On paper, SpiritSphere sounds like a great concept and all around wonderful idea. As stated by its own creator, it is a mixture of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past graphics and air hockey. Both of these games are of great fun separately and in an ideal world, they would be even greater when combined. However, this is simply not the case for SpiritSphere. There are some glaring design choices that definitely bring the game down and make the overall experience more frustrating than fun. Yet, what exactly disrupts the game experience is hard to pinpoint as there a various aspects to consider before casting judgment upon SpiritSphere.
The meat and potatoes of SpiritSphere is the air hockey gameplay. It’s a simple game concept just hit the puck (sphere) into the goalpost and score three points to win a game. You would think the game would start off easy but, if you’re not properly prepared, get ready to lose in the first match. Losing is easy and can be rather discouraging for new players hoping to ease into the game. Another aspect that raises the difficulty is the almost floaty movement of the characters. It almost feels like the characters have no weight to them and in the keyboard controls it can sometimes make it hard to move along the two-dimensional 3D plane. Finally, the last aspect of the game that was hard to enjoy was the character balance, as it stands, there is a serious skew towards Lin and Ozo making Buster almost unviable in competitive play. Ozo has teleports and side moves while Lin has wide angles of attack and better controlled shots. Keeping all of the aforementioned in mind, there are some great aspects to SpiritSphere which must be mentioned.
SpiritSphere has gorgeous sprites and is, indeed, very reminiscent of Zelda. As many of us grew up with this game, it’s very compelling to see them being utilized in a new game, but, that’s where the charm ceases. Another good point is the controls; while they feel floaty, are very responsive and sharp. You can almost always feel in control (except when dashing which is almost unmanageable at times). As well as the fact that there are a variety of game modes available to play in SpiritSphere.
Finally, I have to say SpiritSphere is currently in Alpha and has a lot of potential for growth. Currently as it is, we can’t review it any higher than a 4/10 or a 5/10 and not because I think it’s a bad game; it’s strictly average as it stands, but has the potential to be a great game. I believe with a little more polish, this game can be a solid 8 and has only up to go up from here. A legend in the making, SpiritSphere has a lot of growing up to do.
Currently on Steam it can be found here.