Review – Raji: An Ancient Epic

I had my eye on Raji: An old epic, since I first saw a trailer for him a few months ago. Over the years, countless games have represented Greek, Norwegian and Japanese culture, but this is one of the first games where I saw the emphasis on Indian culture. I love exploring these other cultures, but they’ve played so many games that they’re starting to feel a little old-fashioned. That was Raji’s first joke: An old epic for me. After all, a game that seems to me to be immersed in a rich and relatively unexplored culture that I don’t know much about. I was just hoping the game would be as interesting as it sounds.

Raji’s story: The old epic comes a thousand years after the last great war between gods and demons. Demons always feel humiliated after their defeat and enter the mortal realm where, after so many years of thinking that they are completely defeated, people have come to rest. Not ready to attack, they easily fall into the demon trap. They play for Titular Raji, a little girl whose younger brother, Gola, has been kidnapped by demons. Because she felt the great power within her, she was chosen by the gods to protect mankind from the dark forces.

The demon takes the Gola out of Raji’s hands.

This is a large part of the story that is given to you, and it is skillfully conveyed by the style of the shadow puppetry, a bit like any other game I’ve seen recently, Projection : First light. I wish the story went a little deeper, but it still gives you enough to be interested. During the game the two gods Vishnu and Durga Raji observe and comment on their progress. They sometimes think of past events with other gods, which is a clever way to make an explanatory presentation more organic.

Other parts of the plot are scattered in different ways. For example, every element of the plot that refers to a central story is told by shadow puppets. However, you can learn small passages in the history of Raji and Golu by filling in puzzles with mandala rings that form a meticulous picture of their past. You can also discover the many Hindu and Balinese deities through various tapestries and stone carvings. Although it is fascinating to learn about the many gods of Indian culture, I feel that an opportunity has been missed here. I think it would be nice if the gods somehow achieve more in reality than a few fights with the bosses.

Is it me, or does God look like Ron Swanson on the left?

Fortunately, the gameplay is very funny. Raji: The ancient epic is a fast isometric rhythm of n hacking a slash, very similar to the first games of the god of war. When I saw the trailer for this game, my first thought was that it looked like an old school set up by the God of War in India. To be honest, that’s still the best way to describe it.

The battle is fast and fluid. Eventually Raji will have access to four weapons: Stick, bow, sword and shield and the chakram. Each of them has its strengths and weaknesses, and Raji can compensate if he finds the favor of the gods. This will allow him to fill them with mystical power in the form of three elementary branches: Lightning, fire and ice. The idea is good, but unfortunately a bit in terms of diversity. Each branch actually offers the same type of relocation or bonus, but with different elements. What initially seemed like an exciting levelling system soon became unbearable.

You must be aware of the vastness of some of these creatures.

The same goes for the fight in general. It’s fair to say that control is tight and responsive. The problem is that with all the brilliance of the movements, the effect is not enough. You can see how the attacks land, but the feeling of impact is not strong enough. This may be due to the lack of more dynamic combat animations or maybe even a bad sound design, but for some reason something seems to be missing. Even the animation of the target is not spectacular. On the other hand, I may be too spoiled by the god of war.

One of the biggest problems with Raji: An old epic with controls. From time to time Raji moves in a completely different direction than when you aim an analog stick. It’s not that important when you show up, although it’s confusing, of course. However, it is detrimental to any section that obliges them to use any type of platform. There were a few sections where I died over and over again because Raji was about to make a leap into oblivion. Fortunately, the game is automatically saved often, but this is frustrating and can stop the game from running. I hope one day there will be a patch to solve this problem.

In a way, even the desert is beautiful.

Hard control to the side, Raji: The old epic is visually absolutely overwhelming. As an isometric game, the camera is fixed in the correct position, but fortunately this has never hindered the game. It also allows, as with the god of war, dramatic brushstrokes that reveal the landscape in an epic way. Artistic design is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the game. Each level looks very different. The plains range from urban markets to tranquil temples, from overgrown jungles to arid deserts.

Each area has its own set of enemies, but they are limited to only three or four types on each level. It’s good that each area is so different, but I would like to see more variation in the enemy. Fortunately, the patterns are truly unique. Not only in their looks, but also in the way they fight. Someone will have to fight, someone will have to know when and how to attack, and someone will accept pure deception. Fighting bosses was the best part of the game, and I wish there was more of them.

Is there a snake charmer somewhere?

Sound design is Raji’s domain: It’s the old epic that’s the hardest. The main soundtrack is excellent, but the Battle of the Bosses themes are not epic enough. This is more like normal values. The sound effects are worthy, except for the battle. Like I said, the sound just doesn’t have enough effect for the attacks. The strikes don’t seem to have enough weight to give the attacks the visceral quality that an action game needs. And there is also a voice that ranges from the ordinary, at its best, to the absolutely ridiculous.

There’s no denying that Raji..: A centuries-old epic is a visual delight.

Bye, Raji: Ancient Epic has its drawbacks, especially in terms of control and sound design, but I strongly recommend playing it anyway. As this is the first release at the Nodding Heads Games, I’m deeply impressed with the results. A fight is fun, the surroundings are beautiful and Mythen is a refreshing dive into new territory. I was disappointed when the story ended so suddenly, but it seemed like it was clearly the preparation to move on. I hope so, as Raji: Ancient Epic is doing well, and the Nodding Heads games can get more funding, they can make a second episode, which is really epic.

This game is absolutely brilliant. Each level seems to be completely different in terms of furniture, and the patterns seem large. I wish there was more hostile diversity. This is a fast and fun game of diagonal hacking with lots of combat animations. Only a few weapons have their own characteristics. However, some attacks aren’t heavy enough for them, and there are distortions that make you move or jump in a direction other than the one you’re aiming for.
The soundtrack is good, but the music of a boss fight isn’t epic enough. Some of the sound effects require more strokes to be effective. The voice works in a range from bad to moderate. Bye, Raji: The old epic has some technical problems, and the story that ends suddenly is always an explosion. Battles are fun, Wednesdays are chin-kicking, and boss fights are just as beautiful as the first God of War.
Phrase: 7.5

Raji: Ancient Epic is now available for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Review on the Xbox One X.

A copy of Raji: An old epic has been provided by the publisher.

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