Ultra Age is a game with a unique premise. You are the hero of this story, but you are also the villain. The game begins by asking players to make their own character before they enter the world of Ultra Age.
Ultra Age is a game that has been in development for over 2 years. It was released on the Switch recently and it’s a platformer with an interesting take on time travel.
Ultra Age is the game that best embodies the concept of the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.” At first glance, the game seems to be so janky and badly presented that I instantly thought to myself, “This is going to be one of those games, isn’t it?” It took me about half an hour and an open mind to get beyond the first bad impression, only to be met with what is essentially a low-budget but extremely good hack ‘n’ slash influenced by games like Devil May Cry and Nier: Automata.
It does a fantastic job of recreating the excitement that surrounded Platinum’s action games.
Ultra Age is set in the 32nd century and includes a complex narrative centered on your role in the world, cybernetics, rescuing mankind from extinction, and a bunch of Nier-esque nonsense that should be fascinating in theory. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It’s not even because of the tale itself, but rather because of how it’s told. There are a lot of cutscenes and information dumps throughout the game, so it’s extremely dialogue-heavy. And the voice acting, oh my, does not help at all.
From the first word of speech spoken by our protagonist, the titular Age, it’s startling how awful the voice acting was. It’s awful, oh Lord. It’s the sort of voice acting that isn’t even terrible enough to be considered excellent. This is the sort of bad voice acting that requires a lot of work to sound that ridiculous and unprofessional. I couldn’t stomach listening to more than three seconds of it at a time, given how dense the game is with conversation and explanation. I had no choice but to ignore the narrative and enjoy the game for what it had to offer in terms of gameplay. Fortunately, it succeeds in this respect.
This is how old you are. He has a horrible appearance. He’s sounding much worse.
What we have here is a game with combat systems that obviously owe a debt to Devil May Cry and most Platinum titles, such as Metal Gear Rising and Bayonetta. Ultra Age has a fast-paced sword-based combat system that emphasizes completing combos with your light and heavy strikes as well as timed dodges to slow time down for a millisecond. So far, so nice, but Ultra Age has a lot more to offer. It does have a clever twist of its own, which sounds awful on paper but is really very good.
The surprise is that after the prologue, your sword is destroyed. You must gather crystal strewn across the stages in order to defend yourself against attackers, which allows you to (somehow) construct temporary makeshift swords with your hilt. Each sword is effective against a particular kind of foe (biological, robotic, etc). That means your swords will shatter after a while, but you may have replacement crystal on hand to automatically restore their health when the meter depletes. Don’t worry, the meter takes a long time to dwindle. Breath of the Wild, take notes.
Each sword is effective against a particular kind of foe. For example, the katana is ideal against biological adversaries.
Combat is quick and fluid. Depending on how many times you hit the L1 button, you may lock onto opponents and even utilize an energy-based grappling hook to either drag an enemy towards you or pull yourself towards a foe. You’ll also have access to a basic yet effective skill tree as well as some equippable bonuses. When you strike an opponent, sparks shoot everywhere, and the animations are generally rather excellent. Overall, the game seems to be a remaster of an unreleased PS3 title. It has a decent resolution and a steady framerate, although it has a rather simple appearance. The worst aspect of the game’s graphics has to be Age himself, who is uglier than any other character in the game. It’s almost as if this was done purposefully to add salt to injuries, as if the voice acting wasn’t bad enough already.
This is Niery to the core.
In a word, Ultra Age smells like low-budget schlock, yet its (bad) presentation fools you. This is a surprisingly decent hack ‘n’ slash that pays homage to its sources of inspiration while also introducing some unique features. Ultra Age is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a game that resembles a fresh new Devil May Cry or whatever Platinum Games used to produce at a breakneck speed back in the previous generation of gaming. Just make sure you’re listening to it on silent. That voice acting still irritates me.
It has a good looking environment, well-animated adversaries, and a good framerate. It does, however, seem to be a PS3 game at best, and the face animations… oof…
Traditional Devil May Cry combat and control scheme, with a clever addition of a rock-paper-scissors mechanism with your swords and a durable system that doesn’t suck. Breath of the Wild, take notes.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard voice acting as amateurishly bad as the one in Ultra Age. The game’s overall quality would have enhanced if there had been no voices at all.
Beyond its low-budget simplicity and a smattering of jank, there’s a surprisingly decent hack’n’slash game with a unique (and not at all irritating) fighting concept. For lovers of the genre, this is an obvious choice.
Final Score: 7.0
Ultra Age is currently available on PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
PS4 was used for this review.
The publisher supplied me with a copy of Ultra Age.
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The Ultra Age is a game that was released in 2016. It has received mixed reviews, with many saying that the game is too hard and others saying it’s not challenging enough. Reference: ultra age release date.
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