The Ninjabot

PAX Report: “Titan Souls” is Intense Enough to Crush Controllers

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm by Victor Chaves

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Titan Souls by Acid Nerve was the most engrossing game I played at PAX; to the point where I forgot that there were 60,000 nerds running around me and a disgusting broth of noise pumping into my ears. I didn’t realize it, but Titan Souls had seized my focus like a bandit on a freshly-stolen carriage, and I was more than happy to be along for the ride.

Titan Souls will easily remind players of Shadows of the Colossus, where the game is ponly made up of challenging bosses—but that’s where the connections end. Titan Souls instead plays top-down with a retro 8 or 16-bit aesthetics that seems to typify independent games nowadays. Players can only run fast and shoot their one arrow; once that arrow is shot, the player can hold the fire button to have the loosened arrow return at the cost of standing still. Even though both the boss and the player has 1 HP, it’s way more complicated for the boss to die than the player, which leads to the player dying more than Phil Connors in Groundhog Day.

The reason why I was so engrossed with this game is a combination of simplistic gameplay coupled with a frenetic tension. Because the player only has 1 HP, each fight is fraught with desperation in trying to survive as well as trying to figure out how to hit the boss’s heart. The first boss I fought was a giant green blog that simply hopped towards me and laid a line of green sludge that slowed me down whenever I walked on it. This boss was less about figuring out, and more about testing my surrounding environment awareness, since every time the blob was hit it would split into two smaller blobs, one with the heart. By the time you expose the heart, there are at least 10 smaller blobs bouncing around you like a sea of space rocks in Asteroids. It is bananas.

The bosses are incredibly difficult to beat, and the satisfaction of taking down these beasts is tantamount to beating a boss in Dark Souls. Look forward to Titan Souls coming out next year, as the adventure is something you definitely would not want to miss.

Check out the developer Acid Nerve.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him get carpal tunnel from playing too much Smash Brothers.

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