Stories: The Path of Destinies Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Stories: The Path of Destinies. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
It's fitting that the bulk of Stories: the Path of Destinies is told via an interactive book since playing through it reminds me so much of my days going through my school's library looking for new adventures to go on hidden within the shelves. Then I found the Choose Your Own Adventure books and everything changed. Suddenly nothing was set in stone, I could be the hero, the loner, or even lead everyone into their death and it was all based on my choices (and hey, if all else failed, I kept my finger on the last page like any good 90s kid). Stories: Path of Destines is kind of like that. Spearhead Game's latest features a slew of different endings for you to explore and some solid action RPG combat. Not all of it's ideas feel like they really land quite as well as the others but this is no doubt a book worth reading.
Reynaldo is an ex-pirate who is content living to living out the rest of his days with a good book and a good glass of wine...also, he's a Fox. His early retirement is ended when he's pulled into a conflict between a space emperor frog and a group of rebels after failing to protect a friend's son and literally walks straight into the war. It's a pretty interesting story but what sets it apart is how your choices change the outcome. Here's how the game works; you'll play through a section, fighting off bad guys and all that and then you're presented with a choice. Do you A) Go after a super weapon that the emperor has been guarding or B) Go rescue your friend who has gotten himself into some trouble and may be able to supply you with the spark that the rebellion has been looking for. Your choices will change a lot of what happens in your play through including who you'll meet and what you'll encounter.
This is a double edged sword though because you'll be making so many choices that you'll rarely get even close to enough information to care about the characters you'll meet. The game tries it's best to fill you in on relationships and the smaller details of the world that Stories tries to establish, but until you spend enough time in the game to full understand what's going in, there won't be much of a connection. That's they key though, this is a game that needs to be played through multiple times and needs to be experimented with to fully appreciate. There are well over twenty endings here (with only one of them being a full fledged, good triumphs over evil completely type of ending) and each of them are categorized like collectibles at the end of the game. There's a number of endings that I still have not experienced but I'm anxious to go in and see what it takes to get to them.
Gameplay wise, Stories is somewhere in between Diablo and the Batman: Arkham games. In fact, it's a dungeon crawler at heart and the majority of it's mechanics can be described as Diablo-Lite in a way. Run around, slaying bad guys and opening up treasure chests to find loot to level up your character and your swords, each of which can be used to unlock new doors and open up new paths. There's a good amount of exploration in Stories, such as if you go exploring in areas off the beaten path in search of rewards or keep going towards your goal. Yo'l encounter a number of paths that you won't be able to go down in early play throughs and like Diablo before it, it gives you another reason to go back in again once you get the right gear.
Combat is interesting to say the least in Stories: Path of Destinies. Most easily comparable to that of the Batman: Arkham games, there's a free flowing rhythmic combat style to it that somehow feels unique but familiar at the same time. Interestingly enough I was playing through my first few sessions of the game and thinking that the combat was too easy, and then three seconds later I was overrun with bad guys and ended up failing. Stories has a habit of doing that and if you're not paying attention, you're likely to end up on the wrong side of a blade. The other side of that though is that the game is remarkably repetitive combat wise, so you're bound to get into either a rhythm or a rut before long.
There's a lot to like about Stories: Path of Destinies; it's an open-ended RPG with solid combat that begs to be played over and over again. Whether or not you do that though is dependent on how you like playing slightly different versions of the same sections you just played over and over again. Stories isn't a fantastic RPG but it's a creative one that is more than worth your time.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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