STAFF REVIEW of Ary and the Secret Of Seasons (Xbox One)


Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
by Kirsten Naughton

Ary and the Secret Of Seasons Box art I love adventure and exploration games. I find a sense of achievement seeing the main story of a campaign from beginning to the ending credits. I love learning about the ins and outs, the story behind the game and what kind of journey I'm going to get myself into. Ary and the Secret of Seasons at first looked like one of those games that I wouldn't be able to put down, and for the most part, I couldn't put it down initially. But in terms of gameplay and my overall opinion, well, I'll get into that because I have a lot to say.

You begin your journey as Ary, a girl whose town has been invaded by mysterious red crystals and the season has been mysteriously changed from Winter to Spring. Now, Ary has to go seek out the Guardians of the Seasons to help her restore her town's season. Along with fixing the town, Ary has to also seek out her brother whom has gone missing. The story isn't exactly ground breaking, but it's simple and to the point. Sure there could be a little more depth, but I'll take what I can get.

There are four Season Spheres; Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Ary gains this power when she visits the Guardians of the Seasons. When you activate a Season Sphere, a big bubble surrounds you as you're in the middle of it, and whatever the season, the environment will change. For example, if you're standing on ice in the middle of a small lake, you can activate any of the three seasons and that ice will disappear. Long story short, the environment can be manipulated when using different spheres.


Ary and the Secret of Seasons isn't exactly difficult combat wise, as it's generally rather easy. One button will usually suffice as the complexity is very low. You don't have a lot of choice for weapons unfortunately. I used the same weapon throughout my playthrough until the end. I personally wanted to see some customization or upgrades be available. The upgrades I saw available, I never had enough gold for me to purchase them which felt like it was a huge missed opportunity. I feel like if a player can upgrade, or at least get new weapons, then they may be more willing to play more.

During my gameplay, I only had one boss fight which was the Winter Temple boss, Muscari, though he was rather easy to defeat once I got the hang of his movements. Unfortunately, after Muscari, I was sent to beat the other three bosses, but I got stuck within a Water Temple and couldn't get myself out of it to save my life. There are only three rooms and none of them I could figure out how to get to the next bosses I was expected to get to. There was a small puzzle you had to solve to get you within the actual temple, but no actual way to proceed further. The ruins/puzzles that I was able to successfully complete were fantastic; rather simple, but I'm by no means upset by that. Having said that, I would have appreciated some form of difficulty spike at some point. Usually, you'd have to select the appropriate Season Sphere and activate which one you'd need to and follow along to the next steps.


While fighting hyenas, when they were defeated, some may glitch and lay dead in mid air. I found this a little comical but this happened just about every time I fought with any form of enemy. The only time it really didn't constantly happen was in boss fights. Another glitch that bothered me a little too much was the one where I was walking on snow in one of the areas. I'm aware that no video game no matter how good it is will never be perfect, but unfortunately Ary and the Secret of Seasons can't possibly keep everything a secret. While I found most of my experience with Ary positive, the glitches were a glaring issue. Although not a dealbreaker, it needs to be noted as it doesn't just happen with enemies. You'll find as well that there will be a bunch of odd occurrences such as framerate plummeting, unachievable quests and gameplay freezing in the middle of playing. It breaks my heart when I see a game that just needed more time to develop and get all the bugs sorted out.

The voice acting was another thing that I felt was a bit of a letdown. I don't expect phenomenal voice acting in a smaller game like this, but I don't necessarily feel that the voice acting itself was the biggest problem. The script, while charming, in some spots lacked follow-through or proper English dialogue. I felt the script to be choppy where sentences both spoken vocally and on the screen wouldn't make sense. I found it amusing for a little while, but was a little upsetting to find it was throughout my entire time with Ary.


I love, love, LOVE collecting things in video games. I'm almost always the one who wants to complete an entire area and go collecting crazy. Ary and the Secret of Seasons was unfortunately one of those titles that I spent very little time combing every inch of an area to make sure I got every little thing. In most games, there is a purpose to collecting things; you can proceed to the next level or area, you can open up a special quest, etc. This isn't the case here. You can collect the chests and messages if you want, but you could go through and collect none too. It's not a requirement. This made me a little sad, as it would have been great to have a real reason to do so. Much like the chests and messages, you can also collect costumes, hats and shoes for Ary. For what purpose, visual pleasure maybe? That new jacket you just equipped does nothing for Ary. It doesn't up her defense, attack... or anything. If that's your thing to collect costumes and hats and dress up your characters, go for it. But I like collecting for a purpose.

I'm usually willing to cut a game a lot of slack if it makes up for it in other areas. Ary and the Secret of Seasons feels like needed to be worked on just a little longer. There are far too many glaring issues that need to be addressed before I can give someone at least a 'Give er a try' recommendation. I mean, I can't tell you what to do, but I would proceed with a bit of caution while playing through Ary and the Secret of Seasons. It has a fantastic idea at its core, but this one I just can't fully stand behind right now.




Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10

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