Ashina: The Red Witch (XSX) Review

Originally released on PC about a year ago, Ashina: The Red Witch is a text-heavy adventure game now available on console. It is a pixelated journey about visiting the land of the afterlife, searching for your sister, and trying to cooperate with a mischievous spirit who stole your pendant. This spirit also likes to use the word “mang” at the end of most sentences to annoying results.

The four-hour campaign is essentially made of fetch quests that provide an excuse to travel the world, click on everything in the environment, and talk to all the NPCs. If you enjoy detail in your story while mixing some mystery and curiosity, then Ashina could scratch that adventure itch. Depending on your actions, different outcomes are available which yield different results, which provides some replay value for those with dedication.

Purposely designed with a retro pixel visual style, Ashina is a nostalgic, adventure game experience. The detailed world and subtle animations make this game what it is. The lighthearted yet serious tones wouldn’t be the same if presented with realistic 3D polygons. Instead, the chibi pixel art aligns with the goofy atmosphere of the plot and characters. The soundtrack also merges well with the visual design and narrative.

Ashina: The Red Witch is all about navigating a story. Meaning, there is no combat, some trial and error is involved, and you will probably get lost a few times as you try clicking on everything with every item within your inventory. Point being, even though there is really no way to lose, it is a game that isn’t for everyone. You’ll need to pay attention to the chatty dialog boxes because there are no quest markers. Personally, I would have liked a little more guidance with each plot beat because this is one of those games where you forget what you were doing when you come back to a few days later, annoyingly retracing steps to figure out the next move. However, if you enjoy a detailed story, this is a wholesome $10 digital download that acts like a non-violent, casual interactive novel, mang.

SCORE: 6/10

Also Try: a visual novel

Better Than: reading a plain ole book

Wait For It: Spooky Spirit Shooting Gallery (Switch)

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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