Sakuna: Rice and Ruins Review

The agriculture / life simulation genre is an increasingly crowded area these days. There is no shortage of games that provide the experience of building small farms, growing crops and livestock, and making friends and relationships in the process. But from time to time, games of this genre come up that really bring things to mind, incorporating worn-out metaphors and expectations to make you feel fresh and new. Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin is such a game. In-depth rice cultivation simulation, excellent 2D platform action, and a wonderful atmosphere combine to provide a fun and fulfilling experience.

Sakuna is the arrogant and brave goddess of harvest in the world of willows inspired by old-fashioned Japan. She lives comfortably with her sacred companions in the lofty realm, away from the suffering of the mortals below. When a group of hungry mortals stumble on the lofty territory looking for food on her watch, she finds her horror that they have destroyed the offerings to the great god Lady Kamhitsuki. As a punishment, she and the mortal are banished to the Devil’s Island, where she is tasked with purifying the land of evil powers, making a small living with her newly discovered companions. Now, in order to survive, Goddess Sakuna needs to get her hands dirty and form a bond with the humans who lived under her.


Sakuna’s basic gameplay is divided into two parts: exploration and simulation. In the exploration section, you’ll hunt enemies across 2D environments, collect the materials you need to fight and survive, and discover new areas to collect. In the simulation section, it is up to Sakuna to manage the day-to-day labor involved in harvesting the rice needed to maintain the family. Engaging in both of these activities is necessary for progress, but you need to decide how to invest your time best. The day-night cycle means that a constant procession continues throughout the fairly truncated season. This affects many things, such as the strength of the enemy, what materials can be collected, what kind of farming can be done, etc. when the collected materials are ruined. .. You need to balance your activities and manage both item and time resources, creating an entertaining and rewarding gameplay loop without punishment. You can also gradually introduce new elements as you progress, such as additional farming tools and more exploration capabilities.

But what makes Sakuna such a unique and memorable experience is how well and detailed the two core gameplay systems are. If you don’t know about rice cultivation and harvesting first, you can learn a lot about how complex and labor-intensive the process is by just playing vegetable crops. Everything about the rice cultivation process is explained in detail and expressed in gameplay. From soil cultivation to finding the ideal grain, planting seedlings, controlling water levels, controlling pests, weeding, final harvesting, threshing, peeling, everything that Sakuna is directly involved in (and yes, yes, You will have to make fertilizer in the old fashioned way, so be prepared for a lot of pest and waste mix). It is an accurate representation of the entire process and significantly reduces the amount of work required to produce high quality rice. You will want to produce high quality crops as the quality of rice harvest directly affects the level and statistics of Sakuna. In addition, eating additional food during the meal will bring beneficial benefits to her during the exploration.

The exploration sequence is also excellent. Sakuna runs, jumps, uses divine reinforcements to pass over surfaces, obstacles and enemies, and wields screens to collect, mine, and hide rare artifacts and soil additives. You can reach the treasure chest. As it progresses, these areas introduce new and interesting obstacles such as storms, jagged spikes, rolling rocks, and floating water platforms. These obstacles require you to make the most of your platform skills to reach hidden corners and crevices.

However, because the island is a demon base full of enemies, Sakuna often has to fight to beat them with farm tools and clothing. And when we say “beat them around,” we mean that. Sakuna’s combat has a very fun physical system that allows you to combine regular, special, and clothing attacks to fire, juggle, and throw enemies. For example, if you shake the plow a lot, Sakuna can fly one enemy into a large group of enemies, much like a bowling ball knocks down a pin. Using her Raiment, she can grab big fallen enemies and smash them into spikes and walls of flying enemies. To follow up, she can hit the target a few more times with a basic combo and hopefully eliminate it altogether before it hits the ground.

Successful success in these big combat plays is a lot of fun, and colliding enemies with each other to do a lot of damage doesn’t make you unsatisfied. In addition, as Sakuna’s farm skills improve, she also learns new combat skills that she can equip and enhance independently, increasing the supply of fresh movements to add to her combat repertoire. Large enemy groups and high-health, high-damage bosses may intimidate unskilled players in action games, but this is because Sakuna only restores you when you lose all your health. Very benevolent in terms of entering the area first. Also, if things are too difficult, you can choose to focus on the rice-growing part of the game instead. This is because the next crop will also have higher sakuna statistics, which will make exploration much easier.

Great gameplay is enough to justify the recommendation, but Sakuna’s visual style and overall pleasing mood give the game warmth and beauty and really help it stand out from the crowd. The visuals are reminiscent of a fantastic historic Japan full of awe-inspiring beauty. At night, I often sit in the rice fields, stare at the starry sky where the wind blows through the trees, and look at the details of the raindrops. When I went on an expedition in the storm, I splashed water. The story and characters also contribute significantly to Sakuna’s charm as this shabby group of peasants and the existence of God grows into an intimate family that helps each other. A supper conversation in which a foreign missionary woman, Myrtus communis, describes her suffering as a test from God, and Tauemon’s explanation of his upbringing and misery add many lives and connections to these characters. I will.

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But that doesn’t mean that Sakuna is perfect. As with other games that have very different gameplay styles, it can be difficult to find a balance between them, and Sakuna is not always successful in that regard. Many new areas may be opened for exploration, but are limited by the need to meet the needs of the farm in a particular season. Similarly, there are times when there is not much to do on the farm, such as midwinter. This is an ideal time to explore. However, the collection of items varies from season to season, so what you get from exploring in the winter may differ from yours. I want your farming and tooling efforts. You may also have to wait for something to happen on the farm when nothing particularly interesting is happening in your exploration-perhaps you’re in trouble in a tough area where you want to get a stat boost to help clear. Masu — And you have to regenerate the old area and collect random ones to kill time until the harvest comes. The worst thing is when the watch creeps up on you. Enemies get a huge boost at night, so seeing the sun set while completing stage missions or reaching the exit can ruin half of your loot. I am very sorry that there is.

Even if it is a little rough, Sakuna is a real gem. Its rewarding and engaging sim gameplay, exciting freeform combat, and how it feels like a warm and comfortable experience while playing is one of the best life sim style games to release in a significant amount of time. It has become. Whether you’re familiar with action, simulation, or both, Sakuna’s redemption journey is worth taking.

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