“We have 2D Zelda at home”.
It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if that is indeed the case, then Airoheart is one of the most sycophantic releases on the Switch today. There’s certainly no shortage of ‘Zelda-likes‘ available on the console, but this is a game that stretches the term “inspired by” to its absolute limits, as it finds as many ways as possible to be The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past without actually tempting Nintendo into releasing its famed copyright ninjas for damage control. Consequently, fans of that top-down Zelda style will no doubt find much to love here, as Airoheart does an adequate job of presenting a wide linear action-adventure experience, but it more often than not feels like you’re looking at a funhouse mirror reflection rather than the real deal.
Airoheart is set in the fantasy land of Engard and follows the tale of two feuding groups: the Elmer and the Breton. The Elmer are masters of peaceful forms of magic while the Breton are proficient in more offensive and violent magical abilities, and there’s been tension between the two groups for as long as anyone can remember. Your character, a half-Breton named Airoheart who lives among the Elmer with his grandpa, is brothers with a Breton leader who is instigating increasingly more aggressive maneuvers against the Elmer in what appears to be a prelude to war. He seems to be most interested, however, in retrieving the fragments of the mythical Draoidhe Stone, a magical MacGuffin that will all but guarantee a swift Breton victory. Guided by a mysterious disembodied voice, Airoheart thus sets out on a quest to retrieve the fragments before the Breton can get their hands on them.
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