La review by Saint Seiya Awakening: the new mobile game dedicated to Knights of the Zodiac traces the events of the series created by Masami Kurumada up to the Hades saga, bringing all the characters seen in the manga to the screen and giving life to engaging strategic clashes in which the various Saints can resort to their most characteristic moves: the Pegasus Lightning Bolt, the Rising Dragon Strike, the Diamond Dust and so on. Not only that: the most mistreated Bronze Knights are also given wide prominence, which can be included in your party to increase the variety of situations and discover maneuvers never seen before.
In short, we will have Jabu of the Unicorn that attacks several targets at the same time, Nachi of the Wolf that increases the power of a companion of your choice during the turn, Castalia (Marin dell'Aquila in the original) that acts as a support unit with healing powers, and many others. The formula of the game is exactly the same seen very recently in Fist of the North Star Legends ReVive, as well as the philosophy behind both projects, which include a codex in which all the characters as they are unlocked and cutscenes that in the case of Saint Seiya they cannot count on the quality of SEGA's cinematics (there are few scenes from the last anime), but this time again they recall the original comic plates on several occasions.
The main screen of Saint Seiya Awakening is very crowded, as often happens with oriental productions, and you have to do a little practice before understanding what the various voices are for. Traditional summoning mechanisms are present to get new ones Knights and extra characters that we can insert in the party or "sacrifice" for the rebirth techniques of our main fighters, which increase the stars of the relative card by overcoming the boundaries of "rarity" pre-established and allowing us to focus on the protagonists we like the most instead of support the classification of the game. The same system is used to improve the singles moves available to each Knight, while two different currencies regulate the expenditure for the upgrades.
Do you have to spend real money to be able to play without problems? Actually no: although the microtransactions represent an integral part of the experience, with numerous references to more or less rich paid packages, it is possible to proceed in history without particular problems as long as you have a little patience and fall back on secondary quests and / or special missions in order to grow the team and reach the level necessary to face certain opponents. In the same vein, the action energy is very abundant and allows you to play for hours without having to wait for it to be restored: from this point of view the approach chosen by the developers appears rather permissive, even if the grinding inevitably becomes a must after a few hours.
The structure is particularly rich, as you may have guessed: not only is it possible to retrace the events of the series in great detail, but also to relive memories of the past or face the demons (literally) of each Knight in order to obtain experience points useful for progression. There are sections where you move within the scenery, albeit in a simplistic way, to then interact with the enemies that we are going to face, but it is precisely the fights that constitute the fulcrum of the gameplay. As mentioned, the formula adopted is exactly the same as we recently saw in Fist of the North Star Legends ReVive, although some important tricks fortunately manage to liven it up, making it more varied.
In fact, a few games are enough to bring the team to include five elements, from chapter four the rank of difficulties becomes interesting (before that point the challenges are solved in a rather banal way) but above all there is an abundant repertoire of moves that diversifies the attacks and enhances the strategic element, enriching itself as the upgrade. If therefore the game of Fist of the Warrior it takes a lot of time to reach this type of setting, that of the Knights of the Zodiac does it practically immediately, to the benefit of the fun and the desire to return to face new battles.
The technical realization is also in this case closely linked to the anime: as mentioned there are no quality cinematics seen in the SEGA tie-in and the interlude sequences have to be satisfied with the in-game graphics, which however appear very well done and can be adjusted in the level of detail and in the fluidity of the frame rate to adapt to terminals not of the latest generation. The special moves were very well represented, quite spectacularly, but it's there colonna sonora to make the difference: the music are the original ones of the cartoon and accompany the action in a big way, significantly increasing the involvement, especially for longtime fans of Saint Seiya. Too bad for the instability of the servers, which at the moment suffer from some too many uncertainties and affect the experience in competitive games due to excessive latency.
Saint Seiya Awakening succeeds in the goal of bringing the Knights of the Zodiac on iOS and Android devices with a full-bodied and fun strategic RPG, which unlike Fist of the North Star Legends ReVive has the ability to involve from the very beginning thanks to the greater variety of moves and characters, as well as a degree of challenge that becomes a substantial minimum already from the fourth chapter of the campaign. We are talking about a product made with care and passion, which includes all the characters of the series (complete with a codex to learn more about them), the original music of the anime and a gameplay solid enough to keep the fans of the various Pegasus glued for a long time, Sirio and Crystal.
- Lots of characters to unlock
- Massive campaign, solid gameplay
- Great graphics, original anime music
- Some problems with the servers
- Heavy at the highest quality
- The freemium mechanisms make themselves felt after a few hours