Record of Lodoss War is a long forgotten anime series from the 90s, which is almost a painful sentence to write as someone who remembers said decade and enjoys stated genre. At some point the same team that made the amazing Touhou Luna Nights decided that this was ripe for their next Metroidvania and started work. The question quickly becomes, is it worth the effort while the game is still in early access.
Team Ladybug have already delivered on this type of model in the very recent past, with the aforementioned Touhou title. So the first real and main concern about whether or not progress will ever be made or an ending will ever be presented is almost all but answered. The developer has already pushed one update out to the castle that the players explore, further solidifying that they are one of the few companies that can actually be trusted with a purchase of an early access game and not simply have them run away with the money.
Although, the instantly most stunning thing about the game is the fluidity of the pixel art. Not only is all of the art and character models done well, and with great care, but the animations are graceful and flow from one to another. It is encouraging to know that this is not as much of a lost art, as much as people just simply don’t want to put in the effort to make their games look absolutely fantastic.
None of this takes away from how the game controls. Deelit feels like she has weight, moves well, and responds correctly. The first boss battle, as with the last game, is a real test of whether or not the player has been paying attention to the game mechanics up to that point, and this is demonstrated perfectly as never once did I blame the game for any of my many deaths.
When it comes down to it Record of Lodoss War is a good game, that is being released in one of my least favorite methods of early access. The studio itself has proven that it can be more than trusted with the purchase, so this is one of the few times that I don’t mind recommending diving into such a title. While it is odd that they picked an obscure and forgotten license to go after, the game works. Pick it up.