Restless Soul is a very interesting 3-dimensional action RPG with minimalistic graphics and an old-school vibe while also doing things fresh. This is a title that enjoys making fun of itself while also providing a unique experience for fans of the genre.
So is Restless Soul an experience that will entertain as you collect all the keys to victory? Or does this soul just need to accept that they are dead and this is their fate? Let’s find out!
There is a place where souls go after they die, and they all arrive with pending issues, unresolved business, or regrets from their Life. This is why they all want to try and go back. At some point, though, they stop trying or are forced to stop. However, our protagonist learns rather quickly of a portal that will grant him access to Life again, but they need to find 8 keys in order to unlock the way to said portal.
Restless Soul is in some ways a standard action RPG. You meet various NPCs, you find and use potions when necessary, and you collect keys and maps (Some times even useless ones) as you travel from one area to the next. The various characters are all super-funny, and the overall feel of the game is quite meta, meaning all of the characters are aware that this is a video game. The narrator, particularly, is a riot, as they constantly offer you achievements, side-quests, and other things that normally amount to nothing, and it is always a good laugh.
The story is relatively simple, as you are just traveling around collecting the 8 keys in order to access the portal. However, DR KRULL is constantly in your way thwarting your plans as he prevents anyone from stopping him by terrorizing the various people and arresting anyone that stands in his way. It is good, clean fun, and the comedy is top-tier. The only complaint about the “story” is that text conversations can feel a bit too long, and since there is not a skip option, accidentally having the same conversation can be annoying.
Gameplay in Restless Soul is reminiscent of old Zelda games with twin-stick shooting. Essentially, you go from town to town which have their own towers that you have to defeat in order to obtain the key, and remember, we need 8 keys to access the portal. Towers are a mix of comedy, fighting minions, puzzles, and bosses, and there are even secrets spread throughout. Secrets can include things like potions, letters (We’ll talk about this later), and little children in cages.
The combat is honestly a bit on the simpler side. Anyone who has twin-stick experience will pick this up instantly and drill through the enemies, but if you are new to the genre, this may be a great entry into it. Restless Soul does feel like a twin-stick shooter on the light side, which helps tremendously in progressing more fluidly and carrying on with the story. However, this lack of difficulty and challenge does speed the game up, and again, veterans will blaze through this one with no problem at all.
Each town also has loads of NPCs to talk to, things and people to take pictures of (Yes, you have a camera), and collect letters. In every town, there are nine letters to find, some are really well hidden, that will ultimately spell AFTERLIFE. I am a huge fan of collecting items, so this was a great little challenge to add to my overall experience in each town. There are lots of gags throughout, so some times the goal is fake while other times it is legit. This can make some of the situations hit you by surprise, because you get so used to requests being cancelled or changed immediately that it is shocking to receive a real one.
The boss fights are worth talking about, as they are a step up from the average minion. Most of these boss fights require you to bob and weave the onslaught heading your way as you unleash your bullets on them. Bosses have a health meter that is visible on screen, but as I mentioned earlier, they are not so challenging for veterans of the genre. They are, however, fun to fight against and are definitely the most difficult part of the game (Which isn’t saying so much).
Graphically, Restless Soul is stunning! This is a black-and-white game with 3D models and textures, and the minimalistic design works wonderfully with the overall look and feel of the game. Despite the simplicity of design, all characters are recognizable, which is quite the feat considering this is all monochrome and pixelated. The towns, too, all have their own unique charm and presence thanks to the art style, and personally, I love that Fuz, the developer, makes appearances throughout the game as an entertaining NPC.
The music and sound effects are passable, but they are nothing of note. I do enjoy the classic text scrolling noises, and those make a lovely appearance. However, everything else sounds rather bland compared to others in the action RPG genre, particularly the soundtrack. It is not bad, by any means, but it is not memorable.
Restless Soul is a solid action RPG experience thanks mostly to the fun story and hilarious NPCs. There are so many jokes packed into this one that you may miss a chunk of them on your first playthrough. It is a relatively short experience if you blast through the towers and towns, but honestly, the best part of the game is talking to everyone and enjoying the laughs.
It may not have the most challenging combat, but it does feel like the combat is secondary to the story and the comedy, which is not a problem. I understand if you want to make a game easier for more people to enjoy the story, then you have to make that sacrifice. For Restless Soul, that is completely justified, because a high difficulty combined with off-the-wall comedy may be a bad combination. In my experience, the easy difficulty compliments everything else so well that I truly believe this is an excellent design.
For the price, you are getting a one of a kind experience on the Nintendo Switch, and Restless Soul will have you laughing from start to finish. Play for the combat, puzzles, and collections, but stay for the laughs and the jokes. It is worth every penny.
Fantastic comedy and nonstop jokes
Excellent NPCs and conversations
Secrets and collecting items are a blast
Excellent 3D monochrome art
Combat is rather easy, especially for veterans of twin-stick games
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.