ASTRA: Knights of Veda Review

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ASTRA: Knights of Veda Review | Dive Into Dark Fantasy

After years in the development oven, ASTRA: Knights of Veda feels like a game that needs another year or two to cook. With combat as exciting as watching paint dry and AI that's about as sharp as a spoon, it's a wonder this game made it out of development purgatory. And don't even get me started on the abysmal gacha system—it's probably one of the worst out there right now. Immersing oneself in its interesting dark fantasy world and amazing visuals becomes a Herculean task when confronted with the mediocrity and malaise that pervade every corner of the game.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda game art showcasing dark fantasy world and characters
Image Credit: Mobile Gaming Insider

ASTRA: Knights of Veda is a 2.5D Action RPG developed by FLINT and published by HYBE IM. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Review Overview

The realm of ASTRA, once a vibrant land called Planis, now teeters on the brink of oblivion under the oppressive reign of the mad king. Amidst this chaos, the goddess Veda descends, seeking a champion to purge the world of its curses and vanquish the tyrant ruler, Veda. However, the challenges are vast and varied, from battling the monstrous threat of the Giant Tree that transforms humans into monstrous beings to the mad king himself. As the chosen champion, will you rise to the occasion and become the beacon of hope in ASTRA: Knights of Veda?

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ASTRA: Knights of Veda Features:

- 2.5 Vanillaware-like Art Style
- Dark Medieval Fantasy World of Planis
- Side-scroller Combat
- Online PVP and PVE
- Gacha System
- Fantasy Story Game

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Overall Score - 66/100

After years in the development oven, ASTRA: Knights of Veda feels like a game that needs another year or two to cook. With combat as exciting as watching paint dry and AI that's about as sharp as a spoon, it's a wonder this game made it out of development purgatory. And don't even get me started on the abysmal gacha system—it's probably one of the worst out there right now. Immersing oneself in its interesting dark fantasy world and amazing visuals becomes a Herculean task when confronted with the mediocrity and malaise that pervade every corner of the game.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Story - 8/10

ASTRA: Knights of Veda may boast a pretty straightforward storyline, but its dark narrative captivated me surprisingly. I found myself drawn to its exploration of dark fantasy elements, inspired by famous media within its genre. Despite encountering characters that feel somewhat underdeveloped and others easily forgotten, the grim narrative held me in its grip until the very end.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Gameplay - 4/10

The gacha system within this game leaves much to be desired, and although its combat is visually striking, it’s very barebones and basic Additionally, the rewards obtained are underwhelming considering the significant time investment required. Numerous issues plague the overall experience, and I hope the developers address these issues soon.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Visuals - 9/10

Undoubtedly, the most striking aspect of this game is its visually captivating art style. Taking cues from Vanillaware, it skillfully incorporates distinctive dark fantasy elements, carving out its own identity. Each moment within the game is a visual masterpiece, worthy of exhibition in a museum. However, it occasionally suffers from minor flaws such as occasional wonky, puppet-like animations.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Audio - 7/10

I’m impressed with how the game is voice-acted from start to finish, and for the most part, the performances are decent although there are occasional misses. One standout performance is by Veda, who skillfully brings to life the complexities of a divine goddess with both noble intentions and a darker, twisted side. The ost, while not particularly exceptional, serves decently as background noise while playing the game.

ASTRA: Knights of Veda Value for Money - 5/10

While the game is currently free to play, I'd recommend holding off until updates address gameplay issues and balance the reward system. If you're interested in the story, proceed with caution, as progression may come to a standstill due to excessive grinding and a flawed gacha system. You’re definitely better off playing Genshin Impact or a Vanillaware game if you want a similar experience.

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ASTRA: Knights of Veda Review: Until Death It Is All Bad

ASTRA: Knights of Vedas is a game brimming with potential, yet regrettably, it feels weighed down by numerous issues. It's as if the corporate overlords couldn't resist meddling, cramming in elements borrowed straight from the hoyoverse playbook.

