REVIEW / Terra Memoria (Switch)

Terra Memoria developed by La Moutarde, is a pixelated turn-based RPG that takes a note from the latest art style of HD2D that has been captivating the nostalgic fans of the 16-bit era. There’s something about the mix between pixelated character models in a magical 3D world where crystals power up the world (reminiscent of a very popular RPG franchise). The game follows the adventure of six characters that come together to investigate why the crystals are mysteriously vanishing.

Terra Memoria features a very simple battle system that deals with a turn system. Every enemy has two elemental weaknesses and several shields (common ones have 3 while bosses have 8). The shield lowers by 1 every time an attack is done, but attacks corresponding with an enemy’s elemental weaknesses not only deal massive damage but also lowers the shield by 2. Thus, it’s always convenient to have a repertoire of different elements to dispatch enemies quickly. However, in the grand scheme of things, the battles are very easy enough that there’s no real need for a strategy besides cast magic and heal when low on health.

One lacking gameplay aspect of Terra Memoria is the lack of escaping battles. This is annoying when the game features an amount of backtracking between areas, and sometimes those areas are several levels below the average. Fortunately, the game features no random battles; enemies can be seen around the area and get very aggressive when the characters are near it resulting in those inescapable battles. It would have been nice if the overhead enemies do not aggro as much when there’s a 10+ level disparity.

The story of Terra Memoria is very cookie-cutter: every single character in your party has something that they are going through. The disappointment is that they are not completely fleshed out. In fact, the main storyline is an abrupt final confrontation with a final boss (a very easy one) and then it ends. I feel like the game needs a DLC just to give a complete story or even give a completely different one that’s deeper.

A cool feature that Terra Memoria features is a simple building mechanic where the characters become in charge of creating a new town. The materials needed to construct anything are always purchased; there’s no need to collect anything besides grind for money. The town’s inhabitants sometimes have a request, and in completing them gives rewards most often always in the form of a new building type to create.

Overall, Terra Memoria does not go into the levels of the great RPGs of today or yesterday for that matter. While it features a gorgeous art style, the simplistic battle system and lack of a deep story is what makes a mediocre RPG. However, with its low-to-no-stress gameplay with a minor building gameplay mechanic, this ia a great game for anyone looking for a real casual and/or starter RPG.

This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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