Masters of Anima Xbox One X Review

Masters of Anima provides you with the tools to succeed but heavily depends on your ability to use them effectively

By Grayshadow, Posted 10 Apr 2018

Masters Of Anima on the surface looks like a colorful tale of a boy attempting to prove himself. However, it quickly evolves into a challenging adventure full of moments that will make you want to slam your controller against the wall. It requires a lot of dedication, and a bit of luck, to fully grasp the game's control scheme but those who do will find a dense adventure full of beautiful environments and difficult fights. 

Masters of Anima,NoobFeed,

Masters Of Anima takes place in the world of Spark. Anima is a type of energy that connects everything to the world and can be controlled by people known as Shapers. These people harness Anima to repair, build and summon creatures known as guardians. Players take control of an apprentice Shaper named Otto. To marry his finance Ana Otto must complete his test and earn the title of Shaper, as you can predict Otto succeeds but the world goes into calamity.

Another rogue shaper named Zahr has spread corruption around the world, summoned Golems, and sundered Ana into 3 pieces. Otto must journey across multiple areas around Spark to save Ana and the world from Zahr.

The characters are mostly hit and miss. Otto's boyish charm can be entertaining to some but annoying to others. Ana steals the show with her 3 distinct personalities. Her Spark has been separated into 3 parts; heart, mind, and body. Each one embodies a specific persona of Ana with her heart being loving but naive, her mind sound but stoic, and her body feeling but hard to concentrate. Each one overshadows the one-predictable personalities of the other characters you encounter. 

Masters of Anima,NoobFeed,

As a Shaper Otto can summon guardians, who serve as the primary form of offense and defense. Each guardian has specific abilities and talents unique to them and costs the same amount of Anima to summon. They also have charged attacks that require the same amount of Anima to summon. Hence begins the challenging system that Masters Of Anima puts in your way.

Each environment is uniquely designed with a lush array of colors, weather conditions, and landscapes. Using guardians Otto must solve puzzles and defeat the Golems within each stage. Golems come in an array of designs with distinct fighting patterns and weaknesses the player must exploit. The game attempts to create a sense of urgency by providing an enrage timer if finished the Golem starts to attack with more power and litters the field with corruption that kills over time. 

This can be frustrating due to the control scheme and lack of awareness on the map. Since you cannot see the entire map, and coupled with Otto's slow speed, it's common to lose guardians to attacks you didn't see coming. Adding to the vexation is how commands are handled.

Masters of Anima,NoobFeed,

When you select a guardian set you can issue one command, but once that command is executed you must swap to another guardian and back again to issue a new order. During large fights, this can be infuriating as you swap between guardians attempting to keep them alive.

This isn't an easy task for any developer, porting a tactical game to consoles. Attempting to manage multiple hordes of guardians will become difficult in the later fights as you face against harder combinations of Golems and boss enemies that can feel unfair at times. For example, in the latter part of the game multitasking becomes mandatory but since you must use Y to select specific guardians with a circle prompt that grows as you hold it down you can find yourself selecting more than needed or not enough. Leading to a domino effect as you're left defenseless. 

Masters Of Anima features only one standard difficulty so if you do find yourself stuck you'll need to travel back and gather experience from past levels. Otto and his guardians can be upgraded with increased strength, health, and other buffs. Experience is earned at the end of each stage and bonuses are dished out based on your performance. You can repeat stages for additional experience or to complete optional objects and collect items but these are mostly for the dedicated completionist. 

Masters of Anima,NoobFeed,

Masters Of Anima is a challenging game, but much of the difficulty comes from attempting to master the control scheme. Players will find themselves fighting against the setup in an attempt to preserve their guardians and defeat the Golems before they enrage. The story serves as an adequate tale of an unexpecting hero emerging from mediocrity but the diverse environments and character models paint a vast world too alluring not to explore. Masters of Anima provides you with the tools to succeed but heavily depends on your ability to use them effectively.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Passtech Games
Genres: Strategy, Action
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2018-04-10

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