I used to be completely impressed by indie RPG Numina’s first half after I reviewed it for RPGFan in 2022. So I used to be wanting to see whether or not Half II may seize the identical appeal and magic whereas closing out the story of Shawn, his guardian spirit, and their buddies. I in the end uncovered a gaming expertise that’s greater than the sum of its components after I performed by Numina’s ultimate act, which culminates in an ending based mostly in your quite a few actions and decisions beforehand. Numina Half II shouldn’t be solely as robust as the sport’s first half however supplies a robust conclusion to an emotional saga.
In Numina, the world of Alterna is house to a mysterious vitality supply generally known as Life’s Breath. A governing spiritual faction known as the Order of Ecclesia manages this vitality, offering individuals with magic and several other creature comforts they typically take as a right. However as protagonist Shawn and his occasion of Arc, Raphael, Sarah, and Cassandra uncover on the closing of Half I, Life’s Breath isn’t as benign or safely renewable because the populace believes. In fact, the Ecclesia knowingly sacrifices individuals for the sake of the various and to keep up a manufactured sense of peace. Along with the participant, who exists within the sport’s world as Shawn’s guardian spirit, will our heroes resolve to rise and cease the Ecclesia’s machinations? Or will they facet with the rebels combating the Ecclesia as a substitute, regardless of their suspicions that this faction can be hiding one thing? Lastly, can Alterna even actually operate with out Life’s Breath sustaining its establishment? Half II solutions all these questions whereas contemplating participant decisions from Half I.
Numina Half II begins instantly after the primary half’s probably tragic ultimate combat, with Shawn and the participant pushing onward by a mysteriously harmful realm after being separated from their buddies. A recap of previous occasions and narrative decisions helpfully reminds you of earlier occurrences and participant actions from Half I, which is especially helpful if it’s been some time because you reached Half I’s cliffhanger ending. Half II’s starting portion helps you develop into accustomed to the gameplay mechanics as Shawn converses with you whereas interacting with NPCs and navigating a puzzle-and-danger-laden dungeon. This part of Half II serves as a superb reminder of how stable Numina’s gameplay part is, although part of me was unhappy to say goodbye to the useful rope software from the primary half.
Past not having the choice to scale ledges with the rope, gameplay and controls stay untouched from the primary half of Numina. The sheer quantity of puzzles to beat in dungeons continues to be spectacular and has you considering in your toes fairly a bit. You may nonetheless unlock explicit doorways utilizing a timed, matching puzzle. In a single occasion, Shawn has the sensible thought to strive sneaking the occasion undetected previous guards by disguising everybody as barrels. In one other occasion, it’s essential to hold enemies from reaching Shawn by transferring mild beams to dam their means whereas accessing an exit for him. As well as, sure characters give you optionally available facet quests alongside the primary storyline, equivalent to discovering somewhat lady’s pet mouse or delivering curry lunches to numerous individuals on an island.
Battles in Numina are conventional turn-based affairs with minor additions that make them extra entertaining. Projectile assaults should line up earlier than firing to have most impact, and the timing of sword strikes or blocks have to be appropriate to be handiest. As you achieve TP throughout battle, you need to use particular magic expertise equivalent to Sarah’s water spells or Arc’s extraordinarily helpful therapeutic magic. Relying on how ample the rapport is between Shawn and a personality and between you and stated character, you possibly can unleash much more highly effective strikes or devastating combo assaults like Shawn and Cassandra’s fiery sword and arrow transfer. Even unleashing common assaults at their most deadly means being attentive to what you’re doing in fight. The utmost degree in your occasion members is 20, and I discovered that in Half II nearly all of my characters grew to become maxed out by the point I reached the ultimate boss combat.
The story and compelling occasion members at its heart are the driving forces of Numina, and that hasn’t modified within the sport’s ultimate act. The idea of you, the participant, taking over an lively position within the story is inventive and carried out effectively all through the narrative. I by no means felt like I wasn’t a part of the story in a singular means, and I really like seeing how Shawn and the opposite characters reacted to my actions and remarks. Seeing how my and Shawn’s rapport with everybody improved or tragically didn’t based mostly on my choices may very well be both heartwarming or heartbreaking relying on the outcomes. I’m used to fourth-wall-breaking mechanics being performed extra for laughs or thrown right into a sport haphazardly, so I really like the care and a focus to element put into making the participant really feel like they’re additionally a essential character within the story. I felt a lot for Shawn and the opposite occasion members within the sport as a result of I used to be proper beside them.
