Stories: The Path of Destinies is an action RPG that is unlike any I’ve played before. Unlike a traditional RPG the story is actually broken up into 24 “stories” that change the events of a 5 chapter RPG adventure. As you play you are give a number of choices to make, usually between chapters, that change the path the story will take for you. It makes for an interesting game because it really is unlike the multitude of other games out there that have the “choose your own adventure” formula.
The story of the game is actually very good and there are so many variations of the story that you’ll want to go back in and play them all again. Fortunately each “story” only takes about 30-40 minutes so you can fairly quickly try a new path. The story can unfold in so many different ways and the combat is so satisfying that it’s easy to replay the same areas multiple times without getting bored. That isn’t to say the game is perfect. There is a definite lack of variety in areas and enemies. There are no boss fights or puzzles. The platforming is very basic. Even with those negatives the game is compelling and well worth playing.
The best part of the game thankfully is the combat. It is one of the most satisfying combat systems in an action RPG since FROM Software’s Souls games or Bloodborne. The combat system is nowhere near as deep as those games but it definitely takes the same sort of patience and strategy. At the beginning of the game it is fairly simple but as you unlock new enemy types and skills you have to be strategic and plan out your approach while at the same time have fast reflexes. You will see the words “You have died” a lot. You can craft 4 different swords which you can freely switch between during combat and they each have a special ability like the hero sword which could heal you. Honestly the swords are not much different during combat and none seem to have an advantage over the others. The main reason you want all the swords is to be able to unlock doors since the swords double as a key to their respective door type. The combat is quite addictive though. You will gain abilities like a dash, grapple hook that could pull enemies to you, and the ability to slow time when you parry an attack. All of these moves compliment the enemy types perfectly making it a very strategic and tense combat experience that is very enjoyable.
At first I thought the level design was simple and uninteresting but as I progressed I realized the levels were actually beautifully designed. They won’t win any awards but the detail put in definitely stands out. During each story you will play 5 chapters that each has another area. Most of them are repeated multiple times but there are different paths that twist and turn in a maze that holds different battles to fight and some hidden gems which let you gain different boosts for your character. Some levels have very simple puzzles where you flip a switch to turn fire traps on and off but they are far and few between.
The story of the game is very well told. In it you play Reynardo a fox pirate and captain of an airship. He comes across a magic book which has the power to let him relive events that happen and make new decisions based on his past mistakes. The entire story is told by a narrator who does such an excellent job the game is worth getting just for him. He performs all the voices of the characters while explaining what is happening even when outside of cutscenes and just playing the game. He also adds a level of wit and humor that goes above and beyond. With pop culture references like “Praise the Sun” (A reference to Dark Souls) or “You know nothing Jon Snow” (referencing Game of Thrones) you are sure to be entertained. Even the quotes you hear when you die are memorable. The story telling has to be my favorite part of the game and really helps to distract from the fact you are playing the same levels over and over.
Overall I recommend playing this game at least until you get the true (happy) ending. The combat is addictive and the story telling makes you feel like a kid again. Even though there isn’t a ton of content and the levels get repetitive it’s fun and worth the price.