issues with the game that isn’t exactly game-breaking since there are workarounds, but it’s still annoying nonetheless. For instance, it took me quite some time to find the reason why Revita keeps crashing on start-up – I had to plug in my controllers despite wanting to play using the keyboard and mouse. Thankfully though, I was still able to play using my controls of choice, and I kept the controllers plugged in just in case the game crashes again mid-game if I unplug it.
Fan of pixel art? You’ll definitely dig the visuals in Revita! The graphics look incredible here and I love that the game seems to be taking place in the background of the screen rather than the foreground which consists of some shadowy foliage.
The music and sound effects here have no business being this good either! Every hit you make feels impactful and the upbeat music just want to keep you going. The soundtrack changes depending on where you are too. Personally, I think the one that plays at the merchant is pretty dope but the one at Gazing Grove is hands-down the best of the lot.
Revita is truly a hidden indie gem and it is the first game out of the gate for game studio, BenStar, too! Besides having beautiful art and music, the gameplay is absolutely delightful, making the game so addictive – one more run! – to play. Despite being a roguelite, Revita isn’t too punishing either as long as you make every run count, grab good relics and power-ups, and advance as much as possible towards the ending.
On the downside, there are still some issues with the game – bugs mostly - that the developers will need to work on, but since they are very active with patches, I’m pretty sure any bugs that popped up will be stomped on pretty fast.