The principle character Shawn goes by a lot all through Numina’s story, and you’ll’t assist however root for him as you assist information him alongside his chosen path. He has some actually standout moments all through Half II. I adored the continued exploration of the romance I began between Shawn and Arc from the primary half. Their relationship is written phenomenally and has many tender scenes. Arc continues to be coming to phrases with selecting to go towards the Ecclesia and believably coping with the demise of an in depth beloved one. Sarah grows much more as a personality as she learns about and involves phrases together with her mysterious previous. Lastly, Cassandra stays a private favourite of mine together with her reactions and the way easy she is about talking her thoughts. Sadly, Raphael had a tragic consequence in my playthrough, however I admire how Numina by no means forgot how he’s a necessary character within the plot.
Past the intelligent fourth-wall-breaking mechanics and well-developed occasion members, Numina’s story is a big draw. I tremendously loved how surprisingly darkish and mature the commentary is within the sport, and the ethical ambiguity on all sides of the battle is conveyed apparently. Numina is a really choice-heavy narrative that jogs my memory plenty of a BioWare sport by way of its presentation. No choice is made calmly, and all have various shades of grey. Decisions from the primary half carry over into the second to a formidable diploma. As an illustration, whom Shawn romanced, whether or not you helped Sarah study extra about herself, or whether or not you spared Aziel after your final boss combat with him are all decisions from Half I which have relevance in Half II. Likewise, a number of choice factors in Half II, equivalent to whether or not you initially select to facet with the rebels, have an effect on how the story in the end performs out. There’s even a “maintain the road” scenario within the ultimate dungeon that severely impacts what happens within the ending relying on the way you select to method it. Numina’s plot consistently evolves based mostly in your decisions, and I like how that provides the sport a tailored really feel.
Graphically, Numina continues to be a beautiful assortment of backgrounds and sprite work. I’m very impressed by the visible results and love how expressive the occasion member art work is. If solely different characters additionally had obtained the identical remedy! You may even come throughout battle outfits that alter the colours of the occasion members’ battle sprites as a enjoyable little addition. The UI is crisp and does the trick properly, and sound results are employed to important impact all through dungeons and story scenes. The music continues to be a powerful promoting level for the sport, too, with a second soundtrack entitled Numina「ECHOES」being launched along side Half II. You may hear pattern tracks from it, equivalent to “For the Trigger,” “Lights within the Sky (Prolonged),” and “Final Day of Autumn.” I particularly love the attractive vocal piece that serves as Half II’s theme tune, aptly named “ECHOES.”
Concerning weaknesses, I didn’t come throughout the glitch I often bumped into in Half I the place the sport would crash on me throughout boss fights. So it’s protected to say that individual bug is not a difficulty! The English script is written extra clearly this time, and I encountered solely two errors. Given how text-heavy Numina is and what number of script permutations there could be based mostly on participant decisions, that’s fairly spectacular. Nevertheless, transitions from sure story scenes to different scenes can nonetheless be barely off-putting and awkward generally. Whereas I often love navigating puzzles in Numina’s dungeons, even I admit Half II’s Sheol Desert overstayed its welcome. In any other case, the second a part of Numina is a stable expertise that builds superbly upon what got here earlier than.
Important story DLC equivalent to this typically misses the mark. Nonetheless, I can perceive why developer starlit studio felt they wanted to take this method with Components I and II of Numina: to launch the sport faster and polish up the assorted branching factors that make up its conclusion. In that regard, Numina Half II is a fantastic important addition. I’m glad it’s been bundled with Half I as a part of a Deluxe Version now, enabling gamers to select up a stable sport and attain its robust conclusion. General, Numina is a captivating, intelligent RPG that made me consider carefully about my choices. I immensely loved the over twenty hours I spent enjoying each components of Numina, and my journey with Shawn and the others is one which I’ll consider fondly for fairly a while.