TowerFall Ascension PS4 Review

Review Score

TowerFall: Ascension

PSU Review Score
8.0
Avg. user review score:
0.0

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Summary

TowerFall Ascension is a great example of how far originality can carry a game that is so simple to instant classic status. There are things that could be done to drastically improve the overall package, but the sum of its parts are overwhelmingly enjoyable. Matt doesn't just make games, Matt makes great games.

We like

  • Incredible amount of originality.
  • Great use of the DualShock 4's lightbar and speaker.

We dislike

  • Lack of online support.

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

Trial has you compete against the clock to take out a set amount of targets in the shortest period of time possible, so if you enjoy competing with friends on a leaderboard this is the mode for you. Every Trial presents its own set of challenges that you must surpass with very little time to spare. In terms of difficulty, Trial is incredibly punishing at times and if you find yourself determined to win you might be spending quite a long period of time replaying certain Trials over and over again.

All of TowerFall Ascension's modes host a fair amount of replay value. It all depends on how competitive of a person you are, but one thing that stands in the way of TowerFall having endless hours of gameplay is the lack of Online support. Versus and Trial in particular, would have benefited greatly from online support. Online leaderboards for Trial mode would have been a real game changer, but without them Trial lacks any real sense of replay value. The average gamer will most likely just complete the challenges and never revisit Trial mode. The ability to play Versus with friends is great and by no means should that be dropped, but having the ability to play with people online would have made this particular component of the game much more accessible. Hopefully in the future online support will be added.

In terms of gameplay, TowerFall does everything it should do and a bit more. Having the ability to dodge quickly in the direction of your choosing by tapping L2 or R2 gives a new level of mobility to 16-bit combat that has never been seen before. High mobility is important in all the gameplay modes that make up TowerFall. You always start with only three arrows, so it is important to make those shots count and if you don't, make sure you're fast at picking those arrows back up. If you are unable to reclaim your ammo then your only option is to jump on the head of your opponent, and this is when knowing the arena layout is incredibly helpful. A big part of what makes TowerFall's gameplay challenging and addicting are the portals around the top, bottom, and sides of the arena that give you and your opponents the ability to fire and traverse in ways that can be difficult to describe and keep track of. TowerFall is a game of keeping an eye on your surroundings and if you lose focus for a second it's game over.

On the visual side, TowerFall Ascension is quite charming. Its 16-bit visuals are a throw back to what many gamers today consider the golden age of the gaming industry. The variety in level design is impressive and because of it, every level feels new and nothing feels like it has been rehashed. The attention to detail is staggering given the overarching visual simplicity. Small details like matching the DualShock 4's light bar color to your characters life gem color make the TowerFall experience shine and help you feel more immersed in the game.

The sound effects and music in TowerFall Ascension do a fantastic job of completing the retro gaming experience by taking great inspiration from games past. Dominating your friends in 16-bit combat has never sounded better due to the satisfyingly silly death noises that come from DualShock 4's speaker. Matt Makes Games did a fantastic job of avoiding using all the unique resources available on the PS4 in a non-gimmicky way and instead finding a way to elevate the overall gaming experience.

TowerFall Ascension is a great example of how far originality can carry a game that is so simple to instant classic status. There are things that could be done to drastically improve the overall package, but the sum of its parts are overwhelmingly enjoyable. Matt doesn't just make games, Matt makes great games.

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