But let's start with the bright spots. The story, while not exactly breaking new ground, drew me in with its dark fantasy vibes. It's like a twisted fairy tale brought to life, with a prologue that feels like it came out of the Golden Age Arc from Berserk. Storming the castle, facing off against a Mad King turned demonic entity—it's grim, it's gruesome, and it's gripping. And that twist with the goddess Veda? Pure nightmare fuel! It somehow reminds me of Elden Ring or any of the Dark Souls games.

Sure, the narrative might not maintain that initial spark throughout, but it's dripping with dark fantasy elements rarely seen in video games. It feels like the game also took inspiration from Final Fantasy 6 —the bad guy's already won, and now it's up to you to pick up the pieces and set things right.

The story and art complement each other well, but unfortunately, the gameplay doesn't quite measure up. At first, the gacha system seemed promising, woven intriguingly into the storyline. Essentially, Veda saves you from death just before your allies-turned-zombies can finish you off, resurrecting you in a new body with the same soul. You can then summon the spirits of other warriors, adopting their abilities and appearances to aid in your quest to revive Veda and defeat the Mad King. Initially, you're given three characters to switch between, providing enough variety for progression at first.

However, frustratingly, there is the inclusion of a stamina system in this game, which significantly hampers progression. It forces you to replay levels just to grind, and it even restricts access to the next missions and story segments. It feels like an endless grind. I wouldn't mind as much if the auto-battles and combat were enjoyable. The combat itself feels like a rudimentary beat 'em up side-scroller, and while that wouldn't be a problem if it were fun, it feels sluggish.

Moreover, the combat mechanics are incredibly simplistic, essentially reducing to a basic Beat 'Em Up formula, with the only variation being switching characters when the opponent resists. While it’s fun at times, most of the time it's monotonous and uninspired, especially since the majority of enemies lack any memorable qualities and you constantly have to grind.

The hitboxes often feel off, and the enemy AI can be downright annoying and stupidly erratic. This frustration is exacerbated in auto-battle mode, where your protagonist's movements can be frustratingly erratic, and the rewards you receive hardly seem worth the effort.

There’s a PVP and PVE mode in this game but it hardly makes it any more enjoyable as even inviting players is a nuisance. You have to manually throw invites and hope you get accepted to play one stage rather than having the game just throw you into lobbies and match with other waiting players.

This game was expected to be a spiritual successor to their previous title, Dragon Blaze, but it unfortunately falls short and feels outdated. It's disappointing because the game had the potential to be a fantastic RPG on its own, if not for these issues. I do however remain hopeful that the developers will address these problems with future patches. But as of right now, this game is not worth picking up.

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Pros of ASTRA: Knights of Veda

Vanillaware/ Dragon Blaze Art Style

One standout aspect of this game is its exceptional art style. It's clear that they've adopted the same art style as Dragon Blaze, while also incorporating elements from Vanillaware's iconic aesthetic. Despite the dark and gloomy setting, the characters are vibrant and visually striking. Although there are occasional jagged or awkward animations, the overall appearance resembles a dark fairy tale plucked from the pages of a storybook with a grim lesson. The art truly enhances the immersive experience of the world and the dark fantasy narrative. Personally, I'm especially fond of the design of Veda, the goddess herself.

Berserk-Inspired Story

While the storyline in this game is simple, I appreciate its apparent inspiration from Berserk, particularly evident in the opening sequence reminiscent of the Eclipse scene in the Golden Age Arc. The Mad King's transformation into a demonic figure akin to the God Hands, and the surroundings echoing the Eclipse with demonic beings dominating the trapped populace, all draw clear parallels. Even the protagonist's rescue by Veda at the end mirrors the conclusion of the Eclipse, akin to the Skull Knight breaking into the Eclipse to save Guts and Casca from their dire fate. While not as intricate or profound as Berserk in terms of story and characters, I admire the incorporation of these elements and nods to other dark fantasies, a rarity in games of this genre.

