Blossom Tales Preview – A inspired action-adventure

Greetings and welcome, I’m Ash and today I
would like to give you a bit of a preview for Blossom Tales – a 2D action-adventure
heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda. As you might expect given its influence, Blossom
Tales features numerous dungeons to delve, a variety of monsters to defeat through either
sword or sorcery, and naturally, a whole bunch of puzzles to solve via the generous application
of bombs. Wrap all of that up with some charming visuals
and a surprisingly catchy soundtrack and you’ve got yourself a rather intriguing adventure
game. Before you get too excited, however, allow
me to just say that Blossom Tales is still under heavy development, and as such isn’t
expected to arrive before 2017. On the positive side, I recently got a preview
copy to try out and so I would love to give you a glimpse of what Blossom Tales is all
about, what it does well, and what areas still needs improvement. So without further delays, let’s jump in! Given that I’ve compared Blossom Tales to
Zelda, perhaps one of the most influential games of all time, it would probably be wise
for me to start by explaining why this is so. I mean, how similar could these two games
really be? Well, let’s just say that if you replaced
the visuals and music you could easily fool people into thinking that Blossom Tales is
Nintendo’s return to A Link to the Past style of Zelda games. They are that similar in spirit! They both feature a young hero that fights
primarily through the use of a sword and shield combo, and they even have exactly the same
special items (Bow, Bombs, Shovel, etc.) which can be used in combat or for puzzle solving. And speaking of combat, the mechanics are
almost exactly the same as Zelda’s, though Blossom Tales does take the concept a lot
further by introducing slightly more complicated enemies and puzzles. But perhaps the most telling comparison is
that your character even has the same sort of desire for wanton destruction of private
property, as well as an incessant need to destroy any and all pottery! Blossom Tales follows Zelda’s example when
it comes to pottery and money If they didn’t want their pots destroyed they
wouldn’t have filled them with gold! While some people might argue that this sort
of homage is a bad thing because its ‘ripping off Zelda’, I would argue the opposite. Blossom Tales borrows heavily from Zelda,
that is completely true, but it isn’t a straight up copy. There are numerous changes, both small and
large, that have been implemented in order to correct some of Zelda’s problems, or just
to add new and interesting things to do. As such I consider Blossom Tales to be more
of an evolution of the concept than a simple rip off, though whether it does things better
than Zelda I’ll leave for you to decide. Now that we’ve gotten through that minefield
of a topic, lets move on to my favorite aspect of any action-adventure – the exploration! Much like Zelda, and get used to me saying
this, Blossom Tales features a gigantic overworld you can practically explore at your leisure. Naturally, you’ll find plenty of barriers
you can only break by finding the appropriate item or special key, but otherwise you’re
free to roam the world and take in the sights. Given that I’ve seen a couple of screenshots
beforehand I knew that Blossom Tales features an expansive world, but what really surprised
me was how little of it was mandatory to explore. Your heroic quest will usually send you to
into some sort of a temple or dungeon, the entrance to which is only one or two ‘screens’
large, with the rest of the world simply being there to add flavor… or to hide secrets! I am not sure how many there are, and to be
perfectly honest if I knew they wouldn’t be very secret, but I found numerous piles of
hidden treasure throughout my journey. There was even one moment when I discover
a random hole in the ground that contained a brand new item – something that is quite
shocking to see given how much Zelda games rely on giving you items at a predetermined
pace. Mind you, the shovel I found wasn’t that amazing,
but it did make me excited every time I ran across any bump in the ground – because you
never know when one of those might contain a bunch of money… or even a new sword! My preview build only had access to a relatively
small portion of the overworld, but the stuff I’ve seen so far gives me great hope for Blossom
Tales. Its obvious the developers understand what
makes roaming the world in Zelda games so enjoyable, and as such they’ve decided to
copy the best parts, and improve upon the rest. But no action-adventure is complete without
the action, and it is here that Blossom Tales resembles Zelda the most. As I’ve mentioned previously you’ll spend
most of your time beating up enemies with a sword and a shield, and if you’ve ever played
A Link to the Past you know exactly how this works. You have a short ranged swing that does moderate
damage, a charged attack that takes a little while before unleashing a whirlwind of blades,
and for those pesky enemies that don’t feel like dropping over dead you also have a variety
of special items to use. Where Blossom Tales differs from Zelda, however,
is in the difficulty. You won’t hear me say that its an incredibly
challenging game, far from it, but it does feature not only more enemies, but also a
greater number of them that require special tactics. Even during the first hour of gameplay I had
to dodge 3-4 archers, 2 teleporting wizards with homing attacks, and 2-3 massive enemies
with a whole bunch of HP to their name… at the same time! Since you have more than enough tools to deal
with all of these threats the combat is never anything more than slightly challenging, but
it does a good job of keeping you on your toes and constantly moving. The reason the combat isn’t as brutal as it
could be is the simple fact that you don’t have to pay for your special items. You don’t need to buy bombs or arrows, using
them simply drains a rapidly regenerating stamina bar. You obviously can’t just throw bombs around
like they’re going out of season, the stamina bar is there to prevent that, but you are
able to pretty much demolish any even remotely difficult enemy you encounter. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it made me use more special items,
something I always had trouble with in Zelda given that I always kept them ready for the
