Welcome to Indie September! Raji: An Ancient Epic. I was immediately drawn to it when watching the latest Nintendo Indie World Direct, and I bought it right away.
An action-adventure with a badass female protagonist wielding magical weapons? Heck yeah – count me in!
Om Namah Shivaya.
I absolutely love Ancient stories. Greek, Egyptian, Indian, all of it. Raji: An Ancient Epic is deep-rooted in the ancient epics of India. In a world of gods and demons, Raji has to gain confidence and learn inner strength in order to save her younger brother, Golu, from the clutches of the Demon Lord Mahabalasura. With some help from the Gods, naturally.
If you’re unfamiliar with India and her ancient history, the game is more than happy to fill you in. Throughout your journey, you’ll come across (optional) interactive murals depicting the story of the various Hindu gods and goddesses that make up the religion.
From the creation of the world to the epic war between the gods and demons, you can use the murals to answer any questions you might have about Raji‘s backstory. Or not. You can just keep slaying demons instead. Totally up to you!
Har har, Mahadev!
This game isn’t straightforward in the slightest, but sort of in a good way. You have a simple set of combos to get you through your adventures through India to save your brother. I love that you can use the environment around you for some sick combos.
The game’s devs know how to keep things interesting, giving you new skills and weapons at the right moments which then gives you even more combat combos to learn and use. And when you think the enemies weren’t challenging you, Raji throws an epic boss with their own individual learning curves.
On top of that, Raji: An Ancient Epic is just an absolutely gorgeous game. Its environments are so beautifully crafted that it does make me forget about the game’s frustrations – albeit only for a moment.
Om Dum Durgayei Namaha
I mentioned in the title of this review that Raji: An Ancient Epic isn’t perfect and I have to admit that it really isn’t. During the first hour of gameplay, I experienced some bugs that were incredibly frustrating. Some of them stifled progress, and some of them just had me stuck in a wall, unable to escape until I restarted the game.
One bug, in particular, caused the game to freeze just as the enemy fight sequence started. The music kept playing but I couldn’t move, I couldn’t fight. I was hesitant to restart the game because I wasn’t sure where the last checkpoint was, or when the game last autosaved.
Despite loving the combat system, I do have a major problem with how much more difficult the bosses are compared to regular enemies. With the exception of random bugs, the bosses were some of the only reasons why I kept dying. Regular enemies had nothing on them. And it got frustrating.
Bugs and combat aside, I have a few issues with how the story plays out. I can’t continue writing about the problems I have without spoiling the story. So, I’m just going to say that there was a massive lack of fluidity and it lacked the epicness you’d expect from a game with “epic” in its title. (Yes, I do know that they mean “epic” as in “story”)
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Raji: An Ancient Epic is a bit like old school God of War but based in India and with a lot less violence and blood and gore… I mean it in the “top-down view” and combat-heavy-with-few-combos kind of way. It serves the game well and its rich story even more so.
I do wish that the game was more polished than it currently is. A smooth-sailing playthrough would have made a bigger impact on my experience, though I do appreciate the challenges this indie team might have faced while creating such a beautiful game.
I do have to say that if you ever hear someone complain about not being able to do something because of their dress, tell them that Raji beat up demons and saved India all while wearing a choti. At least…I think it’s a choti…
Blaise gib dis game…
I bought this game on the Nintendo eShop for $22.49 thanks to the support of my Ultimate Bit Patron, Dylan. The game is available now on Nintendo Switch and soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Screenshots are all mine tqvm 🙂
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