Cons of ASTRA: Knights of Veda

Auto Battle is Horrible

I'm not particularly fond of Auto Battle, although I understand its potential usefulness. However, in this game, it's simply not worthwhile due to the abysmal AI for both the protagonist and enemies. Completing quests manually is often quicker than relying on Auto Battle. Moreover, the rewards are underwhelming and the system feels overly stingy, making Auto Battle seem rather pointless.

Game Becomes a Grind

The game noticeably becomes grindier once you reach a certain chapter. The inclusion of both a stamina system, which halts your progress, and a level barrier system significantly slows down the pacing. This forces players to repeatedly revisit older, monotonous levels just to progress, especially given the disappointing reward system. These artificial barriers detract from the enjoyment and make the game far more frustrating than it should be.

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Horrible Gacha System

I'd strongly advise against spending any real money on this game at the moment. The pull rates are abysmal, and the economy system is in a sorry state. Even on launch, you'd be fortunate to manage about 20 pulls per day for Event Banners. The lack of resources makes it hardly worthwhile to invest in the horrible gacha system.

Is ASTRA: Knights of Veda Worth It?

Do Not Spend Time or Money on This Game At the Moment

In its current state, the game isn't worth playing, despite being free to play, having an intriguing story and stunning visuals. I strongly advise against investing either money or time in this game, given its current condition. You'd be better off playing a Vanillaware game, which offers a superior story and equal if not better visuals. If you still want to try it, however, we’ve left the links below for you to check the game out.

Who is the Publisher of this Game?

The publishers of this game are HYBE IM, a subsidiary of Hybe Corporation. Hybe Corporation primarily manages South Korean record labels such as Big Hit Music, home to artists like BTS and TXT, ADOR representing New Jeans, Pledis for Seventeen, and Source Music for Le Sserafim.

- Title: ASTRA: Knights of Veda
- Release Date: April 1, 2024
- Developer: FLINT
- Publisher: HYBE IM
- Supported Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
- Genre: 2D Action RPG
- Number of Players: 1
- ESRB Rating: Not Rated
- Official Website: ASTRA: Knights of Veda Website

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ASTRA: Knights of Veda:

1. What is ASTRA: Knights of Veda?

ASTRA: Knights of Veda is a 2.5D Action RPG developed by FLINT and published by HYBE IM. It takes players on a journey through the dark fantasy world of Planis, where they must combat threats, unravel mysteries, and confront the tyrannical rule of the mad king.

2. What platforms is ASTRA: Knights of Veda available on?

ASTRA: Knights of Veda is available on PC, iOS, and Android platforms, providing accessibility to a wide range of players across different devices.

3. What is the storyline of ASTRA: Knights of Veda?

The game is set in the realm of ASTRA, formerly known as Planis, now plagued by chaos under the rule of a mad king. The goddess Veda descends, seeking a champion to rid the world of curses and defeat the tyrant ruler. Players assume the role of this chosen champion, embarking on a quest to restore balance and vanquish darkness.

4. What gameplay features does ASTRA: Knights of Veda offer?

ASTRA: Knights of Veda features a dark medieval fantasy world, side-scrolling combat mechanics, online PvP and PvE modes, and a gacha system. Players can engage in battles, explore the game world, collect resources, and unlock new abilities and characters.

5. What are the pros and cons of ASTRA: Knights of Veda?

Pros include its visually captivating art style, inspired by Vanillaware and Dragon Blaze, and its intriguing dark fantasy storyline reminiscent of Berserk. However, cons include issues with the auto-battle system, grind-heavy gameplay progression, and a disappointing gacha system.

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6. Is ASTRA: Knights of Veda worth playing?

The review suggests that ASTRA: Knights of Veda, while having potential, currently suffers from various gameplay and system-related issues. It advises caution and recommends waiting for potential future updates to address these issues before investing significant time or money into the game.

7. Who is the publisher of ASTRA: Knights of Veda?

ASTRA: Knights of Veda is published by HYBE IM, a subsidiary of Hybe Corporation, known for managing South Korean record labels such as Big Hit Music (home to BTS and TXT), ADOR, Pledis, and Source Music.

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