Greak: Memories of Azur
Gameplay 7
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Greak: Memories of Azur is a charming puzzle platformer with the unique premise of being able to control three characters at once. This gimmick definitely has its moments where it shines, but it can become a little cumbersome for many parts of the game. Nevertheless, the beautiful hand-drawn visuals and orchestral soundtrack make for a memorable experience, and the game is still a lot of fun despite the occasional frustrating bits.

Gameplay: Controlling three characters at once is fun at times but often a little cumbersome.

Graphics: Beautiful backgrounds and great hand-drawn animations.

Sound: The orchestral soundtrack is incredible

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Greak: Memories of Azur

Developer: Young Horses | Publisher: Young Horses | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Greak: Memories of Azur opens with the titular character finding himself separated from his two siblings during an invasion. The evil Urlags are overrunning the peaceful lands of Azur, and the other Courines, like Greak, are starting to flee when it seems defeat is inevitable. However, Greak is unwilling to leave his brother and sister behind, so he embarks on a quest to find them before it is too late to join the other Courines.

Although the game bears his name and he is the first character players control, Greak: Memories of Azur is the story of all three siblings. This single-player, puzzle-platformer hands over control of Greak as well as his sister Adara and brother Raydel. Players first have to find and rescue the other two characters, but they become a permanent part of the group afterward. While it is not the first game to feature more than one playable character, Greak does things a little differently. Instead of controlling one character with the rest following, this game requires players to take care of everything themselves. It makes for an interesting dynamic but also comes with its own set of issues, which we will discuss later.

Greak is set in the beautiful lands of Azur, with Raven’s Road Camp serving as the hub of the game. It is here where Greak wakes up after a mishap and discovers a group of fellow Courines has been taking care of him. He also learns about the airship they are building to try and escape before the Urlags overrun their camp. Greak quickly begins helping out with finding components for the airship while attempting to track down his siblings. It is not the most epic of stories, but it provides a decent enough excuse to go adventuring through temples, forests, tombs, and ruins.

The most striking aspect of Greak is, without a doubt, the visuals, which feature beautiful hand-drawn animations. While there are only about eight distinct areas in the game, each is packed with little details in both the foreground and background. Both the designs of the Courines and their Urlag foes look great, while some subtle lighting effects make everything look even more impressive. There are also hand-drawn cinematic clips that help flesh out the story, but unfortunately, they are also unskippable.

Although Greak lacks any voice acting beyond some shouts and screams from the characters, it has a stunning orchestral soundtrack. In conjunction with the great sound effects, the epic tunes make the game feel even more like a fantasy epic. The developers recommend playing Greak with a controller, and we would have to agree. Players are able to alternate control between all three characters or use them all at the same time. This works great for solving some of the puzzles but becomes a nightmare for navigating platforms. Not only are characters vulnerable at all times, but if one of them dies, it’s game over. This wouldn’t have been so bad if they could look after themselves if you leave them to their own devices, but sadly this is not the case. Trying to make a jump where two characters are able to double-jump while the third floats is a recipe for disaster, and leaving behind characters only to discover you need them miles away or that they got killed behind your back by a respawning enemy is no fun either. Even the boss fights can become an exercise in frustration if players are not careful.

Another aspect of the game that is sure to irk some players is the tiny inventory of each character. It is possible to collect ingredients and combine them at cauldrons to cook meals with healing benefits, but the limited inventory slots make this a chore. Even worse, quest items can take up multiple slots, so there were many times where we had to leave things behind because there was simply no space to store them.

While this might sound very negative, the fact remains that when things work, they work beautifully. The best example of this is the final area of the game, Aldalar Tomb, where the siblings are split up and have to use their unique skills to solve puzzles and help each other. For example, Greak can crawl through tiny holes inaccessible to his siblings, while Adara can hold her breath underwater for much longer. Raydel can’t swim but has a shield for blocking certain traps and a grappling hook to reach areas the others cannot. Figuring out when and where to swap between characters and then utilizing their skills is a lot of fun, and it is a pity that it is not featured as much in the rest of the game.

Greak: MoA does contain some Metroidvania elements, but don’t expect a vast sprawling adventure. There are only a handful of interconnected areas, and your progress through time is mostly linear. Each area also has a fast travel stone that has to be located first as well as a handful of save spots where players must manually save their progress. Strangely enough, there is a map for the overworld, but players must tackle the individual areas without this luxury. Greak is also not a very long game, and even though we completed all three optional altar challenges, we still managed to complete the game in less than ten hours. In fact, there’s even an achievement for completing the game in less than three hours, although we obviously recommend not attempting this on your first run.

