I could tell you how many times I died during my time with Titan Souls, but that would just be embarrassing. I wanted to throw my DualShock 4 controller or my PlayStation Vita across the room more than once, and actually spend time playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin to relax after lengthy session of Titan Souls — yeah, it’s that hard. But, despite the difficulty, Titan Souls has a certain charm about it, one that kept me going back to it again and again.
What a Wonderful World
Maybe it is the Zelda-esque feel to it. Titan Souls begins with an unnamed and unexplained protagonist, plopping him or her down in the middle of a massive world with only boss-like enemies (I’ll call them Titans) to interact with. There are a variety of separate parts of the world, such as an snowy area, a lava-ridden area, a forest area, and so on. Players may freely explore this world when not hunting Titans, looking at the different landscapes or solving tiny puzzles. Each area has a few Titans tucked away in their dens, which players must find and enter to actually encounter the Titans. The Titans in the fire world take on the attributes of fire, the Titans in the icy worlds take on ice or water attributes, and it is this that is so reminiscent of Zelda.
The art helps to remind me of the other game, too. The art looks like a combination of a Super Nintendo version of Zelda mashed up with Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. The world is beautiful, bright, and charming. Combined with the game’s wonderful soundtrack, which stayed with me even after turning my PS4 off, Titan Souls is simply gorgeous and inviting. This is why, after dying around 100 times (yes, you can laugh), I never truly wanted to completely smash my PS4 or PS Vita into little bits.
One Hit, One Kill
Part of what makes Titan Souls so difficult are the one hit kills. If a Titan touches you, either with a spell or a weapon or just its body, you almost always instantly die. There are no little hears or a health bar — nope. The only way to stay alive is to make use of the “roll” button frequently and strategically, using it to nimbly dodge enemy blows.
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The good thing is that while you will die after only one hit, the Titans usually do to. You’re armed with only a bow and one arrow. You can shoot the arrow, and then can use the same button to bring the arrow zipping back into your hands. Most of the time, you’ll be aiming at a clearly visible weak spot on a Titan, which usually shows itself as a brightly colored or glowing mark. Shooting this once generally instantly kills a Titan, although some enemies need to be defeated through slightly more clever ways. I don’t want to give anything away myself, but be prepared to check on YouTube a lot on strategies on how to kill certain Titans.
While a bow with only one arrow sounds pretty useless, it actually can come in handy every so often. After you shoot the arrow and begin to call it back, it will move in your direction with its point facing towards you. While the point won’t hurt you when it finally comes back, it will hurt any Titan in its way. This can become very useful when an enemy has a weak spot on its back, and being able to correctly manipulate both the shooting of and the calling back of the arrow is vital to doing well.
While Titan Souls is a brutally difficult game, it won’t have you giving up right away. Thanks to beautiful visuals and a memorable soundtrack, it is one of those games that will stick with you. If you like a good challenge, then Titan Souls is a must-buy.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.