Alwa’s Legacy Review: A Sublime Sequel

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch

Welcome back to Alwa.

Once again Elden Pixels puts us in the shoes of amnesiac heroine Zoe to stop the evil Vicar. Alwa’s Legacy brings us back to the land of Alwa but on a much grander scale when Zoe wakes on the edge of a lake with once again no recollection of how she came to get there or for what purpose. Zoe is quickly greeted by a resident of Alwa, Mary, the first of many surprisingly yet refreshing to see female NPC’s including a knight in shining armor named Gwendoline or the best and only blacksmith in all of Westwood, Beth. Mary tasks Zoe to go and see Sage, a wise old women that can aide you on your quest and explain to you what is going on. Armed with only a sturdy staff you make your way to Saga and thus your adventure begins! Almost immediately you are confronted by Vicar leaving you with losing your staff and a new quest to retrieve it! Just like that I knew I was in for a different game on many levels than it’s predecessor Alwa’s Awakening.

Beth has got all of your blacksmith needs covered!

The land of Alwa itself is huge and unlike other games in this style or genre the entire map feels like one giant interconnected dungeon with it’s own secrets and puzzles to discover outside of the dungeons themselves. The world is also littered with nods to other games that surely inspired it and the occasional easter egg like a characters name or bit of dialogue. Each dungeon inside Alwa’s Legacy is unique and requires players to unlock certain items from around the land in order to either gain access to the dungeon or to complete it. If you wish to collect every item, gem, or power up you will find yourself revisiting dungeons and areas once you have unlocked a new ability. Dungeons also differ so much from each other that I could not wait to see what obstacles each one would bring next; from your typical water dungeon with the added twist of playing with the rise and lowering of water levels to gain access to other areas of the dungeon or a dungeon that plays with gravity and requires the player to platform upside down this game isn’t shy about mixing it up to keep things interesting.

Alwa’s map looks and feels like one giant interconnected dungeon.

Zoe herself is also armed with a mixed bag of abilities that you unlock and upgrade as you make your way through Alwa. First you have the abilities that are linked to your staff and can be upgraded by collecting power up orbs littered throughout the map and dungeons. Collect enough orbs and visit a wizard named Wizard in the quaint town of Westwood to upgrade any of the 3 abilities you have gained during your adventure. Not sure what to upgrade or how much to upgrade? Well there are no worries here becuase Wizard allows you to allocate and remove orbs from abilities to your hearts content. Two of these abilities will help you reach otherwise hard to reach areas with either a bubble or block, the third ability is an attack power up. The other two abilities can be upgraded to cause damage to enemies as well.

Upgrade to floating blocks to get to out of reach areas.

In addition to orb collectibles players can hunt down tear gems that can be used to activate warp pads to get along the map much quicker without having to back track as much. Another collectible are petals which can be redeemed for additional HP containers. Finally there are items that can be collected that will give Zoe unique abilities like the power to warp through walls, slow down time, dash after a jump, be protected by spike orbs depending on how many orbs you’ve collected, and the ability to step on spikes without taking damage temporarily.

Save points can also be used as warp points if upgraded using tear gems.

You’re going to want to collect as many power ups and upgrade as regularly as possible to take on the bosses that are found at the end of each dungeon. The boss battles in Alwa’s Legacy are the most fun I’ve had in a game in quite some time. Each boss has it’s own attack and ability that ties into the dungeons theme. From a boss battle that pits you against a fast swimming monster in the water dungeon to a boss with the ability to manipulate time and affect the stage, players are constantly kept on their toes.

This doesn’t feel like a fair boss fight.

Not only are the stages and bosses beautifully detailed in colorful pixel greatness, Elden Pixels took advantage of every single pixel to bring an immersive colorful world to life in this 2D side scrolling adventure. The world of Alwa is just so great to look at, the controls handle really well, the puzzles and boss fights are really inventive and keep you interested throughout your entire time with it. The soundtrack and sound effects are also top notch and just add to how well rounded this game really is and checks off all of the right boxes from fun to difficult and never strays to far into the difficulty pitfalls that most retro/retro-inspired games fall into, all of this is why I give 10 out of 10 bricks to Alwa’s Legacy.

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Written by: Gerardo Gutierrez

Gerardo has been playing video games his entire life, in his 30's he now shares the joys of playing with his 3 young children. Gerardo is a huge fan of Lego and games that encourage creativity, with that being said his new favorite game of all time is LEGO WORLDS. When not writing or creating content Gerardo spends his time playing retro video games and sharing the classics with his kids.