Overall, Greak: Memories of Azur is a very charming game that is a lot of fun to play. It’s not as complex as most Metroidvania titles, nor as sprawling, which might be a plus for some players. The ability to control multiple characters is great when it works but maybe a little too cumbersome in other situations. There are ways to minimize the hassle of navigating three characters around, but less patient players might throw in the towel before they master this aspect of the game. This is a real pity as the game has a lot of potential and kept us hooked right to the end.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, 512 GB or AMD Radeon HD 6570, 1 GB
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 or AMD Phenom II X2 550
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX, 1 GB or AMD Radeon HD 5750, 1 GB
  • Storage: 3 GB available space

Related posts

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions

Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with more of the same soothing jigsaw style puzzles. The gameplay remains unchanged, but the new theme features slightly more sinister-looking stained glass art to assemble from broken pieces. It's still a very enjoyable experience, but overall it's more of the same, so like the original, it will be a love it or hate it experience for most players. Gameplay: Assemble stained glass images by piecing together the broken pieces. Graphics: The art style is unique and some of the images are quite sinister. Sound: Very soothing and relaxing.

The Yawhg

The Yawhg

I was surprised at how short a single playthrough of The Yawgh is but with more than 50 endings you'll definitely want to complete it more than once. The randomly generated story has a surprising amount of depth and the gorgeous artwork by Emily Carol is a definite plus. The Yawgh is best enjoyed with a group of other players so if you are a solo player the experience is just not the same. Gameplay: Short and simple but with tons of replay value. Graphics: Emily Carrol provides her signature artwork for the game. Sound: A moody soundtrack that adds to the ominous vibe of the game.

Between Time: Escape Room PC Review

Between Time: Escape Room PC Review

Between Time takes the escape room puzzles that are the hallmark of mc2games and mixes them up with a time travel storyline. The different time periods add some nice visual variety to the game and the type of puzzles players face. While not as tough as Tested On Humans, Between Time still has more than enough puzzles to keep players challenged and entertained. The game does have a few rough edges, and some puzzles can be brute-forced, but overall this is another great release by mc2games. Gameplay: The puzzles are interesting and challenging but not as tough as the previous game. Graphics: The different time periods make each new area exciting and unique. Sound: The soundtrack is nice and atmospheric, while the voice acting is sparse yet decent.

Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends

Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends

Mary the botanist is back and this time it is her brother that is in need of rescuing. This means another adventure through exotic locations while encountering interesting creatures from Slavic mythology. Like previous titles in the series, Eventide 3 isn’t the longest or most challenging example of the genre, but makes up for it with its unique setting. Newcomers to the genre will get the most out of this game as it features quite a few minigames that are very familiar to veterans, but makes up for it with some nice hidden object scenes. The lush visuals and imaginative scenes also set this game apart from other titles. If you are a fan of the genre and want a relaxing adventure that will keep you busy for an evening or two, then Eventide 3 should be high on your wishlist. Gameplay: Not that challenging and the minigames could have benefited from some more originality, but the hidden object scenes are good. Graphics: The series has a reputation for great visuals and Eventide 3 doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Sound: Decent voice acting and some nice tunes.

Heavy Fire: Afghanistan

Heavy Fire: Afghanistan

Heavy Fire: Afghanistan is a low budget on-rails shooter that can be fun in short bursts, but end up being repetitive in the long run. The most fun comes from gathering together three friends to join in, but moving cross-hairs around the screen with a mouse or controllers is never going to compare to using actual light-guns. While the game runs decent enough, it is the small things such as poor voice acting, lackluster sound effects, and mediocre visuals that bring it down. Gameplay: Somewhat entertaining in short bursts, but ultimately very forgettable. Graphics: Not too bad for a budget title, but has some obvious limitations. Sound: Poor voice acting, poor sound effects, and the music doesn't fare much better.

F.E.A.R. 3

F.E.A.R. 3

The series is moving away even further from its creepy horror roots and starting to feel a bit like a typical "Call of Duty" style shooter. There's still a few nice ideas, but the scares are thin on the ground and the story isn't exactly gripping. The co-op seems to have been the main focus of the game and works well. Gameplay: The shooting mechanics are solid but it loses that spooky "F.E.A.R" feeling along the way. Graphics: Looks good and the environments are a bit more varied than before. Sound: Nothing but silence from the lead character, but overall the voices and music is decent.

Leave a comment

17 − eight =