Reviews

Siralim Ultimate – Steam Review

FruitsNDoggie reviews Siralim Ultimate, a unique blend of creature collector with a twist.

First Impressions

Someone told me Siralim Ultimate would be like Pokemon, but that isn’t what interested me about the game. My attention came from how many unique monsters there are, and that it has so many positive reviews in spite of having more than 1,000 creatures. Siralim Ultimate must have done something well if such a huge bestiary didn’t sink it. I also thought it’d be nice to play a longer game for a change.

Gameplay

Building a team of six monsters, you’ll guide them through several dungeons, encountering stronger foes, mini-bosses, side quests, and boss battles. Each monster has a trait associated to it, and with so many monsters available, there’s a staggering amount of combos possible in order to build your team. These effects can pertain to specific monster classes, hard-counter an element, buff your allies, debuff the enemies, set-up auto-healing or auto-casting scenarios, and so forth.

The gameplay loop follows a really strict formula, and becomes stagnant for it. You’ll explore two levels of a new area, with the third solely consisting of a boss battle. Completing them ends a quest line, introduces a new mechanic, and triggers a new quest line and area to explore. At that point, you can reduce the floor level by one, and explore past areas in order to grind levels and deity ranks. I’d suggest something along the lines of clearing an area, and doing enough grinding to increase your favorability with the most recent deity you met by a few levels. Another downside is that Siralim Ultimate is regularly getting more complicated, as the expanding amount of monsters you could theoretically train increases. Plus, the number creep is practically never-ending.

Controls

RPGs don’t tend to have very complex controls, and despite the plethora of menus to sort through, that’s true in Siralim Ultimate as well. There are some options available to improve the experience though. For instance, fighting battles rapidly instead of manually spamming attacks, and being able to walk into all of the environmental objects in order to acquire them. They came very close to allowing you to fight the battles auto-pilot, but unfortunately you have to hold the button down. I’d say that’s unnecessary, but it’s still a nice feature.

Story

A downside to how the story is presented is that you’re merely told these events are taking place, without any visual representation of them. What does the villain, his domain, or the Ultimate Nether Orb even look like? I haven’t the foggiest idea. You don’t see nearly enough of the world at large, including your own kingdom and your subjects, to really care about what’s going on. It all sounds like a distant threat instead of something that matters to you. Plus, you so casually hob-knob with the gods that it undermines their significance.

Visuals

My enthusiasm was dampened for Siralim Ultimate based on how the game looked. What do all the creatures in the world matter when it reminds me of old PC titles? The overworld and dungeons are rather basic, as your party of monsters conga line through randomly-generated areas made of a grid system. Battles are a bit more engaging, as the enemies get decent-sized sprites. Unfortunately, your monsters make up a small part of the screen, represented mostly by mini-HUDs and a shrunken portrait. Plus, there’s no significant animations for any of the action, so all of the fighters stay perfectly still.

Sound Design

Considering the sheer amount of time players are putting into Siralim Ultimate, the amount of songs is lower than I expected when looking up the soundtrack. I thought they were enjoyable to listen to, but it could certainly benefit from both a larger amount of songs, as well as ones with longer play times. That way the constant looping isn’t quite so obvious. They’re peppy tunes though, so they were able to hold my interest for quite a while. Most of the sound effects from spells or attacks were fine, although some were a little annoying or downright weird. One sort of sounds like Mario’s, “No,” from Mario Hotel.

Pros

🌟 The writing doesn’t take itself too seriously, with plenty of good-natured jabs at the game’s own story. You’ll either appreciate the dry humor or get a bit annoyed at it. Personally, I liked it.
🌟 With so many available combinations, you could create many novel teams with different strengths.
🌟 For the price tag, the theoretical amount of content available is tremendous.

Cons

❌ There’s so many status effects, remembering what they all do is a chore, “What does that symbol represent again? Is that good or bad?”
❌ All of the unnecessary notifications get old. I took ten steps, nothing of importance happened in that time.

Tips

🔍 Don’t worry about making drastic changes to your team or grinding a new monster you want to add. It takes several floors to reach, but you’ll unlock a feature that’ll let you use power to raise a new monster’s level to the same as your team.
🔍 Going back to earlier areas to grind a bit isn’t a bad idea. It’ll increase your reputation with various deities, earn basic resources, and upgrade your knowledge on the monsters you fight.
🔍 As long as you win the battle, any monsters that die will revive with full health and earn the same experience as the other ones.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’d say there are two potential problems with the game. First, the visuals aren’t very invigorating, and for me, part of what makes an RPG exciting is seeing powerful spell effects and weapon combos. Nothing ever quite makes up for the lack of spectacle in combat, but the gameplay loop is still satisfying. Siralim Ultimate has a gentle learning curve since all the mechanics are spread out so far, and building a team of monsters that synergize with each other well is enjoyable.

The second issue is more contentious. I think there’s way too much content to be reasonable. Beating the main story isn’t too outrageous, yet that’s only scratching the surface of everything you can do in Siralim Ultimate. You can collect cards, beat master trainers, earn favor with each deity, beat each deity, and beat each monster enough times to S rank your knowledge of them. It may not seem like a lot, but based on the achievements, less than 1% of all players will make it halfway through the entire game’s content. By contrast, about 28% beat the final story boss. This only pertains to whether you’d want to invest beyond the necessary parts to beat the game, but so much grindy content isn’t really a boon in my eyes. I’d still say SU is a worthwhile game, I just can’t imagine who’d want to put that much time into it.

Overall Rating – High Quality

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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