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Arietta of Spirits Review

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Arietta of Spirits

Arietta of Spirits is a lovely game if you don’t care about getting all the achievements, but if you want to go for completion the flaws this game has will shine through the second playthrough. 10h+ for completion.


Approximate amount of time to 100%: 10h+
Estimated achievement difficulty: 9/10
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 2
Is there a good guide available: I wrote the following achievement guide
Multiplayer achievements: No
Missable achievements: Yes, it has a few missable achievements, but the game is short, so the missable achievements are easy to unlock
Grinding Achievements: Yes
DLC-Only achievements: Yes
Speedrun achievements: Yes
Time-gated achievements: Yes
RNG-achievements: No
Does difficulty affect achievements: Yes, you have to complete a second playthrough on extra hard (aka zero hits mode)
Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No

This review is very hard to write… because for me the game has 2 sides.. on one side a good game and on the other side a lot of flaws that shine through because of one specific achievement. I’ll explain first my experience after just playing through the game for the first time and not worrying about that last achievement. In the end, I’ll explain how my opinion of the game changes when I take that one achievement into consideration.

I enjoyed Arietta of Spirits a lot on my first playthrough. The controls feel a bit sluggish but overall the game is great. A lovely story, which leaves the door open for a sequel. Enjoyable characters with a lot of charm and fun gameplay. the game saves every new screen you enter, so taking a break from this game is easy. This run was a lot of fun and if the game had only those 19 achievements I would only feel a lot of enjoyment for this game…

So what ruined the experience is that it makes it so hard to review this game…? The achievement for completing the game on extra hard, this mode unlocks after completing the game for the first time. In this mode, you can not get hit. If you get hit you gladly go back to the last checkpoint but even with those frequent checkpoints it can’t hide the flaws this game has and which can get you in a lot of trouble during this mode.
The flaws became more clear and clear while I was trying to go for this last achievement (still trying but stuck on the last boss for now) and explains the “sluggish” feeling I already had during my first playthrough, but because you have more health it isn’t such a big problem:
1. You can only do one move at a time, can’t interrupt and it has a very short window after the animation stops but not a new animation starts.
2. At a lot of spots the wall is a bit more on the inner layer of the floor than you would think, which can make dodging an enemy attack a problem. I have hit many inviable walls, which I would expect would be a few mm more at the outer layer of the floor.
3. Enemies see you earlier than you see them, so they prepare already their first move while they aren’t visible on your screen. And sometimes they even anticipate where your next move will end and attack there while you’re doing that movement.

I normally already dislike such hardcore achievements, those are not my style, but because I liked the game so much on my first playthrough I wanted to try and go for completion… even already realizing during my first playthrough that it would be a challenge. I’m not sure I should have tried because now I feel a love/hate relationship with this game and it might have been better if I just had quit after getting the first 19 achievements.

See this review as positive when you don’t worry about achievements at all or are not bothered by completing them all. If you’re an achievement hunter… I would give this game a mixed review.

EDIT: finally got the last achievement. The second playthrough took me around 10h of which 8h on that last boss, what a hell was that, but I managed to defeat him in the end 😀


Developer & Publisher:

This review for Arietta of Spirits was written on 6 September 2021, based on the current Steam version of the game which has 30 achievements at the time of writing this review. This information can be outdated, for example, when the developer adds or removes achievements or releases (new) DLC.

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