Developed By: WayForward, Arc System Works Published By: WayForward Categories: Action Release Date: 11.15.22
I don’t know too much about RWBY, but I am very familiar with the IP as a whole. A CG animated faux anime that has somehow managed to get multiple videogames. I’ve always been interested in it, especially since Arc System Works has their hands in a few of these, including a crossover fighter for BlazBlue and today’s game, RBWY: Arrowfell. I’m not familiar with the story at all, but this is canon and takes place during the show’s 7th Season, so if you are a fan of the IP and for some reason got behind, I’d watch that first. However, if like me you didn’t quite get to that, don’t worry. You’re not going to be lost as this does feel stand alone enough.
RWBY: Arrowfell is a game that I can best describe as “Order of Ecclesia like”. You have platforming levels, some of which can be a bit big with different pathes, and some really making a bit of a web. Some short cuts, some places you need to go back with new powers. Does Wayforward want to work on a Castlevania? Each of your four characters, a group of cute huntresses; Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang all have their own unique attacks, abilities, and ranged shots. Need to dash to a far away ledge, lets use Ruby. Weiss can make platforms that when they fade away become shards that can attack enemies. Black can make a body double for twice the damage or to put a double on a weight switch, and Yang can bring a powerful quake down to shatter huge roadblocks.
The combat mechanics of RWBY: Arrowfell are rather interesting. You have two things to keep track of. An energy bar and your hearts. Using a ranged weapon uses a little bit of energy and getting hurt takes a hunk out. Once that bar is depleted, a single hit will remove a heart. You need to be careful now, as any hit after this can deplete another heart, unless you get more energy, which enemies or destroyed objects can refill. If you’re getting whooped, you might want to find some skill points to upgrade the girls. Attack, Defense, how fast your energy auto heals, and ranged attacks. Each of the girls has their own pros and cons, so consider this before you start min-maxing.
Arrowfell really presents itself like the show with the same composer, some nice vocal themes, and even fully voiced animated cutscenes to look like the show. This is a pleasant game, even outside of cutscenes. Love the cel-shading. That said, this does have a bit of that budget look at times. Not a bad thing, but you can see where budget for presentation went and it went where it’s arguably more important.
That all said. Arrowfell is kind of boring. It doesn’t feel bad to play, but at least for the first third of the game majority of your time is going into stages, doing fetch quests, buying upgrades, fighting a boss, etc… It’s not exciting and it got old fast. I wanted to see more of the cutscenes and characters, but the gameplay wasn’t really doing it for me. This is a game for RWBY fans above anyone else. I know they’ll love this. For me, this was just an “ok” game with some nice presentation. Not bad, just not spectacular.