Before we get started, I have to shout out Madiba Olivier, one of the the founders of Kiro’o games, the creators of Aurion, for giving me the opportunity to play a demo of this game. After the initial “What? You want me to write about this?” shock was out of my system, I sat down, stopped studying for finals, and started playing. Don’t ask me if my stoppage of finals studying was a good idea, let’s just leave that unknown. Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is the first African fantasy action role playing game and it’s developed by the Cameroonian developer studio Kiro’o games. This game has so many styles and influences that it’ll be hard to keep track of, but that’s why they chose yours truly to take a look at it. They know I can handle it. So without further ado, let’s do a run through.
First, let’s explain a couple of things. Aurion is an energy that can be used in combat to modify abilities and can even be used in the gear itself to give it that extra oomph. The Kori-Odan is a family that has ruled over the land of Zama, and you play as Enzo Kori-Odan. When the game starts Enzo is getting ready to marry Erine, and during the ceremony Zama is attacked. The fiends! It’s revealed that Erine’s brother Ngarba, who is now Enzo’s stepbrother, is the one behind this attack to take control of the land of Zama. After a fierce battle which is full of Dragonball Z-styled huge attacks, Enzo and Erine are defeated by Ngarba’s overwhelming power.
Enzo wakes up in another land determined to retake his kingdom. Luckily his new wife Erine has his back during the journey to make sure he doesn’t have to carry the load by himself. To contend with his treacherous stepbrother’s power, Enzo has to travel all over the world to learn about the other lands and form an alliance that will allow Enzo and Erine to take back the kingdom. The world is full of African culture and oozes personality in every moment.
So that’s a lot to take in, I know, but the game doesn’t just throw it at you; the first hour of the game is all about world creation and subtle character development. The game introduces you to Enzo and the dialogue going on in his head about how nervous he is for his wedding, and lets us feel what he feels. After a little bit of introduction we’re introduced to the fighting system of the game which is real time action anime style combat. There are combos that require surprisingly precise execution to pull off. There are special moves that can be linked into other special moves and some that can’t be linked. You really need to be on point with your stuff. There are air combos like 2D fighting games and I’m pretty sure there are a few infinite combos. I had a hell of a time with those. The sound effects of sword clashes and air dashing is reminiscent of anime and other fighting games.
There’s also a partner system that involves Erine being your support and you can control her and she can heal you and help you conquer your foes. Last but not least there are ULTIMATE SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME moves that you can use and are reminiscent of those huge DBZ blasts I mentioned before. They’re called Ultimate Legacy moves — they’re pretty spectacular and can hit you or your opponent multiple times. Ultimate Legacy moves can also clash with each other and cancel each other out just like anime style beam attacks.
While the fighting is this game’s main strong suit the art style and the music won’t be glossed over either. The art style combines 2D graphics and set pieces to explore and for the most part no area feels the same as the last. The music combines traditional African instruments and sounds and combines them with modern synths and instruments to create a plethora of different tracks. I actually was in the start menu for a while just listening to the music. The background and the contrast it has with your character create a unique looking game and my eyes never got tired of seeing it.
Strictly going from the demo I played the game is pretty fantastic, but there were a couple of issues with some frame drops when there was a lot going on during some fight sequences, but I’ll chalk that up to the fact that I didn’t play the final version. There were a couple of times that the dialogue didn’t flow as well and that’s probably because this was a completely foreign development team. Which, by the way, didn’t hinder my experience in the slightest. I never got lost or felt like I didn’t understand what was going on so you don’t have to worry about that.
This game was great all around, and I didn’t even have the full game, so I can only imagine how great having all of the special moves and attacks would be, and running through the different landscapes and interacting with characters from different lands. If you can’t tell that I’m going here to purchase this game as I’m writing this, then I guess I didn’t explain how much I enjoyed it well enough. The official site for the game can be found here and you can find all the information and videos your little heart desires. Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is an experience like no other and that’s probably because there hasn’t been a game like it out there. The combat is fast and engaging, the music is full of jams you can listen to wherever you are, and the art style makes it stick out from the pack. So even if you’re not sold on purchasing the game, go check out a few things about it and be amazed.