‘next big boss’, but on the other it also means that the iconic sword is mostly pointless. Why bother risking your life by slicing and
dicing through a horde of enemies when you can simply stand back and chuck bomb after
bomb at them? If it were up to me I would either make these
special items less powerful in combat, or at the very least have them drain more stamina
in order to prevent the player from trivializing most encounters. While it might seem like a simple solution
to just make these special items require you to actually purchase them before usage, that
little change would invalidate both of the dungeons I’ve had a chance to visit so far. What I mean by this is that the dungeons feature
much more item-based puzzle solving than in Zelda. I remember one room in particular where I
needed to hit four switches at the same time, an act that requires both good bomb timing
and aim, which would be nearly impossible with Zelda’s system. And honestly, that would be a massive shame
given that some of these puzzles are perfectly enjoyable, even though the ones shown so far
are somewhat on the simple side. Outside of these specific examples, the dungeons
in Blossom Tales are once again quite similar to Zelda’s. They are all fairly lengthy and require you
to prove every single one of your skills before you can proceed to the boss, and as you might
expect, they always award you with a new item with which you can solve previously inaccessible
puzzles. It is an extremely simple system, and one
that has been proven to work time and time again throughout the years, so I’m happy to
say that its implementation in Blossom Tales is just as good! The only aspect I would consider weak, and
this is a complaint I have with Zelda as well, is that the early bosses are a complete cakewalk. Their attacks are so predictable and slow
that getting hit is highly unlikely, but even if you do get hit they will only chop off
half of a heart, essentially giving you the ability to mess up as many times as you want. You could argue that this is OK because they
are all early-game bosses, but the problem here is that they are actually weaker than
some of the arenas that precede them. I would rather go up against a slow-moving
snake boss than to fight a room with dozens of fast-moving bandits that will try to attack
you from behind. Hopefully this is something that will be corrected
in the release version, because right now the bosses are more or less trivial while
the ‘trash’ enemies can and will occasionally pound you into the dirt. While I can understand not wanting to die
over and over again to a tough boss, there is one feature of Blossom Tales that might
change your mind – the music! Much to my surprise, almost all of the soundtrack
is pretty damn awesome and perfectly fit for the area it plays in. Your peaceful home town full of happy little
trees has an equally relaxing tune, the cursed forest has a rather ominous and foreboding
tone to it, while the combat orientated boss fights have music that gets can only be described
as ‘heroic’. Music in games is one of those things that
most people don’t even notice unless it downright sucks, so its a good thing indeed that Blossom
Tales’ soundtrack caught my eye… or rather my ear by being genuinely enjoyable to listen
to! And while I’m on the topic of presentation
its probably worth mentioning that Blossom Tales features a whole bunch of charming pixel
art. This is a bit of a controversial art style,
and one that some people love while others can’t stand, and even though I won’t argue
with someone’s tastes I feel I can comfortably say that Blossom Tales falls squarely on the
‘good’ side of the spectrum. The world is nice and colorful, there is plenty
of detail on nearly every single background object, and the characters themselves look
about as good as you can possibly hope for given the art style. However, while Blossom Tales is generally
extremely pleasant to look at, I do have one major complaint with the main character – she
is too fat! This might sound like a bizarre thing to complain
about, and believe me I’m aware of how horrible it makes me sound, but the main character
appears to be twice as wide as most of the enemies… and this includes people wearing
bulky plate armor! I tried to ignore this as best I could, but
Lilly’s horizontal barrel-shaped body is not an easy thing to overlook. When you combine this strange design choice
with the Zelda inspired movement system you get a character that is supposed to be a great
hero of legend, but instead appears to be a female version of Cartman from South Park. From what I’ve seen online the main character
had already undergone a redesign some time ago, so hopefully this current one is still
a work-in-progress model, because right now its incredibly difficult to take Lilly seriously
when she is as wide as an entire couch! And if you think I’m exaggerating, just check
out the screenshot below. On the positive side, at least my biggest
complaint is that the character is obese, rather than there being some serious issues
with the gameplay. Blossom Tales is still under heavy development,
but from this preview build alone its quite obvious to me that it has a ton of potential. If the developers manage to fix all of the
issues and address some of the balance concerns, I could easily see Blossom Tales becoming
something far greater than a simple Zelda clone. They’ve already done most of the hard work,
so chances are high that they will manage to do just that! As it stands right now I believe I would enjoy
playing through the entirety of Blossom Tales, though I probably wouldn’t pick it up for
a second playthrough given how easily exploitable the combat is. Whether these issues get fixed in time for
its early 2017 release or not, I would still recommend for any fan of classic Zelda games
to give Blossom Tales a look as its quite clearly a love letter to everything the Zelda
series stands for. Thank you guys for watching, and if you enjoyed
this, or even if you didn’t, please do let me know. And if you would like to see more you can
either subscribe here, or check out the website down below – that one tends to be updated
far more frequently. With all of that said, I hope you have a nice
day and I’ll see you soon. See ya!

3 thoughts on “Blossom Tales Preview – A inspired action-adventure

  1. I made a bit of an editing error at the end, but thankfully not in the preview itself. So, uhm, just ignore the black screen 🙂

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