Asposia strikes back.
I have to admit, I went into The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk with a rather closed-minded attitude. I was skeptical that the experience would be largely the same as its predecessor – which is to say, average at best, and frustratingly mediocre at worst. I needn’t have worried, though, because I was pretty much spot on with my reservations. The Last Wind Monk fails to improve on the first game in any meaningful way, and whilst it displays a decent chunk of charm, it remains inferior to several point-and-click adventures already available on Switch.
The Last Wind Monk is similar to the first title in many ways. The same main characters are all here, including the charming and innocent main character Robert, his adorable sidekick Peck and the series’ heroine Laura. Kicking off the story, you’ll actually start off playing as Peck, who must investigate and manipulate the environment in order to free Robert, who has spent a significant amount of time as a stone statue.
The controls remain largely the same as before. You move your characters around directly and interact with various points of interest dotted around the screen. This includes moving or changing objects, collecting various trinkets and interacting with the game’s many bizarre citizens. Little has changed in this regard, and it can be just as clumsy as it was in the first title. Again, the puzzles can be challenging throughout the game, and its reluctance to point you in the right direction can be a severe hindrance to less experienced gamers. However, if you’re really stuck, you can head into the game’s menu and get tips on what you’ll need to do.
The overall tone of the game is slightly darker than that of its predecessor (isn’t that the case with all sequels?), but thankfully the sense of humour remains relatively strong throughout to help lighten the mood somewhat. It’s all very reminiscent of classic adventure games such as Grim Fandango, albeit the jokes aren’t quite as weird as what fans of the genre may be used to.
The game’s graphics remain as charming as ever, with the hand drawn style impressing throughout. I have to say, despite my concerns with the title, I do love the effort that has gone into making the world and its inhabitants both unique and full of life. After two games, I did find myself growing attached to the main characters as time went on, and it’s thanks to the brilliant visuals and equally impressive voice acting (which, by the way, has also improved for this game).
Unfortunately, whilst the graphics and sound remain strong, the same can’t be said for the animation. It was an issue in the first game, and it sadly hasn’t been smoothed out for The Last Wind Monk. It’s not a deal breaker, but I would’ve liked to have seen some significant improvement in this area.
If you’ve played the first Inner World title, you’ll know exactly what to expect going into its sequel. Little has changed, and for someone who wasn’t particularly enamoured with the first game, The Last Wind Monk did little to change my mind. I admire the effort put in to create a diverse, bizarre world, but sadly its gameplay just isn’t up to scratch.