A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist

A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist

Standing out in a crowded sea of retro-style indie games is no easy task, but 16-bit RPG Elysian Shadows caught my attention recently for what it’s promising to do differently.

Fashioning itself as a “next-gen 2D RPG,” Elysian Shadows isn’t shy about wearing its inspiration on its sleeve. Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana both get shout outs in the developer video, and the aesthetics are right out of 1995. Those names are enough to get any 16-bit fan excited, but they’re also names I hear referenced in almost every video about a new retro game.

What has me intrigued, though, are the features that could give Elysian Shadows a much more modern feel. Better 2D/3D graphics, dynamic lighting and sound, a real-time day/night system, and a world where everything is interactive (no “decorative doors”) are a few things that could push this from just another nostalgia trip into something genuinely memorable.

What its team has released so far looks promising:

A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist
A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist
A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist
A 16-Bit RPG That Promises A Modern Twist

The best retro games — here’s looking at you Shovel Knight — are the ones that can pay homage to the past while still giving players a fresh and unique experience. I’m hopeful that’s what Elysian Shadows can deliver.

Elysian Shadows will launch on PC, Mac, Linux, OUYA, mobile platforms, and the Dreamcast for some reason. The game just hit its Kickstarter goal, so head over there to follow along with the development.


    • I’m not sure it counts as retro when every other game that gets released does it. Mass Effect’s 3D models and voice acting have become the new retro. They just don’t make them like that anymore. =P

  • what i want in a retro style next gen game is animation that consists more than 4 frames for walking.

  • So what I’ve learned from the last 2-3 years of indie games is that rather than being a hotbed of innovation they’re just rehashing game styles from 20 years ago and splashing an extra coat of paint on top? Yeah there’s a few (maybe a handful) of actual innovative indie games which deserve to be played but all the others that ‘promise a modern twist on old ‘classics” will soon be forgotten and the developers will be left wondering why no-one’s buying their game. How many people actually buy indie titles beyond those with Ouyas and a few vocal people on forums?

    • Lead engine developer here. Y’know, every time I read a comment like this, I honestly wonder whether you even bothered to take two seconds to look into our project or whether this kind of bashing is a completely automatic subconscious response to seeing an indie project flourish… While I’m not about to bother defending my work from someone who clearly knows nothing about it, I will at least address your last question. How many people actually buy indie titles like this? Well, if you two took seconds to look at our Kickstarter, the answer would be obvious: thousands.

  • Makes me think more of the PSX/PS2 era JRPGs like BOFIII/IV, Suikoden II, the Disgaea Series or Atelier Iris 2 with their mixing of 3D objects, dynamic lighting and old school sprites and textures together.

  • This looks amazing. Was looking into an experience similar to Secret of Mana. Hopefully there’s still physical copies available when i get paid.

    • +1

      Titles like ALTTP, Secret of Mana and Terranigma still stick out as absolute gamechangers for me. I was never one for turn-based RPGs, but this type of RPG suited me perfect! I loved the story, gameplay and global feel of the games and haven’t been able to find one that can come close since my old skool SNES days.

      Will love this when it comes out. Nostalgia reinvented.

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