icon Author: MancSoulja
GOKEN Review
GOKEN follows the story of Edge - The master of the 5 blades. Edge has spent the last 5,000 years sealed away at the top of Swords Peak by the god O-Zone after an unsuccessful challenge on his life. Woken up one day by a small child, Edge must travel the world in search of his lost blades. Only then can he finally have his revenge on the gods!

GOKEN is an Action-JRPG, not dissimilar to classic JRPG's such as The Secret of Mana, A Link to the Past and Alundra.

The first hour or so of GOKEN is a real slog, you only have access to one weapon so combat consists of spamming your choice of X or Y, you lack any real stamina, so you won't be going anywhere fast and the omission of a mini map means you may feel a little disorientated at first.

Don't let the slow start put you off, before long you will be reunited with your second weapon. A giant great sword, at this point the game starts to pick-up and its unique combat system really starts to shine.

You can have any two of your potential 5 weapons equipped at any one time. By tapping either attack button you can perform a 3-hit combo, at the point of the 3rd hit you have a chance to generate a special move. The special move generated will depend on what weapon you have equipped.

Enemies are strong and varied in GOKEN, there's at least 20 - 30 different enemy types and maybe 5 or more variations of each type. Each enemy has their own attack pattern and weapon weakness, you'll need to learn these if you don't want frequent visits to the Game Over screen.

The game will automatically save your progress at points, but this is far too infrequent for my liking. Luckily you're able to save your progress at any time from the pause menu.

The progression system in GOKEN is separated into two parts, character upgrades and weapon upgrades.

The character upgrade system is really quite cool. When you level up, you are rewarded with ink points, collect enough of these points and you can take them to your local tattoo parlour and apply them to your character. Applying tattoos will reward you with standard stat increases on top of what you receive for levelling up.

You can also unlock empty slots, in these empty slots you are able to place special ink which you will find during your travels. These special ink's are much more powerful than the standard upgrades. They're able to infuse the protagonist with special offensive and defensive powers, they can even increase the amount of gold or experience acquired,

The weapon upgrade system is more standard fare and pretty typical of most RPG's. On occasions, defeated enemies will drop crafting items, you can take these items to blacksmiths located in each town. Assuming you have acquired enough weapon experience, you can use these items to improve each weapon and make it even stronger.

Don't expect a massive array of graphical options in GOKEN, after booting up the game and navigating to the options menu I was greeted by 2 very lonely options. Resolution and window type. There's actually no graphical fidelity options of any kind and at this point the game doesn't support native borderless window mode either. With that being said, I was able to Alt & Tab back to the desktop on multiple occasions and the game didn't crash once.

To my surprise, the graphics in GOKEN are beautiful. Bright, colourful, detailed, there isn't even a hint of aliasing. The world is separated into large and very distinct areas, each one brimming with secrets to discover. And being an open world game, you're free to travel to each area at your leisure.

At first I had a few performance issues with GOKEN, nothing major, but there was some very obvious frame skipping during screen transitions. After some investigating, it was clear that my GPU was dropping down to idle clocks during gameplay. I switched my GPU to max performance mode and that seemed to do the trick, from then on it was smooth sailing.

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the audio. Sound effects are synced well with actions and the music is high quality. There's plenty of varied audio tracks and it always felt appropriate to what was happening on-screen at the time.

My time with GOKEN was spent exclusively using an Xbox One controller. Controller support works well straight out of the box and the game features two separate Controller schemes.

GOKEN is a great throwback to classic JRPG's of yesteryear. The story is interesting and for the most part very well written. Combat is tight and has a nice layer of strategy.

The game is large but not massive, my first playthrough clocked in at just over 15 hours, this was literally an A - B playthrough, there's plenty more for me to see and do in GOKEN. After beating the final boss you also have the opportunity to load your completed save and carry on. I haven't had the opportunity to play this content yet, but I'd be very surprised if GOKEN didn't have more secrets to uncover.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with GOKEN and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any fan of the genre. Considering the game is still in early access, I think it's a massive achievement and can't wait to see where the development team take it.

Rating: 8/10

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